Smart Card Alliance Physical Access Council Announces First Year Report

June 8, 2006
Alliance commits to making FIPS 201 PIV test cards available to industry

Princeton Junction, NJ - The technology and processes of physical access control are rapidly changing. Organizations worldwide are striving to make employee identity credentials more secure, and integrate them with IT security and other applications. The Smart Card Alliance Physical Access Council, an organization focused on these topics, today announced a successful first year, new officers and upcoming projects. The Physical Access Council brings together government and industry leaders within the Alliance to guide organizations through the changes in physical access control system technology and implementation.

The council had excellent Alliance member participation. More than fifty organizations were involved, representing a broad cross-section of the industry including government agencies, chip, card and software manufacturers, reader manufacturers, physical access control manufacturers, systems integrators and biometrics solutions providers.

Government agency participation included the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of State, the Department of Transportation/Volpe Center, the General Services Administration (GSA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). New members joining the Alliance and participating in the Council included BQT Solutions, CoreStreet, Hirsch Electronics Corporation, IdentificationTechnology Partners, Infogard, Lenel Systems International, MDI Security Systems, SAIC, Shane-Gelling Company and Siemens Communications.

"The tremendous success of the Physical Access Council's first year is a result of the high level of participation from our members. Their collaboration has established a solid foundation for the group to work on projects that affect all stakeholders in the industry and increase adoption of smart cards for physical access," said Randy Vanderhoof, executive director of the Smart Card Alliance.

The Council completed a number of projects that have had a significant impact on assisting government agencies with FIPS 201 implementation for physical access control. These projects included: completion of the white paper, FIPS 201 and Physical Access Control, available at; development of a presentation on FIPS 201 and PACS compliance; briefings held with various government organizations; co-sponsorship of a FIPS 201 forum with the Security Industry Association (SIA); collaboration to submit comments on newly-issued NIST special publications and standards; and providing recommendations to NIST and GSA on key issues affecting FIPS 201 implementation for PACS.

Bob Merkert of SCM Microsystems and exiting chair of the Council commented, "The strong working relationships that the Council has established with other important industry associations including the federal government Inter-agency Advisory Board, the International Biometrics Association and the Security Industry Association has been and will continue to be key for collaborative projects that address the issues that end user organizations have in deploying new physical access system technology."

The Council elected new officers and steering committee representatives in May. New Physical Access Council officers are: Chair: Dwayne Pfeiffer, Northrop Grumman Corporation Vice Chair: Bob Merkert, SCM Microsystems Secretary: Steve Rogers, Integrated Engineering

New steering committee representatives are: Government agencies: -Tim Baldridge, NASA -Daryl Hendricks, GSA

Chip, card and software manufacturers: -Bob Fee, LEGIC Identsystems -Sal D'Agostino, CoreStreet

Reader manufacturers: -Bob Merkert, SCM Microsystems -Steve Rogers, Integrated Engineering

Physical access control system (PACS) manufacturers: -Adam Shane, AMAG Technology -Lars Suneborn, Hirsch Electronics

Systems integrators: -Dwayne Pfeiffer, Northrop Grumman -Roger Roehr, BearingPoint

Biometrics: -Walter Hamilton, Saflink -Paul Collier, Identification Technology Partners

"The Physical Access Council is on a great path, providing invaluable tools for government agencies implementing physical access control systems that meet federal requirements like FIPS 201. In the upcoming year, we will continue this focus with specific projects to assist and guide the government's migration to smart card-based physical access systems," said new Physical Access Council Chair Dwayne Pfeiffer, Northrop Grumman Corporation.

The Council's two immediate priorities for the upcoming year are: 1) Working with GSA and NIST to develop/recommend the process for making FIPS 201 Personal Identity Verification (PIV) test cards available to the industry. 2) Collaborating to provide tools and resources to assist agencies with FIPS 201 PACS migration.

The Physical Access Council is open to participation from any organization that joins the Alliance and the Council. For more information, please visit