TWIC dealt another setback in Federal Register notice from Dept. of Defense

The much-maligned Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program received another setback this week, when the Department of Defense said in a Federal Register notice that it “does not meet DOD security standards and cannot be used as of January 29, 2013.”

By ·

The much-maligned Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program received another setback this week, when the Department of Defense said in a Federal Register notice that it “does not meet DOD security standards and cannot be used as of January 29, 2013.”

TWIC is a biometric-based ID to be used by port workers to ensure that individuals who pose a security threat do not gain access to U.S. ports. Mandated by Congress in the 2002 Maritime Transportation Security Act in the months following 9/11, TWIC was designed to check backgrounds of as many as 725,000 airport workers, truck drivers, merchant seafarers and others needing unescorted access to transportation facilities like ships, ports, and runways.

But since that time it has run into myriad obstacles, including the cost of obtaining a TWIC card, which is $132.50, as well as the potential for TWIC to increase the costs of doing business for shippers and carriers alike. Another challenge TWIC has experienced over the years is making sure the card conforms to federal guidelines for secure identification cards and the testing of the card to make sure that it works with other Homeland Security Department screening programs.

TSA began issuing TWIC cards in October 2007. The TWIC program is expected to cover approximately 1.2 million port workers who require unescorted access to ports, ships, and offshore platforms that are currently regulated by the Maritime Transportation Act of 2002.

The DOD Federal Register notice said that the DOD PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) office has determined that the TWIC PKI certificate cannot be used to authenticate users for access to DOD systems, adding that the DOD PKI office has not established a “trust” relationship with Homeland Security/TSA. 

Effective January 29, 2013, DOD said in the notice that TWIC certificates cannot be accepted by ETA (Electronic Transportation Acquisition) to access the SDCC (Strategic Defense Command Center) applications and USTRANSCOM Defense Personal Property System. And all current TWIC holders accessing an application within ETA will need to purchase and External Certificate Authority prior to January 29, 2013.

This development is unsurprising in the sense that TWIC has been plagued by delays, cost overruns and missteps.

In December 2011, the Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Administration said that the 26,000 issued TWIC cards were missing a digit in its “Federal Agency Smart Credential Number.” TSA already has spent $420 million on TWIC and the government and private sector may spend as much as $3.2 billion on TWIC during the next 10 year. TWIC enrollment costs $132.50 and the cards are good for five years.

In September, Bethann Rooney, member of the American Association of Port Authorities’ (AAPA) Security Committee, chairperson of the AAPA Port Security Caucus, and security manager at the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, said in testimony on behalf of AAPA before the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation that the lack of a final TWIC card reader specification and certification process makes it impossible to identify cards that have been reported as lost, stolen, revoked or suspended, while the lack of an updated threat assessment could compromise the security of port facilities. 


About the Author

Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

Department of Defense · TWIC · All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Making TMS an Enterprise Priority
To get the most out of a TMS investment, numerous parties across the organization should lend their expertise.
Download Today!
From the February 2017 Issue
As the new administration sends waves of uncertainly through the global trade community, this could be the best time ever for shippers to build an investment case for GTM. Here are five trends you need to watch if you’re about to put these savvy systems to work
Carrier Consolidation Keeps Shippers Guessing
Getting Value from the Cloud
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Advance your career with the fastest growing logistics certification – APICS CLTD
During this webcast presenters will give an overview of APICS and the new Certified in Logistics, Transportation and Distribution (CLTD) designation. Learn how the CLTD program can help you stay on top of current trends and advance your career.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
ASEAN Logistics: Building Collectively
While most of the world withdraws inward, Southeast Asia is practicing effective cooperation between...
2017 Rate Outlook: Will the pieces fall into place?
Trade and transport analysts see a turnaround in last year’s negative market outlook, but as...

Logistics Management’s Top Logistics News Stories 2016
From mergers and acquisitions to regulation changes, Logistics Management has compiled the most...
Making the TMS Decision: Ariens Finds Just the Right Fit
The third time is the charm for this U.S. manufacturer on the hunt for a third-party logistics (3PL)...