BearingPoint Inc. won a five-year, $36 million contract to provide program management support to the organization that serves as the Defense Department's central repository of current and historic personnel information.

Under the contract, which is for one year, with four one-year option periods, the McLean company will provide systems analysis and technical support, contract management, acquisition support and business operations management support for the Defense Manpower Data Center.

The center maintains the largest archive of personnel, manpower, training and financial data within the Defense Department. About 26 million records are maintained in its Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System. The system's database contains information about military sponsors, families and others worldwide who are entitled to Tricare benefits. Tricare is the Defense Department health care program for active duty and retired members of the uniformed services, their families and survivors.

The Defense Manpower Data Center is the primary source of identification and authentication for Defense Department employees. The center is responsible for implementing the department's Common Access Card program, said Lisa Kalinowski, BearingPoint's deputy project manager for the contract work.

The card is the standard Defense Department identification card for active duty military, selected reserves, civilian employees and eligible contractor personnel. It also allows employees to access buildings and controlled spaces as well as government computer systems and networks.

BearingPoint will provide support to the Common Access Card program and will help the Defense Department develop its strategy to comply with the Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 and the corresponding Federal Information Process Standard 201. Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 set the guidelines and timelines for a federal standard to establish secure and reliable identification for government employees and contractors. FIPS 201 specifies the architecture and technical requirements for a common identification standard for federal employees and contractors.

With 3.2 million Common Access Cards in circulation, the Defense Department is the largest user of smart card technology within the federal government. Smart cards are plastic cards containing a small chip that includes a microprocessor and memory. They are used for identification, payments and mobile commerce, physical access control and computer network security.

BearingPoint provides support for the placement of hardware and software at all Defense Department sites that issue the cards. Support includes technology upgrades, logistics assistance, scheduling and rollout and inventory management, said Art Crowley, managing director in the company's public sector practice serving the defense secretary's office.

Technology Industries of Williamsburg, Research Associates of New York and Maden Technologies of Arlington are subcontractors for the project.

Roseanne Gerin is a staff writer for Washington Technology. For more details on this and other technology contracts, go to www.washingtontechnology.com.