TWIC Card Readers and The New Acronyms
By Denessa Bacallan


TWIC Card Readers and The New Acronyms

Since leaving you with a world of new information about the new TWIC Reader Final Ruling last week you have probably realized that there a lot of new acronyms within this ruling. Acronyms such as “PACS” Physical Access Control System & “DRAA” Designated Recurring Access Area.

“PACS” Physical Access Control System:

What it does is that it allows facilities to utilize their existing access control system as long as the meet the certain requirements requirements. For example, a facility employee who possesses a valid TWIC is registered into the facility’s access control database and is issued a facility access card after the TWIC is verified in accordance with 33 CFR 101.530. After the TWIC and holder of the TWIC are validated to ensure the TWIC is issued by TSA and the holder of the TWIC is bound to the TWIC, a biometric template of the employee is taken and stored on the facility access control system. To gain entry into a secure area, the employee inserts or scans his or her facility access card at a card reader, which verifies the access card as a valid card for the facility. The card reader then matches the facility access card to the employee’s record in the facility database. A biometric sample from the employee is taken and matched to the associated biometric template stored on the facility’s access control system. The facility’s access control system then checks the TWIC’s CHUID to assure that the TWIC is still valid (unexpired) as well as checks the list of cancelled TWICs to ensure that it has not been cancelled for any other reason. Upon verification that the TWIC is valid and the employee’s biometric matches the associated template, the facility access control system allows access to secure areas as dictated by the permissions established by the owner or operator in the access control system. By virtue of the fact that the employee would not be issued a facility-specific card without first having a TWIC, the requirement to possess a TWIC for unescorted access to secure areas is met. The requirement for a biometric match of the employee is met through the performance of a match to the biometric template stored on the facility access control system. In addition, this can only be done if the facilities PACS system is listed as on the Qualified Technology List.

“DRAA” Designated Recurring Access Area:

The DRAA consist of adjoining secure and unsecure areas, as well as the access gates between them. As long as a TWIC holder stayed inside the designated area, he or she could pass between the unsecure and secure portions of the DRAA without having to undergo an electronic TWIC inspection each time he or she entered the secure portion. However, there is certain criteria that has to be met before the USCG will approve of a DRAA. In order to allow recurring access, the United States Coast Guard is requiring that security personnel be present at the access control point to where recurring access is used, and that DRAA must remain visible at all times to on-site security personnel. This requirement is necessary to ensure that all recovery access participants have undergone the necessary electronic TWIC inspection before entering the secure area. The Coast Guard sees that this is necessary to ensure that non-TWIC cardholders enter into the secure area like claiming they have already undergone inspection. This is why all individuals must pass an additional electronic TWIC inspect prior to being granted unescorted access to the secure area. The DRAA must also consist of unsecured areas that are adjacent to secure areas and the secure area are must be manned by security personnel at all times during operations. These procedures can be found in 33CFR101.555 or in the Final rule

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