(This blog post is part of a multi-week series reviewing data and trends from GSA’s IT acquisition vehicles for FY14. Read previous posts at http://gsablogs.gsa.gov/technology/)
GSA is the second largest issuer of Personal Identity Verification (PIV) credentials in the federal government. The credential you are carrying every day may well be issued by GSA’s USAccess program.
Since 2008, our program has issued almost 900,000 credentials to more than 100 federal agencies. In 2014, we focused on two specific improvements that will improve customer service:
- Reducing the wait for delivery and activation of PIV cards
- Enhancing security and personnel management
Reducing wait time
PIV cards are critical for agencies to protect and secure data and locations. Many contractors and employees cannot function without access to the buildings and systems that the PIV cards allow. Because of that, customers have wanted us to shorten the waiting time for delivery and activation.
Since the beginning of our program, the average wait time was 10-14 days. We worked with our shipping partner through GSA’s FSSI Domestic Delivery Service to reduce the wait time by half: 5 to 7 days. Now we combine a daily batching process for producing the cards, exclusively overnight shipping, and better anomaly tracking, so agency customers now receive finished cards 50% faster than before, with 99.97% accuracy.
Enhancing security and personnel management
GSA partnered with the Census Bureau to build a Local (Distributed) Printing Proof of Concept (POC). This POC will allow Census to decrease wait time and therefore increase security and field office personnel management. By their projection, it will also reduce travel expenditures by several million dollars annually by saving employees extra trips to credentialing centers. The first distributed printing station went into operation at Census’ Suitland headquarters on September 15, to be followed by up to 40 more stations across the United States by early 2015.
Since USAccess is a shared service, this enhanced capability can be offered to other agency customers with a much-reduced development time and cost, using the template and lessons learned from the first deployments. The team’s goal is to deploy distributed printing as a standard practice.
GSA is developing and deploying even more improvements and enhancements to the USAccess PIV card service. Through customer collaboration groups, we can take on technology challenges like mobile and derived credential solutions, temporary credentials, and new identity verification methods like iris scans. These developments will be carefully designed and tested by the team and its support contractors so when they are fielded, they will enhance and extend the USAccess’s value.