When did BTF make its official transition as the Biometrics Identity Management Agency (BIMA)?
The Department of the Army General Order (DAGO) 2010-06, signed by the Secretary of the Army (SecArmy), redesignated BTF as the Biometrics Identity Management Agency (BIMA) on 23 March 2010.
What is the brief history behind BTF’s transition to BIMA?
Since Congress first designated SecArmy as the Executive Agent (EA) for biometrics information assurance programs within the Department of Defense (DoD) in July 2000, the Army had not formally established an enduring biometrics organization to fully execute the SecArmy’s EA responsibilities. The Army initially established a Biometrics Management Office with Chief Information Officer (CIO)/G-6 oversight. SecArmy later shifted oversight from CIO/G-6 to the Deputy Chief of Staff (DCS), G-3/5/7 in June 2006. Upon this transition, DCS, G-3/5/7 established the BTF as a subordinate element within the U.S. Army Operations and Plans Support Group.
To establish a formal organization type and reporting process for the BTF, the organization began laying a foundation for the BIMA transition as early as 2007. In October 2009, the Vice Chief Staff of the Army (VCSA) approved a decision paper recommending redesignation of the BTF as BIMA, and establishment of BIMA as a Field Operating Agency (FOA) within G-3/5/7. The Office of Institutional Army Adaptation submitted the BIMA DAGO packet on 16 October 2009 and the Office of the Judge Advocate General completed legal review on 4 January 2010, with no legal objections. Effective 23 March, BTF was officially redesignated as BIMA. Going forward, the organization’s further evolution to a FOA requires a change to Defense appropriations legislative language. We are working with the G-3/5/7 Congressional Affairs Contact Officer (CACO) to do so.
How is BIMA different from BTF?
BIMA is a permanent organization, rather than a temporary task force. This permanent status ensures that biometrics endures as an enabling capability for DoD.
In addition, redesignation as BIMA is a critical milestone in the organization’s history because it enables funding and manning authority. As BIMA, we now have fund certification authority, along with manpower management authority to establish and secure the resources needed to fulfill Executive Manager responsibilities.
Will the organization’s structure change?
BIMA will continue to report to G-3/5/7, and the Director remains the Executive Manager for DoD Biometrics.
What is the significance of the name change?
The name BIMA is significant because it conveys that the organization coordinates and integrates the biometrics component of the more holistic DoD Identity Management (IdM) strategy. In 2007, the Defense Science Board (DSB) identified a migration from “biometrics” to a broader scope of IdM. The Assistant Secretary of Defense for Networks and Information Integration subsequently led development of an IdM Strategic Plan that defined IdM “as the combination of technical systems, policies, and processes that create, define, govern, and synchronize the ownership, utilization, and safeguarding of identity information” and recognized biometrics as a key component of IdM.
Biometrics enables IdM across four domains: Warfighter, Business, Intelligence, and Security & Law Enforcement. As its name signifies, BIMA will facilitate coordination of biometrics activities within this overarching context of DoD IdM.