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Multi-biometric national ID system for Panama.

L-1 Identity Solutions : 14 February, 2008  (Application Story)
Fingerprint capture and face search facilities form basis of ID management system to be installed by L-1 Identity Solutions for the Government of Panama.
L-1 Identity Solutions has announced a contract from the Tribunal Electoral de Panama to upgrade the country's multi-purpose National ID system which also serves as Panama's voter registration system.

Under the terms of the $3.7 million contract, L-1 Identity Solutions, the prime contractor of the project, will deliver a complete multi-biometric solution that includes new enrollment devices, an upgrade of the biometric national registry, and integration services. The solution includes DFR 2100 Single Fingerprint Readers for fingerprint capture, ABIS System Search Engine for face and fingerprint image searches and BioTouch 500 and BioLogon Software for administrator authentication.

"We have relied on L-1's fingerprint technology for the past ten years and have been more than very pleased with its performance," said Magistrate Eduardo Valdes of the Tribunal Electoral de Panama. "We cannot overstate the importance of this project and its successful implementation to the government and people of Panama, particularly when we are in the midst of preparing for the next national elections scheduled for May 2009. We went with the vendor with the most cutting-edge technology and the track record in implementing large-scale identification projects. After requesting proposals from many other leading biometric solutions providers, L-1 gave us the most competitive offer and the utmost assurance in on-time project delivery, and greater confidence overall because of our prior experience with their products. We want the system to be operational in six months and we believe L-1 is a reliable company, capable of delivering in a very short time because of their open, standards-based architecture which relies on commercial-off-the-shelf hardware and databases making it very easy to integrate. We pride ourselves in being a well-organized institution that carries out its responsibilities efficiently and independently. We have a long tradition of using leading technology and this project will build on that tradition."

The Tribunal Electoral de Panama currently operates a two-finger database system of close to two million records that is used to vet individuals who apply for a new card or renew an existing credential to ensure there are no duplicates in the system. The database uses an earlier version of BioEngine technology, a minutiae-based fingerprint algorithm developed by Identix Incorporated, a wholly owned subsidiary of L-1. The size of the database is expected to grow by about 20 percent as a result of contemplated legislation that makes it mandatory for all minors aged 12-17 to obtain a juvenile ID card with biometric data.

"We are extremely proud to continue our role in helping the Tribunal Electoral de Panama create a modern national identification system that assists in securing the identities of their citizens for voting and other purposes, and enables it to deliver government services in a faster and more efficient way," said Robert LaPenta, Chairman, President and CEO of L-1 Identity Solutions. "We are confident that the superiority of our technology and the breadth of our solutions will help them achieve their objective of a modern and secure system."

According to the plans set forth by Tribunal Electoral de Panama, implementation is scheduled to begin in February 2008 and extend through July 2008 with completion expected in time for Panama's presidential elections in 2009.

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