October 20, 2008
Accenture and Sagem Défense Sécurité Win Prime Contract for European Commission’s Biometric Matching System

BRUSSELS; Oct. 20, 2008 -- Accenture (NYSE: ACN) and Sagem Défense Sécurité (SAFRAN Group), as lead partners in the Bridge consortium, have won the contract to develop the European Commission’s Biometric Matching System.  The system is the central biometric component of a collection of European Union identity programs for the protection of citizens and Schengen borders, which currently cover 29 European countries that have agreed to Schengen rules that are designed to eliminate physical borders among European countries.

The contract was awarded following an invitation to tender issued by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Justice, Freedom and Security, and its award was based on the Bridge consortium’s competitively priced, commercial-off-the-shelf approach that minimizes implementation risks.

Under terms of the consortium contract, Accenture has overall program management responsibilities, with Sagem responsible for providing the biometric matching software.  The companies will share responsibility for analysis, design, integration testing, deployment and maintenance of the system along with other members of the Bridge consortium, including Bull, Uniqkey and Daon.  Daon will provide its biometric messaging platform for the secure management of all inbound and outbound biometric messages between BMS and the EU central systems.

The Biometric Matching System (BMS) is an information search engine that can match biometric data from visa applications, identity management systems and policing systems for EU member countries.  The BMS is designed to enable justice and immigration authorities to deal with security and other issues related to terrorism, organized crime, illegal immigration, visa shopping, identity theft and fraud.

The BMS database will be able to store the fingerprints of up to 70 million people and process more than 100,000 verification and identification requests per day.  The system will perform one-to-one comparisons for biometric verifications and one-to-many searches for biometric identifications.

The BMS, to be developed using a service-oriented architecture approach, will have the capability to connect with a number of IT systems  and manage functions related to visas, immigration, border control and police cooperation.  For example, it will be used to check whether a visa applicant has submitted applications under a different name and will be available at border crossings to verify the identity of visa holders and the authenticity of their visas.

In addition, the technical architecture will be flexible enough to accommodate new developments in EU policy as immigration and border control procedures evolve.  Key requirements for the BMS include 24x7 availability to all EU country consulates around the world and the highest levels of data security. 

About Accenture
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments.  With more than 186,000 people in 49 countries, the company generated net revenues of US$23.39 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2008.  Its home page is www.accenture.com.

About Sagem Défense Sécurité
Sagem Défense Sécurité is a high-technology company in the SAFRAN Group. As a leading European defence and security electronics company in Europe, its business covers three main fields: navigation and aeronautics systems, where it is the world leader in helicopter flight control; optronics and air-land systems, where it is the European leader in surveillance and fire-control optronics; and the field of security, where it is the world leader in fingerprint-based biometrics.  Its equipment and integrated systems are used worldwide, helping to ensure air transport safety, secure data transmission, personal security and governmental defence capabilities at the highest level. Through the SAFRAN Group, Sagem Défense Sécurité is present on all continents.  For further information: www.sagem-ds.com.

# # #