The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will sign a contract with a South Florida company that is setting up a multistate information network on terrorism, the St. Petersburg Times says. The $1.6-million contract goes to Seisint, a Boca Raton company founded by Hank Asher. Several other companies submitted proposals to operate the pilot program after the Times disclosed plans to award the contract without bids.
The state chose Seisint because it already is part of a federally approved pilot project to link about a dozen states willing to share information. Competitive bids will be sought for any long-term system before the one-year pilot project is concluded.
Last month Asher stepped down from the Seisint board. He is a multimillionaire resident of Boca Raton who developed computer systems that allow subscribers to compile extensive personal information on individuals. Much of the information is available in public records but not readily accessible.
A summary of a background investigation noted that Asher was involved in drug smuggling in the 1980s.
The network, called Matrix, is designed to give law enforcement officials speedy access to law enforcement records, public documents and commercially available information in a single place.