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U.S. officials face a looming deadline to deploy a uniform identification badge designed to verify the ID of federal employees, no matter which agency issued it.
The Personal Identity Verification project is expected to eventually cover cards issued to 12 million employees and contractors. Created by Homeland Security Presidential Directive-12 in 2004, groundwork on the PIV card is entering its final stages as scores of agencies and vendors try to meet an Oct. 27 deadline President George W. Bush has set to begin issuing the cards.
Ultimately, the federal government wants an ID card that is interoperable throughout Uncle Sam's sprawling bureaucracy. A computer or physical access reader installed at a Department of Treasury building, for example, should be able to read a card issued by the Department of Agriculture, and vice versa. And the guest agency should have a reasonable assurance the badge presented by the cardholder is authentic. At present, agencies have no way of verifying the authenticity of badges issued by other agencies because of this lack of interoperability.
The move to what officials call "Federal Information Processing Standard 201," or FIPS-201, is going to happen, they insist.
"The October deadline will be …