Alliance heads for the border

SSN Staff  - 
Thursday, July 1, 2004

Accenture to lead group for U.S. Visit
WASHINGTON - An alliance led by Accenture, a global management and technology services company, has been selected by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to design and implement the US-VISIT program. Under the contract, the Smart Border Alliance will develop a new entry-exit system to be deployed at the nation’s 400 air, land and sea ports of entry.

But whether the company will be able to follow through on the project is up in the air. A bill passed by a congressional committee that would stop Accenture from completing work since the company is not based in the United States. The company’s headquarters are located in Bermuda, although it does have a tax-paying division in the states. The bill, which was passed by the House Appropriations Committee, still needs to be approved by both the House and President Bush.

US-VISIT, which stands for the U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology, will be designed to record the entry and exit of non-U.S. citizens, to verify the identity of incoming visitors and to confirm compliance with visa and immigration policies. The system will use digital finger scans and digital photos to record visitors at designated points.

The alliance includes 30 companies including Dell, Raytheon, SRA International, The Titan Corp., AT&T and Sprint. Although additional companies have not been named yet, officials expect 30 companies to take part in the project.

The program, which was launched at 115 airports and 14 seaports across the nation in January, is valued at up to $10 billion over five years with five one-year options after that time period expires.