Secure ID by the government, for the government

Monday - 11/15/2010, 10:56am EST

Steve LeBlanc, Managing Director, Security & Intelligent Documents, GPO

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By Suzanne Kubota
Senior Internet Editor
FederalNewsRadio.com

For the first time, federal agencies have the option of using a government agency to make Secure ID cards for their employees.

The U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) has been certified by the General Services Administration to personalize Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD-12) cards for federal agencies.

Steve LeBlanc, the Managing Director for Security & Intelligent Documents, told Federal News Radio GPO is proud to be the first agency certified.

"I think it's a wonderful thing because it's a government service that's in government, in government facilities, by government employees that all have the proper security clearances and we're a very security-oriented business unit because we've been making the U.S. passport and the electronic passport for many years now."

LeBlanc said GPO's first product line like this was making the Trusted Traveller card for DHS. "In 2007 (GPO) really developed this capability after completely putting the electronic passport program on its feet. We've made over 60 million of those passports and our employees have developed an expertise in embedded electronics in secure documents."

Then, said LeBlanc, about a year and a half ago, GPO started working towards the GSA certification so they could participate in the HSPD-12 program.

We've really gone through quite a transformation at the GPO recently. We've just been certified ISO 9001, which is a worldwide, globally recognized certification for excellence in production and quality in customer service and management of process improvements and changes. That was a two year program where we literally stepped back, ripped apart our processes, looked at them carefully, decided what made sense, and documented it all. It's one of those programs where you say what you do and you do what you say and we have an outside auditor that came in and took a look at us and gave us that certification recently as well.

Now, said LeBlanc, after buying the blank card bodies from vendors who are on the approved product list, "we take those blank bodies and personalize them with photos and biographical data for the customer."

While every agency has their own program for the Secure ID card, said LeBlanc, if agencies want to keep the work inside the federal government, the GPO is in the space and able to offer a government option.