New US currency RFP coming soon

WASHINGTON: NexGen will mean big bucks for at least one PR agency,

as well as new bucks for the American people. NexGen is the next

generation of currency that the Department of the Treasury is planning

to release in 2003 in hopes of foiling technically advanced


According to a Treasury department RFP draft, the government is

concerned about the use of personal computers, scanners, and color

printers to counterfeit money. As a result, it is developing an enhanced

currency design that may be in circulation as early as mid-2003.

As part of its rollout, the Treasury will look for a firm to conduct a

domestic and international public education campaign to communicate

information about the pending NexGen currency, which the Fed also refers

to as the "New Currency Design."

Conceptual currency designs have already been developed to incorporate

new anti-counterfeiting features, including what the government calls

covert, machine-readable features that will not be identified to the


According to the draft of the RFP, it is critical that all domestic and

international users and "cash handlers" of US currency be aware, through

the public education campaign, that the new currency design maintains

the security of US currency by staying ahead of advances in


It also indicates that the security features of the new currency will be

easy to recognize and use, and that all currency now in circulation will

remain valid, legal tender.

Since NexGen notes may be issued within 18 months, all target

audiences - which the government says are law enforcement bodies,

financial institutions, the general public, and vending, transit, and

gaming industries - have to be reached and educated in 2002.

A pre-bidders' conference on the RFP, held in December, was attended by

dozens of agencies.

The formal RFP is expected in February.

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