Fed CIO Says She Asked Agencies to Hold Off on Smart ID Card Rollouts

In an interview last week, Karen Evans, administrator of e-government and IT at the White House Office of Manage­­ment and Budget, explained why many federal agencies didnt meet an Oct. 27 deadline for issuing smart ID cards to all employees with less than 15 years of experience: She told them not to. Excerpts from the interview follow:

Are you satisfied with the progress being reported by agencies on meeting the presidents smart ID card mandate, considering that a lot of them appear to have missed the Oct. 27 deadline? The piece that we asked agencies to hold back on was the actual credentials themselves. We wanted to make sure that once you got a card issued, it would be truly interoperable. One of the problems we had was that there were technical challenges with the [ID] certificate itself.

Agencies could have made the goal, but you dont want to have everyone run out and be compliant, and then have everyone turn around and have to reissue all the cards. So when you ask me if Im satisfied with the progress of the agencies, the answer is yes, because now I expect to see a dramatic increase in the number of cards when we issue [a status] report in December.

Karen Evans

Karen Evans What do you plan to include in that report? Prior to this, all of the agencies were releasing status reports on their own Web sites. What the OMB is going to do is release a cumulative report that is very transparent about where we are and that tracks our progress across the government as a whole. Everybody will be able to see exactly how many credentials have been issued.

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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