Feedback on the GSA FIPS 201 Evaluation Program

The GSA FIPS 201 Approved Product List (APL) is the US Government's trusted source of information for Federal Agencies about products and services that are compliant to Federal policy, standards, guidelines and technical specifications. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has directed Federal agencies to purchase only products and services that that are on the APL for implementation of HSPD-12.

The GSA Office of Government-wide Policy (OGP) authorizes and is the approval authority of Labs that evaluate products and services for compliance with FIPS 201.

To date, Lab testing has been on an individual component basis to determine conformance to specifications and standards. While this has served us well in the past, as we have matured and implemented the HSPD-12 initiative across agencies, it has become clear that the evaluation and testing goals for the APL need to evolve to address the changing needs of our customers.

In particular, conformance to specifications and standards, while essential, is just the first step in putting together a set of components that work together in an interoperable manner. To that end, we are currently undertaking a top to bottom review of the FIPS 201 T&E Process and will be working in partnership with our Agency Customers, NIST, testing labs and other stakeholders to determine the way forward that preserves the progress made to date, while looking to provide a more comprehensive out-of-the-box interoperable experience for products on the APL.

We are setting up a series of facilitated half day sessions to engage with and get input from Agency as well as Industry (Vendors/Labs/Other) Stakeholders on how we can work together to add to the value of the FIPS 201 testing and certification process.

The Industry session has been scheduled for Thursday, June 7 (9 a.m - 12 p.m. EST) at GSA OCS, 1275 First Street NE, DC (NY Ave Exit - DC Metro Red Line). If you are interested in attending this session, please contact Chi Hickey [chi.hickey (at) gsa (dot) gov] for details.

:- by Deb Gallagher