GSA Awards $3.6 Million VA Express Card Contract
December 20, 2000
Contact: Bill Bearden (202) 501-1231
WASHINGTON, DC -- The General Services Administration's Federal Technology Service (FTS) has awarded the first "task order" from its Smart Access Common ID Contract to Maximus Inc., one of five prime vendors chosen to provide services under this contract.
This task order is a multiple award schedule for which Maximus Inc., and four other prime vendors were qualified to provide smart card services to the federal government This contract award of $3.6 million is for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Plans are to issue the "VA Express Card" to approximately 200,000 veterans in the Greater Chicago, Illinois, area by June 2001.
Initially, this card will contain an individual veteran's administrative, clinical, and benefits eligibility information, as well as electronic keys that will allow veterans to conduct digitally-signed transactions over the Internet. Additional e-government services may be added as the project progresses. Use of smart card technology will minimize the time veterans wait for services and ensure accurate data is provided when needed.
The smart card will enable information sharing and express service delivery within each branch of the Department of Veterans Affairs: Veterans Health Administration, Veterans Benefits Administration, and National Cemetery Administration. The VA Express Card will follow the recently developed GSA Interoperability Standards as well as standards developed by the international medical community. Based upon the outcome of the VA's initial Smart Card implementation, it is anticipated that the VA Express Card could be expanded to veterans nationwide.
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.