The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said Aug. 10 it had awarded a $12 million contract to consulting firm BearingPoint Inc. to begin the prototype phase of the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC). The TWIC contains biometric information about the holder. The prototype phase is the third phase of a program to improve security at seaports, airports, rail, pipeline, trucking and mass transit facilities by implementing a nationwide credential to prevent unauthorized personnel from access to secure areas. The goal of the seven-month prototype phase is to analyze the business processes involved in collecting transportation worker data, conducting background checks, issuing credentials and observing day-to-day credential use, according to TSA. Prototype operations are slated to occur in three areas of the country, and participation is voluntary. BearingPoint will provide guidance in the enrollment processing and others areas, and will help prepare a report detailing the prototype phase and steps necessary for a national roll out of the program.