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This is how much the US Congress is upset with fed biometrics project

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s fiscal 2023 budget is finally in ink as is Congress’ disdain for the agency’s work on creating a new biometrics recognition program.

The only possible surprise in lawmakers’ disappointment with development of the Homeland Advanced Recognition Technology System is in exactly how they expressed their opinion financially.

Last summer, the House of Representatives’ all-important Appropriations Committee issued a report said it was unhappy that Homeland Security had not conducted a mandated independent – not internal — review of the seven-year-old HART project.

The enacting budget legislation, signed by President Joe Biden last month, again demands an independent evaluation of HART. Legislators specifically demanded information about data compiling by HART and an accounting of relevant data-sharing agreements.

It also cut HART funding by $17 million relative to officials’ requests. Ident, the federal government’s legacy automated biometric ID system, was supposed to be replaced by HART. In the fiscal ’23 budget, Ident gets a $36 million sustainment allocation instead.

The legislation hits Homeland Security’s “mismanagement of the program and the program’s failure to achieve initial operating capacity” on schedule.

In a related note to department heads, lawmakers have ordered them to “continue aggressively pursuing a zero-trust security model” for mobile and remote hardware. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s fiscal 2023 budget is finally in ink as is Congress’ disdain for the agency’s work on creating a new biometrics recognition program.

The only possible surprise in lawmakers’ disappointment with development of the Homeland Advanced Recognition Technology System is in exactly how they expressed their opinion financially.

Last summer, the House of Representatives’ all-important Appropriations Committee issued a report said it was unhappy that Homeland Security had not conducted a mandated independent – not internal — review of the seven-year-old HART project.

The enacting budget legislation, signed by President Joe Biden last month, again demands an independent evaluation of HART. Legislators specifically demanded information about data compiling by HART and an accounting of relevant data-sharing agreements.

It also cut HART funding by $17 million relative to officials’ requests. Ident, the federal government’s legacy automated biometric ID system, was supposed to be replaced by HART. In the fiscal ’23 budget, Ident gets a $36 million sustainment allocation instead.

The legislation hits Homeland Security’s “mismanagement of the program and the program’s failure to achieve initial operating capacity” on schedule.

In a related note to department heads, lawmakers have ordered them to “continue aggressively pursuing a zero-trust security model” for mobile and remote hardware.  Read More   

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