The Department of Defense has made its initial selection of vendors to enable secure, electronic business services with private industry.
Operational Research Consultants Inc. and Digital Signature Trust Co. are the first two candidates selected to supply the Department with Class Three Interim External Certification Authorities (IECAs) for its public key infrastructure. This capability will allow DoD to electronically communicate with industry by enabling secure, private electronic business and paperless contracting. IECAs will be used to provide non-DoD personnel with certificate services compatible with the Department's public key infrastructure.
In May 1999 the Department released a solicitation for IECAs to support vendors conducting business with the Paperless Contracting Wide-Area Work Flow, Electronic Document Access and Defense Travel System applications. Operational Research Consultants Inc. and Digital Signature Trust Co. are the first two candidates to successfully complete the testing, policy and procedural requirements for IECAs. More IECA selections will be announced as available.
Selection of these two vendors is a significant milestone in the rollout of the Department's public key infrastructure since it promotes broader industry participation. In addition, this pilot should provide additional data to refine the Department's requirements and procedures for use of future external certificate authorities.