A bi-weekly newsletter from the Division of Personnel Security and Access Control
Providing timely information to help keep NIH safe and secure
August 12, 2020 Issue of DPSAC News

In this issue:
  • Homeland Security Extends REAL ID Act Enforcement to October 1, 2021
  • DPSAC Resumes 5-Day-a-Week Enrollment and Badge Issuance
  • AOs & ATs: Anticipate Badge Revocations To Help Individuals Transition to a New Badge Without Service Interruptions
  • FAQs: Fingerprint Process for Individuals from Out of State; Changes in the Prescreening Process for Tier 3/Tier 5 positions; Badge Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • AOs Who Wish to Obtain Sponsor Authority
Homeland Security Extends REAL ID Act Enforcement Deadline to October 1, 2021
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the national emergency declaration, the Department of Homeland Security is extending the REAL ID Act enforcement deadline for state-issued driver's licenses by one year. The new deadline for REAL ID enforcement is October 1, 2021.

As a reminder, the REAL ID Act establishes minimum security standards for state-issued driver's licenses and identification cards and prohibits federal agencies, including the NIH, from accepting for official purposes licenses and identification cards that do not meet these standards. Once enforcement is in effect, access to federal facilities (including NIH) will be strictly limited to individuals who are able to present a REAL ID compliant identification (For more information, visit: https://www.tsa.gov/real-id).  

NIH Enforcement of the REAL ID Act
Starting October 1, 2021, visitors to the NIH must present an approved form of ID to enter NIH facilities. The REAL ID Act of 2005 established 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 as of October 1, 2021.
As of that date, NIH will only accept REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards from anyone planning to access NIH facilities.

  • Children under the age of 17 do not need ID if accompanied by a guardian with a valid ID
  • Patients, regardless of identification, will continue to be allowed on campus upon verification of their status on a protocol with the Admissions Office at the Clinical Center.
  • Patient Caregivers will need to have valid identification

How Will the REAL ID Act Impact NIH?
NIH and DPSAC will continue to keep staff and visitors apprised of these important changes in advance of, and after the 2021 deadline through email alerts, newsletter articles, posters and other media. However, once the deadline is passed NIH fully expects visitors to arrive at NIH without REAL ID-compliant credentials. Unfortunately, those who are unable to produce a proper REAL ID compliant identification will be denied entry into NIH facilities.

NIH also expects some NIH staff will not have REAL ID-compliant credentials when the deadline arrives. This is not a problem for NIH staff using their PIV card to access NIH facilities, However, individuals who have lost their badge, whose badge has become disabled, or who inadvertently left their badge in their office will need another form of compliant ID (e.g., a REAL ID compliant driver’s license, passport, etc.) in order to access the campus – either as a visitor as they arrange to get a new badge, or to pick up their forgotten badge. 

If you are not sure if you have a REAL ID-compliant driver's license, look for a star at the top of the card. If you are still not sure, contact your state motor vehicle department on how to obtain a REAL ID-compliant license.

Please refer to the Department of Homeland Security REAL ID Home Page https://www.dhs.gov/real-id for up-to-the-minute news and frequently asked questions. 
DPSAC Resumes 5-Day-a-Week Enrollment and Badge Issuance
Due to a recent increase in requests for enrollment and badge issuance appointments, the Division of Personnel Security and Access Control (DPSAC) will open daily via appointment scheduling, Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM in Building 31, Room 1B03 starting August 3, 2020. 

The Clinical Center South Lobby location (Room 1C52) will be open daily via appointment for high risk customers, Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Walk-ins will not be allowed as DPSAC continues to take steps to increase capacity to minimize wait times and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the risk of exposure to its staff members as well as individuals who need to visit a DPSAC office.

Availability of daily appointments will begin August 3 at these two locations. Also, staff will be available to respond to phone inquiries and email during work hours. 

If you need to contact DPSAC to schedule an appointment, please email ORSPersonnelSecurity@mail.nih.gov or call 301-402-9755. DPSAC staff will be available to answer email and phone inquiries Monday – Friday between the hours of 8 AM and 5 PM.
AOs & ATs: Anticipate Badge Revocations to Help Individuals Transition to a New Badge Without Service Interruptions
Situations When NED Revokes Current Badges - An Overview:

Classification Change from FTE to something else (typically contractor): If an NIH employee (FTE) has a PIV badge and their NED record is updated to another classification (e.g., contractor), NED will immediately revoke the current badge. This prevents non-FTE staff from possessing an FTE badge. Since FTEs can complete inherently governmental functions, it is important that non-FTE staff do not possess an FTE badge, even for short periods of time.

Badge Type Changes (typically RLA TO PIV): If someone will receive a different type of ID badge (e.g., RLA to PIV), the current badge will be revoked immediately. The HHS Smart Card Management System (SCMS), which manages RLA and PIV badges for all HHS agencies, does not allow someone to possess one badge type (RLA) and request a different badge type (PIV). There are two scenarios where this happens regularly:
1. Foreign Nationals: Foreign nationals who have not resided in the US for at least three years cannot undergo a full-scope background investigation. While they complete e-QIP and get fingerprinted, the investigation completed by DCSA is limited in scope. This disqualifies them from receiving a PIV card and instead are issued an RLA badge that is valid for three years. When their badge comes up for renewal three years later, they have now been in the US long enough to complete a full-scope investigation and receive a PIV badge. As such, when the AO runs the badge task in NED, the current RLA badge is revoked so the PIV can be requested per the HHS SCMS rules. In this scenario, the individual will also be required to complete e-QIP and fingerprinting again so that DCSA can run the full-scope investigation.

AOs will frequently see this scenario play out with their foreign national staff since the date to renew the individual’s ID badge often coincides with the date to change his/her badge type.”*

AOs can help their customers avoid the inconvenience of losing their access to the NIH campus (physical access) or to the NIH network (logical access) during the badge renewal process by coordinating the renewal process with the individual badge holder. If possible, the AO should plan on submitting the renewal request when the individual is on campus to limit any interruption to his/her physical access.

2.  Short-Term Staff: Individuals who are initially entered into NED as short-term (less than six months) will receive an RLA badge and a fingerprint check. The badge is valid for six months. At the end of the six months, a badge renewal task will appear in NED for the person. This badge renewal will convert the NED record to long-term (more than six months) and generate a request for a PIV badge. Per the HHS SCMS rules, this requires the current RLA badge to be revoked. These individuals must also complete e-QIP and fingerprinting since they did not undergo a full-scope background investigation to receive the short-term RLA badge. 

* Note: NED displays the following warning message to the AT/AO when these scenarios are occurring in the system:

  • Warning: This update contains changes that if approved, will result in the immediate revocation of the individual’s current ID badge and require the issuance of a new badge. Upon your approval, NED will immediately revoke the current ID badge and automatically initiate a new badge request. The individual may need to be re-sponsored and/or enrolled per Division of Personnel Security and Access Control (DPSAC) policy. Please ensure this is the action you desire prior to approving the update. 
Q. I am new to NIH and would like to know the fingerprint process for new hires and contractors who are out of state. 

A. Generally when new NIH team members are based out of state and they need new fingerprints as part of their background check, they can request fingerprint cards from the DPSAC main office in Bethesda.  Once they receive the cards they can take them to a local police station for ink fingerprints, and then send the completed cards back to us.  

The full electronic Enrollment (Photo and Fingerprints) at an NIH location is always preferable to fingerprint cards as Enrollment automatically updates more of our systems. 

Please note that the fingerprint cards are an interim measure to complete the background check requirements. Team members needing PIV badges for access to campus and/or their computers will still usually need the full electronic enrollment (photo/fingerprints) at an NIH badging location as a prerequisite for badge issuance. 

Requests for fingerprint cards can be sent to:  orspersonnelsecurity@mail.nih.gov

You can find additional information about enrollment and fingerprinting on the DPSAC website at: https://www.ors.od.nih.gov/ser/dpsac/services/enrollment-services/Pages/default.aspx. 

Q. What has changed in the prescreening process for Tier 3 and Tier 5 positions?

A. DSPAC) is now required to collect official position documentation from individuals in non-Critical Sensitive and Critical Sensitive Positions at NIH (Tier 3 and Tier 5) during the Personnel Security prescreening process.

ONS requires the collection of these documents prior to allowing individuals in Tier 3 and Tier 5 positions to Enter on Duty or receive prescreening clearance authorization, and before requesting a background investigation or accepting a prior background investigation from another agency.

Therefore, DPSAC cannot initiate for a background investigation, provide Prescreening Clearance for Entry on Duty or Authorize Badge Issuance for individuals in Tier 3 or Tier 5 Positions until these documents are collected. 

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

A. DPSAC has returned to offering badging services Monday through Friday, but will continue to require appointments between the hours of 8 AM and 5 PM. 

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