A bi-weekly newsletter from the Division of Personnel Security and Access Control
Providing timely information to help keep NIH safe and secure
October 21, 2020 Issue of DPSAC News

In this issue:
  • Revised Visitor Access Procedures for NIH Facilities
  • REAL ID Enforcement Deadline Extended One Year to October 1, 2021; Commercial Vehicle Operators Entering NIH Must Have REAL ID Compliant IDs as of October 1, 2020
  • New Operating Hours for DPSAC Main Office in Building 31, Room 1B03: Closed 12 PM to 1 PM Daily
  • All Staff Eligible for Asymptomatic COVID-19 Testing
  • FAQs: Guidance for Returning Badges to DPSAC During the Covid-19 Pandemic
  • AOs Who Wish to Obtain Sponsor Authority
Revised Visitor Access Procedures for NIH Facilities
The following message was sent to all NIH staff in the DC area via the ORS Information Line on September 25, 2020. DPSAC News is re-printing this notification to help ensure that NIH staff and visitors are aware of these new visitor access procedures.  

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) strives to maintain a safe, open and collegial atmosphere throughout our owned and leased facilities. Recent events have led to the community's concern for the safety of the people working in offices and labs, often by themselves. To address this concern, the NIH has decided to modify its visitor procedures to increase safety and promote security awareness for the entire community. Reasonable steps will soon be taken at the Gateway Visitor Center and Commercial Vehicle Inspection Facility (CVIF) by limiting visits to the campus to only those persons having a legitimate purpose or sanctioned business reason. 

Perimeter Security Access Changes
Beginning Monday, September 28, NIH security personnel will ask all daily visitors the reason for their visit, the location they intend to visit, and if applicable, who they are visiting. The intent of the change is to ensure individuals entering our facilities have a legitimate purpose and where applicable are expected by an NIH employee, contractor or affiliate. It is incumbent on the visitor and the NIH host to coordinate arrival times to ensure when security calls the NIH host is available to confirm the visit. This change does not apply to individuals in possession of an NIH-issued ID badge. The security staff will still conduct their screening activities in the same professional and respectful manner to ensure our visitors have a positive first impression of the NIH. Patient and patient visitor procedures at the West Drive entrance (7 days a week, 6AM – 10PM ) and CVIF (all other hours) will remain unchanged.

Building Access Control Changes
A second initiative will also go into effect on September 28 to enhance the safety and security of the interior of campus. The NIH will convert the following administrative buildings to a "weekend access control" schedule. Buildings 1, 2, 3, 12A, 15K, 16, 30T, 38, 45, 61, T40B and 82RA will transition to this new access control schedule. In order to enter from the exterior of a building, employees will need to use their NIH-issued identification badge with a card reader, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is the same procedure used to enter the main campus at any of our employee entrances.
Facility Access Control, part of the Office of Research Services, Division of Personnel Security and Access Control, assures employees that any known occupant with a duty station in a building should already have this access. DPSAC uses the information contained in your NED record to make the proper adjustments for access. If you have recently moved, or require access privileges to more than one building, you must contact your ICO Administrative Officer to update your NED record. If you want to confirm existing building access for your badge, contact Facility Access Control at facilityaccesscontrol@mail.nih.gov or 301-451-4766. Facility Access Control will only confirm existing privileges. They will not modify your badge without an official request from an approved Administrative Officer.

Additional details on the revised visitor procedures and building access can be found at: https://security.nih.gov/.   

These new procedures will be applied to all NIH-owned and leased facilities to ensure the safety of our personnel.  
REAL ID Enforcement Deadline Extended One Year to October 1, 2021; Commercial Vehicle Operators Entering NIH Must Have REAL ID Compliant IDs as of October 1, 2020
Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Chad Wolf issued the following statement on the REAL ID Enforcement Deadline: "Due to circumstances resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and the national emergency declaration, the Department of Homeland Security, as directed by President Donald J. Trump, is extending the REAL ID enforcement deadline beyond the current October 1, 2020 deadline. I have determined that states require a twelve-month delay and that the new deadline for REAL ID enforcement is October 1, 2021." (Press Release and Federal Register Notice)

Commercial Vehicle Operators *
The REAL ID Extension DOES NOT apply to Commercial Vehicle Operators entering the NIH Main Campus. For Commercial Vehicle Operators, as of October 1, 2020, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will no longer accept identification credentials that fail to meet the minimum requirements and issuance standards for federal recognition per the REAL ID Act of 2005. The Act establishes minimum security standards for state-issued driver's licenses and identification cards and prohibits federal agencies, such as NIH, from accepting for official purposes licenses and identification cards that do not meet these standards.

Also, for Commercial Vehicle Operators, under the REAL ID Act, NIH may only accept state-issued driver's licenses and identification cards that meet the standards required by the Act to access our facilities. Enhanced Driver's Licenses (EDL) issued by Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Vermont, and Washington are considered acceptable alternatives to REAL ID-compliant cards and will also be accepted for official REAL ID purposes. Most EDLs do not contain the star marking and this is acceptable. The EDLs do however state they are enhanced driver's licenses and have an American flag either overlapping the picture or at the bottom right hand corner.

Exemptions to the REAL ID Act at NIH
Individuals who come to the NIH's Clinical Center for inpatient or outpatient services are not subject to the REAL ID Act of 2005.

Approved Forms of ID Required to Enter NIH Facilities as of October 1, 2020:
o  REAL ID Driver's License or State Identification Card or Enhanced Driver's License (as of October 1, 2021)
o  Passport or Passport Card
o  HSPD-12 PIV or CAC Card
o  Permanent Resident Card
o  Federally Recognized, Tribal-Issued Photo ID
o  Canadian Provincial Driver's License or Indian and Northern Affairs Canada Card
o  USCIS Employment Authorization Card (I-766)
o  Other Less Common Documents (e.g. Merchant Mariner Credential)

For additional information about the Real ID Act, please visit: http://www.dhs.gov/secure-drivers-licenses.

* Drivers of commercial vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds must be in compliance with the Real ID Act now. 

The Federal Carrier Safety Regulations have defined a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) as noted below. The State of Maryland has adopted this definition for commercial vehicles that operate only within state boundaries (intrastate).

Commercial motor vehicle means any vehicle operated in interstate commerce to transport passengers or property when the vehicle:
(1) Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating, or gross vehicle weight or gross combination weight, of 10,001 pounds or more, whichever is greater; or
(2) Is designed or used to transport more than 8 passengers (including the driver) for compensation; or
(3) Is designed or used to transport more than 15 passengers, including the driver, and is not used to transport passengers for compensation; or
(4) Is used in transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placarding.
For additional information about the Real ID Act, please visit: http://www.dhs.gov/secure-drivers-licenses
Revised Operating Hours for DPSAC Main Office in Bldg 31, Rm 1B03: Closed from 12 PM to 1 PM Daily
The Division of Personnel Security and Access Control (DPSAC) main offices located in Building 31, Room 1B03 is closed daily from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. to allow staff time for lunch. Operating hours at Building 10, Room 1C52 (South Lobby) remain unchanged.              
All Staff Eligible for Asymptomatic COVID-19 Testing
The NIH Clinical Center recently announced that it is offering asymptomatic testing to all staff for SARS-CoV-2. While this program was launched with the focus on those already working on site, the Clinical Center has sufficient capacity to provide testing for those who have not returned yet. The program is voluntary but strongly encouraged for those working onsite. Staff must complete the safety video and guidance prior to coming on campus for asymptomatic testing.

Contractors are eligible if they have completed the safety video and guidance and if the prime contract has been modified to support asymptomatic testing at NIH. If you are a contractor interested in participating, please check with your supervisor.

Staff are required to notify their supervisor if they want to get a test at NIH during work time. Staff who come to NIH for testing are not authorized to enter their workspace or any other locations within NIH facilities. Entering your workspace or any other locations within NIH facilities continues to require advance approval from your supervisor.

If, after receiving approval from your supervisor, you want to participate, follow the steps to register. You will need to know your NED ID (it’s the same as the 10-digit Personal Identifier on the back of your PIV card) to enroll. (NOTE: Please use either Chrome, Firefox, IE Edge, or Safari web browsers. To access the site you need to be on NIH VPN, NIH IC CITRIX or an NIH Workstation.)

Please review the asymptomatic testing information on the NIH Intranet and the Frequently Asked Questions page of the NIH Guidance for Staff on Coronavirus intranet site before registering.
Q: Can you provide guidance regarding the return of badges while many of us are teleworking during the COVID-19 epidemic? Given current conditions, and the fact that AOs are effectively on full-time telework, it is nearly impossible for AOs to collect the badges of departing personnel. Are there any badge-return process updates that we should implement? Would it make sense to have departing staff mail badges back to a central NIH location that is able to collect mail? We were hoping you had an alternative method already identified or possible suggestions.
A. Badges are accountable property and NIH uses software to track every badge from ‘cradle to grave.’ Badges are supposed to be returned to Access Control, DPSAC, Building 31, Room 1B03, within 24 hours of a person’s departure. DPSAC has a process to document the return and properly destroy the badges.  

Badges should be mailed back to the address printed on the back of each badge. In the event a badge is not returned, and an HHS audit reveals that DPSAC cannot account for the badges, NIH could lose its ability to print badges locally. The result would be that HHS would have to print and issue badges from one of its PSC locations. This would result in long delays to the badging process. 

Q. How do I go about renewing my PIV Card (HHS ID Badge) during the COVID-19 pandemic? 

A. DPSAC offers badging services Monday through Friday. Please note: DPSAC will continue to require appointments, with availability between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. DPSAC closes its doors in Building 31/Room 1B03 between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. for lunch. 

If you need to contact DPSAC to schedule an appointment, please email ORSPersonnelSecurity@mail.nih.gov or call 301-402-9755. DPSAC staff is available to answer email and phone inquiries Monday – Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Avoiding Additional
Delays in Processing
New Hires

Processing times are often delayed due to reasons outside of DPSAC control, which include, but are not limited to:

  • Incomplete or not submitted OF-306
  • Candidate response time
  • Issues requiring clarification by the candidate
  • Untimely submission of initial e-QIP or corrected e-QIP

How the AO and HR communities can assist:
  • By ensuring all required documents have been uploaded into HR's 'Onboarding Manager' prior to establishing a NED account
  • By entering candidates as early as possible but no later than 8 weeks prior to their Entry on Duty (EOD) date
  • By working with DPSAC to ensure candidates respond in a timely manner to inquiries

ALT cards -- should be returned to the IC ALT card coordinator - NOT to DPSAC.
Administrative Officers (AOs) who wish to obtain sponsor authority must complete the sponsor training. To access the training module, click on: Sponsor.

Upon completion, the AO should sign and email a copy of the certificate found at the end of the training module to Alex Salah at: salaha@ors.od.nih.gov. Upon receipt of the certificate, Mr. Salah will authorize the AO as a Sponsor. 

Note: ONLY individuals with an Administrative Officer role in NED are eligible to be HHS ID Badge/PIV Card Sponsors. 
Are there topics you would like to read more about in future issues of DPSAC News?
Please send your suggestions to: Lanny.Newman@nih.gov. Your input is greatly appreciated.
A biweekly e-newsletter from the National Institutes of Health, Office of Research Services, Division of Personnel Security and Access Control (ORS/DPSAC) to keep its readers informed of personnel security and access control policies and practices designed to safeguard the NIH and its workforce. DPSAC is responsible for verifying personal identity, validating suitability, reviewing background checks, authorizing facility access and issuing ID badges for NIH personnel. 

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