Feds Award Lockheed $1 Billion Biometric Database Contract

Bethesda, Md. — Lockheed Martin secured a $1 billion contract with the FBI to develop the world’s largest criminal justice database of biometric information.

Under the 10-year deal, Lockheed will expand on the bureau’s existing electronic database, which contains more than 50 million fingerprint and criminal-history records, to create a system that delivers enhanced flexibility, accuracy and speed capabilities in query parameters, data survey and processing, and information retrieval, officials say.

The Next Generation Identification system will contain additional biometric data, such as palm prints, iris scans and facial recognition identifiers. However, NGI will not expand on the categories of person whose information will be stored in the database, officials say.

Lockheed Martin created and maintains the FBI’s existing fingerprint database, which stores information on foreign and domestic citizens with a criminal record and individuals known or suspected to have committed acts of terrorism. It also contains almost 20 million civilian fingerprint records, such as those of federal employees, according to reports.

The NGI system will be developed to technical standards common to the departments of Defense, State and Homeland Security to permit inter-agency data sharing. The system’s standards will also enable data sharing at the international level with countries, including Canada and the United Kingdom.

Lockheed’s Transportation and Security Solutions division will collaborate with sub-contractors to develop various individual system elements, conducting a series of evaluations to assess the maturity of competing technologies, during phase one of the NGI project, officials say.

The initial one-year contract, which is worth almost $40 million, includes nine one-year options that could raise the value of the contract to between $850 million and $1 billion, officials say.

International Business Machines Corporation, which along with Northrop Grumman lost out to Lockheed, filed a protest with the Government Accountability Office over the NGI contract award.