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Government Update provide meaningful comments to improve the process if they don't know the test results? Belatedly, the TSA acknowledges that it could have done a better job of communicating with the stakeholders at the testing locations. During the prototype testing, the enrollment process was seriously flawed. The goal was to enroll 75,000 workers at the 28 transportation facilities. However, only 12,900 workers were actually enrolled and only about 1,700 TWIC cards were eventually issued to workers at 19 facilities. According to the TSA, these problems were caused by difficulties finding volunteers to enroll and by technical problems, such as collecting fingerprints from workers at certain testing locations and enrolling large numbers of workers at one time. If trying to enroll 75,000 workers overtaxed the system, just wait until TSA tries to enroll 750,000 workers from 3,500 maritime facilities and 10,800 vessels. As the GAO report states, another challenge that TSA faces is ensuring that workers are not providing false information and counterfeit identification documents when they enroll. Fraudulent social security cards, birth certificates, driver licenses, and passports are easily obtained - and some are of high quality. Enrollment personnel must be trained to identify such bogus documents and provided sufficient time to perform the analysis. During the prototype tests, enrollment techniques were utilized at some locations that turned out to result in extensive delays in the enrollment process. The TSA indicates that it is adopting approaches to address these problems. The agency, though, declined to share with the GAO the results of how these supposedly successful approaches worked. Major problems have arisen relating to TWIC card readers. In part, this is due to delays experienced by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in finalizing the standard for biometric cards and readers - officially the FIPS 201-1 standard. During the prototype testing, fewer than half of the 99 card readers installed were biometric. The biometric readers were installed at only eight facilities and only functioned efficiently at two! The prototype testing program did not include use of biometric card readers on any vessels. The TSA also discovered that maritime workers had coarser fingers than office workers. Some of the November 2006 devices had difficulty reading maritime finger prints. Some facilities had problems installing the infrastructure necessary to operate the TWIC card readers. Only ten of the 28 TWIC testing facilities linked the card readers to the local facility access control system. The effectiveness of these links was not fully explored by TSA. GAO report includes the following: "According to TSA, while facility and vessel owners and operators will be required to install TWIC card readers, it is up to these facilities and vessels whether they want to link these card readers to their access control systems." Why do I see suddenly think of ostriches? Based on the limited testing conducted to date on biometric card readers, even under controlled conditions, concerns have been raised with regard to use of these devices in the harsh outdoor maritime environment. For this and other reasons, the TSA has decided to delay that portion of the rulemaking requiring installation and use of the TWIC card readers. This solves (or at least delays) one problem, but creates another. Plans now call for promulgation of TWIC card regulations prior to the end of 2006 and commencement of the enrollment process shortly thereafter. As the GAO INDUSTRY LEADER IN QUALITY & SERVICE · · · · Three Full Service Shipyards New Construction Drydocks Full Service Machine Shop R & R's Central, North and Sabine Pass facilities provide one-stop, service repair, conversion and construction for tankers, tugs, OSV's barges and offshore drilling rigs. R & R Marine's three facilities are equipped to offer wide-ranging repair and conversion services. From routine drydocking and inspection of OSV's, tugs, barges and tankers, to the construction and fitting of the most complex offshore drill rig conversions and upgrades. - VISIT US AT WWW.RRMARINE.COM View our newly expanded 19,000 sq. ft. fabrication shop & state of the art plasma cutting machine. NORTH YARD: 7200 Highway 87 East Port Arthur, Texas 77642 · 1.888.484.0860 CENTRAL YARD: 5700 Procter St. Extension Port Arthur, Texas 77642 · 409.963.0035 SABINE PASS YARD: 7266 S. 1st Ave Sabine Pass, TX 77655 · 409.963.0035 FABRICATION & DRYDOCK MARINE Visit us at Workboat Show Booth #1664 Show 27