Accenture has been awarded a contract to design and implement the United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology (US-VISIT) program. This program, currently targeting a December 31, 2004 implementation deadline for the busiest 50 land ports of entry, is being designed to develop a virtual border program of identity verification and screening of visitors to the U.S.
The total contract calls for expenditures of between $10 million and $10 billion (with a “B”), although the top-end seems unlikely by most accounts. “The exact amount depends on Congress and other policy decisions,” Asa Hutchinson, Under Secretary of Border and Transportation Security for the Department of Homeland Security, told reporters in a news conference. “It certainly will be at least a $1 billion contract before it is all done.”
The Smart Border Alliance team lead by Accenture won-out in a competition with teams led by Computer Sciences Corporation and Lockheed Martin.
For more background go to
US-VISIT Fact Sheet at DHS.gov.
Accenture Press Release –
WASHINGTON, June 1, 2004 – Accenture-led Smart Border Alliance has been selected by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to design and implement the United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology (US-VISIT) program. Under the contract, which includes five base years plus five option years, the Smart Border Alliance will help develop and implement a new entry/exit system to be deployed at the nation’s more than 400 air, land and sea ports of entry.
US-VISIT will be designed to provide the capability to record the entry and exit of non-U.S. citizens to the United States, to verify the identity of incoming visitors and to confirm compliance with visa and immigration policies. The system will be designed to record the entry and exit of visitors through the use of digital-finger scans and digital photos captured at the ports of entry.
The goals of the US-VISIT program are to enhance the security of U.S. citizens and visitors, expedite legitimate travel and trade, ensure the integrity of the immigration system, and safeguard the personal privacy of visitors and immigrants.
Accenture LLP leads the Smart Border Alliance, which includes key members Raytheon, The Titan Corporation, and SRA International, Inc. The Smart Border Alliance, whose member companies employ more than 330,000 people in the United States, was selected following a highly competitive bid conducted by the Department of Homeland Security.
“Accenture and the other members of the Smart Border Alliance are fully committed to helping the Department of Homeland Security achieve its mission for the US-VISIT program,” said Stephen J. Rohleder, group chief executive of Accenture’s Government operating group. “The Smart Border Alliance will pursue an end vision for US-VISIT that is designed to provide innovative solutions to current entry/exit problems, modernize or replace existing computer systems, introduce new border-management processes, and implement a long-term strategy to help position DHS to address future challenges.”
The end vision for the Smart Border Alliance solution is built around the concept of a virtual border. The virtual border is designed to operate far beyond U.S. boundaries to help DHS assess the security risks of all U.S.-bound travelers and prevent potential threats from reaching U.S. borders. It helps DHS locate and remove U.S. travel violators without increasing waiting times at the border. Most important, the virtual border makes U.S. border inspectors the last line of defense, not the first, in identifying potential threats.
“We have assembled a strong team of highly qualified companies with significant border-management experience and the complex systems integration capabilities necessary to achieve the goals established by the Department of Homeland Security for the US-VISIT program,” said Eric Stange, managing partner of Accenture’s Defense and Homeland Security practice and overall program manager for US-VISIT.
The U.S. Congress has mandated that US-VISIT must be deployed at the top 50 U.S. land ports of entry by December 31, 2004. The Smart Border Alliance will be working closely with the Program Management Office to meet this deadline.