Court orders OTI to be reinstated to U.S. ePassport evaluation process

Published 12 December 2005

GPO excludes Israeli company OTI from ePassport evaluation program, but OTI wins legal challenge and is reinstated

Rosh Pina, Israel-based On Track Innovations (OTI), a developer of contactless microprocessor-based smart card solutions for homeland security and payments applications, thought it had a good solution — and the experience — to participate in a technology evaluation process aimed to assess different companies’ solution for the U.S. government’s new, biometric, and RFID-enabled ePassport. The passport was supposed to go into effect at the end of October 2005, but the government gave itself — and twenty-seven other countries whose citizens do not need a visa to enter the United States — until the end of October 2006 to move forward on the ePassport plan. The U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) eliminated OTI from the competition for the ePassport, and OTI sued, and won. The U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington, D.C. found in favor of OTI America, of Fort Lee, New Jersey, in the company’s protest against the U.S. Government Printing Office’s elimination of OTI from the competition for the U.S. Government’s Electronic Passport program. The Court’s written opinion remains under seal, pending the preparation of a redacted version. OTI, along with several other firms, received an individual contract with the GPO, under which the GPO was testing and evaluating sample Electronic Passports, before selecting the winner. During testing the GPO terminated OTI’s contract, effectively eliminating OTI from the ongoing competition.

OTI, represented by William Weisberg of the Washington, D.C. office of ZAG/Sullivan & Worcester, challenged the GPO’s action in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. In finding in favor for OTI, the Court set aside the GPO’s termination of OTI’s contract. The Court went on to order the GPO to reinstate OTI into the competition and to resume testing OTI’s products at the same stage of the competition from which OTI had been eliminated. OTI expects to immediately resume program activity.

-read more in this news release

OTI’s solutions for new and existing passports:

New passports: New passport with inlay

For new issued passports, OTI offers an inlay designed to fit current passport book manufacturing techniques. Optionally, the inlay could replace the current paper layer laminated over the passport’s back and front covers. The outer face of the inlay will contain the same print covering inner face of today’s front and back covers. The inner face of the inlay can contain the module and antenna.

Existing passports: Smart sticker for existing passports and e-visa

For upgrading existing passports, OTI offers a sticker consisting of a transponder module. The transponder will have a security Hologram on the front and a special adhesive on the back. The size of sticker will be determined according to the specifications provided by the customer. The sticker will self-destruct when removed by damaging the hologram and destroying the module. This solution is also suitable for visa documents.