Through its white papers, panels and demonstrations at industry events, and feedback on new standards, the Smart Card Alliance Physical Access Council has become the go-to resource for U.S. government agencies migrating to new physical access control systems (PACS). Today the Council announced new officers and steering committee, highlights of activities from the past year, and upcoming projects.

"Major installations of new physical access control systems are underway in government, and the leaders of these projects are entering uncharted territory with the new standards," said Randy Vanderhoof, executive director of the Smart Card Alliance. "Council-developed resources are coming from individuals involved in every part of the migration process, from the solutions providers to the end users, making them dependable tools for government agencies, or anyone looking to upgrade their system."

The successful white paper published last year, "Physical Access Control System Migration Options for Using FIPS 201 Compliant Credentials," is a complete guide to understanding the challenges unique to PACS when transitioning to FIPS 201-1 compliant credentials (the Personal Identity Verification card, known as the PIV card), the migration options that are available, and best practices for managing the transition.

The Council brought interactive demonstrations and discussion to the ISC West 2008 conference, covering the issuance, personalization and use of dual-interface PIV cards. The Council also had a presence at GovSec, and hosted the Transportation Security Administration Aviation Credential Interoperability Solution (ACIS) web briefing.

"A big part of our work last year was working with NIST and other organizations to provide comments on behalf of the industry on several standards and guideline publications," said re-elected Physical Access Council Chair Roger Roehr, Tyco International. "This is an important contribution that we will continue in the upcoming year, as well as continuing to educate through industry events and white papers."

The Smart Card Alliance Physical Access Council is made up of more than 150 individuals from 68 organizations spanning government agencies, chip, card and software manufacturers, reader manufacturers, physical access control system manufacturers, systems integrators and biometrics solutions providers. The Council elected new officers and steering committee representatives in July.

New officers are:

 -- Chair: Roger Roehr, Tyco International (elected for second term)

 -- Vice chair: Nathan Cummings, HID Global

 -- Secretary: Lars Suneborn, Hirsch Electronics

New steering committee members are:

 -- Patrick Comiskey, NXP Semiconductors

 -- Tony Damalas, Diebold

 -- Bob Gilson, U.S. Department of Defense/Defense Manpower Data Center

 -- Walter Hamilton, Identification Technology Partners

 -- Kevin Kozlowski, XTec, Incorporated

 -- Bob Merkert, SCM Microsystems

 -- Dwayne Pfeiffer, Northrop Grumman Corporation

 -- Robert Samuel, Sagem Morpho

 -- Mike Sulak, U.S. Department of State

Upcoming activities include a white paper on interoperable identity credentials for the air transport industry, recommendations for enhanced Wiegand message formats to support FIPS 201-related implementations, and an in-person Council session at the Smart Card Alliance Smart Cards in Government Conference in October

For more information and to view the Council's free resources, please visit

About the Smart Card Alliance

The Smart Card Alliance is a not-for-profit, multi-industry association working to stimulate the understanding, adoption, use and widespread application of smart card technology.

Through specific projects such as education programs, market research, advocacy, industry relations and open forums, the Alliance keeps its members connected to industry leaders and innovative thought. The Alliance is the single industry voice for smart cards, leading industry discussion on the impact and value of smart cards in the U.S. and Latin America. For more information please visit