DHS Puts January After May; WTF?

Yet more evidence that things are different when you’re at the top:
January comes after May, according the DHS.

that the Department of Homeland Security has released a
request for proposals to build US VISIT, a next-generation immigration
computer system which could be worth $10 billion to high-tech contractors.
US VISIT is “a system to collect fingerprints and photographs from
millions of visitors entering and exiting the United States every year.
Such biometric identifiers will be used to verify visitors’ identities and
compare them to lists of HREF=”http://www.opendna.com/blog/2003_11_09_blog1_archive.html#106845520660383

or known



I personally think Computer Sciences Corporation is the best candidate.

[DISCLAIMER: J-Mac bought stock in CSC after it bought
DynCorp; he has a Homeland Security Pork

According to GovExec “Homeland Security
intends to announce the winning firm by May 2004.”

This will come as surprise to anyone working for Customs & Border
Protection, which will use the system, as the official management line is
that US VISIT will be fully operational on 05JAN2004 – fingerprints and
all. Government Computer News is making similar
: “Once we tweak any software changes, we will put out a final
version in December and turn it on in January.

The truth is that US VISIT is supposed to bring Border Cops many of the
things people imagine are already on our computer screens (I have a hunch
that’s why you aren’t allowed to look at them). But if the contract hasn’t
already been awarded then maybe we’re just talking about a renaming of
IBIS to US VISIT and forgetting about what we called SEVIS, NSEERS, APIS,
ADIS, etc.

Maybe this is how business is really done with the government. …er,
what? Options:

  1. You do the work for free and they give you an
    uncontested contract later – the final version of US VISIT has reportedly
    been implemented at one port and a national training program is in effect.
  2. experience and size win out. GCN.com says Lockheed Martin, CSC and
    Barton & Associates previously won contract on parts of the network that
    make up US VISIT and GovExec.com says that only Lockheed Martin, Accenture
    and CSC made the first cut.
  3. Get a contract and
    engineer-for-job-security – if nobody else is crack-addled enough to
    understand the code you wrote, you’re a shoe-in for future contracts.

[JARGON DECODER: Interagency Border Information System (IBIS); United
States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology (US VISIT);
Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS); National Security
Entry Exit Registration System (NSEERS); Advanced Passenger Information
System (APIS); Et Cetera (etc); What The Fuck (WTF)]