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February 28, 2012

TWIC Report Shows Long Road Ahead

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the Department of Homeland Security's Final Report to Congress on The Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) Reader Pilot Program. The 2006 SAFE Port Act required DHS to issue the final regulations for the TWIC readers by April 2011 but these regulations have yet to be issued and current TWICs will soon expire and need reissuance.

Based on a 3 year pilot, the report concluded that TWIC readers function properly when they are designed, installed, and operated as prescribed and used in their intended environments. It also found that the TWIC readers are generally timely and effective at reading TWICs and making access decisions. While some challenges were identified regarding reader performance in wet environments and defective TWIC cards, the issuance of this report represents a program milestone and should set the stage for the issuance of a TWIC reader regulation.

Congressman Thompson released the following statement regarding the report:

The issuance of this report – 9 months after the conclusion pilot programs – is an important step, but, five years into the TWIC program, there's still a long road ahead to full implementation. Since 2007, port workers have done their part and have gone to great hassle and expense to secure cards. Now, with prospect of workers having to pay for new cards in next year, DHS has to do its part and move expeditiously with rulemaking on TWIC readers. With port security grants being cut every year, we need this program on its feet now more than ever. Congressman Thompson also introduced H.R. 1105 in 2011 to address the impending TWIC renewal deadlines and absence of the readers by extending the validity of issued TWIC cards until December 31, 2014 or when DHS issues the final reader rule.

Link to Report 

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Media Contact: Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978