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GSA and Navy Open Smart Card Technology Center

GSA # 9517

September 18, 1998
Contact: Eleni Martin (202) 501-1231

WASHINGTON, DC -- Working together as Federal partners, the General Services Administration and U.S. Navy today officially opened a new Smart Card Technology Center at the GSA headquarters office building.

"The Technology Center represents a unique partnership," said David J. Barram, Administrator of the GSA. "Rather than Navy and GSA each establishing its own separate places, as might have been done in the past, we collaborated. This partnership shows American citizens the benefits of agencies working together. And together, we are leading the way for an electronic government in the 21st Century."

"The Tech Center's primary purpose is to demonstrate and evaluate the integration of multi-application smart cards with other types of technology, said Navy Vice Admiral James Amerault. "The Center showcases systems available for use in the Federal Government."
Vice Admiral Amerault has supported this initiative as a prime example of teaming within the Federal Government. This teaming effort allows the Navy to reduce the costs and risks associated with employing this new technology as well as share information and opportunities for success.

Unlike an underwriters laboratory or research and development facility, the Tech Center will feature hands-on demonstrations from nine different companies to show multi-application smart cards can eliminate redundant and time-consuming paperwork. New applications and equipment will be evaluated every six months for possible inclusion in the center. Current demonstrations include security access, biometrics, stored value or electronic purse, digital signature, and medical and dental records.

In October 1997, GSA and Navy signed a memorandum of understanding to work together to put smart cards in the hands of all Federal employees. They created the Multi-Agency Program (MAP). Soon after the signing of the memorandum, instead of opening their own smart card technology, Navy decided to pool its resources with GSA to open the center in Washington, DC. The Smart Card Technology Center has grown out of this partnership.

Earlier this month, GSA issued Government Smart Card Technical Interoperability Guidelines. This document was designed to build consensus on governmentwide guidance for a multi-application, multi-technology Government Smart Card. The latest version of the Guidelines is posted on the Internet at:

A smart card is a plastic card, similar in size to a charge card, that contains an integrated circuit chip with a microprocessor and memory. These cards are portable databases that can be used in many different ways to make employee work life easier.

In accordance with GSA's environmental initiative, the Tech Center was designed using environmentally-friendly material including recycled content carpet and paint and energy efficient lighting.

For more information contact: Mike Noll, GSA Office of Smart Card Initiatives at (202) 208-4526 or by e-mail at or Laura Hundley, Department of Navy at (703) 602-2648 or by e-mail at hundley.laura@

Last Reviewed 2010-04-30