A bi-weekly newsletter from the Division of Personnel Security and Access Control
Providing timely information to help keep NIH safe and secure
April 22, 2020 Issue of DPSAC News
In this issue:
  • What is Being Done About Expiring ID Badges During the COVID-19 Pandemic?
  • NED Release v5.2 Incorporates Several New Badge Tracking Status Messages
  • Reminder: AOs Must Sponsor Fellows for a Badge by May 4, 2020 Deadline
  • Sorting Out the Confusion About Who is Impacted by the Cancellation of the 2020 Intramural Summer Program
  • Staying Up to Date with the NIH Director’s Second Virtual Town Hall
  • NIH Reduces Badging Services to Help Prevent the Spread of COVID-19
  • Law Enforcement Agencies Discontinue Fingerprinting Services in Response to COVID-19
  • FAQs - Why does the NED badge tracking have two messages in bold text?
  • Helpful Tips: Avoiding Additional Delays in Processing New Hires
  • AOs Who Wish to Obtain Sponsor Authority
What is Being Done About Expiring ID Badges During the COVID-19 Pandemic?
A lot of people are wondering what is happening to individuals whose ID badges are expiring during the COVID-19 pandemic. DPSAC has been working alongside CIT and HHS staff to identify a variety of possible alternatives. The following message (indicated in italics) was sent to all NIH staff on Friday April 10, 2020. The key thing to remember is that DPSAC will be contacting individuals with expiring ID badges. Each person will have the option to complete the renewal process now or extend the certificates on their badge to June 30.

Please know that for some individuals who choose to extend their current badge, the existing badge renewal task in NED will need to be terminated. In those instances, DPSAC will contact the servicing AO for the individual to let them know how to complete a new badge renewal task.

The NIH has received some questions about the message below regarding PIV Card Certificate expirations. The following clarifies and provides additional information about alternatives for anyone who does not have access to the Access Card Utility (ACU) to renew certificates or PIV cards before they expire.

The NIH is committed to and has been working on alternatives for impacted staff so you can continue working remotely and securely during this period of maximized telework and 'Stay at Home' orders. Please note the majority of NIH is not directly impacted as less than 10 percent of NIH staff have PIV cards and/or certificates set to expire before June 30, 2020. Your Institute, Center, or Office (ICO) has a list of staff who have PIV cards or certificates expiring on or after March 1, 2020 and is working to coordinate how to best help you stay connected if you are impacted.
As mentioned below, the Division of Personnel Security and Access Control (DPSAC) will be sending out reminders to Employees, Contractors, and Affiliates whose PIV card certificates will be expiring in the next four weeks (now through early May). This reminder will be in addition to the standard automated messages you receive regarding your upcoming badge or certificate renewals. Please watch for these messages or contact your local IC IT support group if you have specific questions or needs.
Additionally, DPSAC will reach out directly to Employees, Contractors, and Affiliates whose PIV cards are set to expire in the upcoming weeks. Individuals will be asked if they would like to come in to obtain their new PIV card. For individuals who do not wish to visit the NIH campus, DPSAC will advise and outline the available solutions to help ensure sustained logical access, while presenting the best course of action on an individualized basis.
As a point of clarification, all staff with a Windows computer and functional PIV card should use the ACU to renew certificates before they expire. You can also use the ACU to extend your PIV certificates if your badge is going to expire. However, for the latter, you must work with DPSAC when they reach out so they can ensure the systems are configured to accommodate this change. To check the availability of the ACU in your IC, please visit: https://ocio.nih.gov/smartcard/pages/acuinfo.aspx . If you don't see the ACU listed, contact your IC IT support group for assistance. They can install it for you.  

Attention MAC Users:
The Center for Information Technology (CIT) is also working with IC IT staff on a self-service solution that will allow all staff with a Macintosh computer and a functional PIV card to remotely renew certificates before they expire. This capability should be available in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, anyone who is unable to use their PIV card due to a malfunction or who does not have access to the ACU may visit the NIH Campus to get it fixed or replaced or choose one of the following alternatives to avoid coming to campus:

Alternative 1: For anyone that requires network access, request an RSA soft token to use instead of your PIV card to securely and remotely access the NIH network and IT resources. These RSA soft tokens are available now and can be distributed electronically. You do not need to come to campus to pick them up. Contact your local IT support or the NIH IT Service Desk [https://itservicedesk.nih.gov/, 301-496-4357 (HELP), 301-496-8294 (TTY), or 1-866-319-4357 (HELP)] for assistance.  

Alternative 2: For anyone that only needs access to Office 365 (email, calendar, Skype, etc.) and does not require network access, a secure alternative authentication method is available. Contact your local IT support or the NIH IT Service Desk [https://itservicedesk.nih.gov/, 301-496-4357 (HELP), 301-496-8294 (TTY), or 1-866-319-4357 (HELP)] for assistance.  
NED 5.2 Release Incorporates Several New Badge Tracking Status Messages
NED v5.2, deployed March 30, 2020, incorporates several new status messages to help the NIH community know where they are in the badging process. Prior to this latest release, NED did not offer any insight into the completion of background investigation forms. The failure to fully and accurately complete these forms is often the reason for delays in the overall process. 

Here is a quick overview of the new status messages. Because most of these messages may reveal the need for additional action on the part of the applicant for the process to move forward, they are particularly important:

  • Waiting for DSPAC to send background investigation paperwork: This message indicates that DPSAC has yet to email the individual notifying them to complete the necessary forms. In most instances, this will occur within 1-2 business days. Please note that DPSAC cannot send the forms unless the individual has a Social Security Number (SSN) in the NED system. 
  • Waiting for the individual to complete background investigation paperwork: At this point, DPSAC is waiting for the individual to submit the necessary forms for review. This step may still show for 1-2 business days after the person submits the forms as DPSAC must download them from the online e-QIP portal.
  • Waiting for DSPAC to review background investigation paperwork: Once the person submits the forms, DPSAC must complete a thorough line-by-line review of the forms to ensure completeness and accuracy. Approximately 70% of the forms submitted contain errors or omissions. This step can take from 7-10+ business days depending on the current volume of investigations DPSAC is currently processing.
  • Waiting for individual to correct background investigation paperwork: When DPSAC finds errors or omissions in a person’s investigation paperwork, they will contact the individual via email outlining what corrections are required. Please know that in several instances DPSAC must ask for corrections multiple times as the person corrects some mistakes but not others. NED will continue to show this status message until all errors have been fixed. 
  • Waiting for DSPAC to finalize investigation paperwork and authorize ID badge issuance: This is the final step before the individual will be notified that their ID badge is ready to be issued. This step is typically completed in 1-2 business days as DPSAC must submit the completed paperwork to the Defense Counterintelligence & Security Agency (DCSA) to initiate the background investigation. 

Please know that at any point in the process, DPSAC is ready to help our customers and answer their questions. The best way to contact our office is via email at ORSPersonnelSecurity@mail.nih.gov or via telephone at (301) 402-9755.
Reminder: AOs Must Sponsor Fellows for a Badge by May 4, 2020 Deadline
Fellows Must Complete All DPSAC Prescreening Requirements by June 1, 2020
With the J uly 1, 2020 start date for Clinical Fellows fast approaching, it is time for AOs to begin processing Fellows in NED for Badge Sponsorship. Badge sponsorship for these fellows needs to occur by May 4 at the latest to ensure enough time to complete DPSAC prescreening requirements by June 1. This will allow DPSAC enough time to process these candidates prior to July 1 – please note DPSAC processing times are averaging 25-30 days from badge sponsorship to issuance not including Division of International Services (DIS) processing. DPSAC has prepared the following checklist to ensure Entry on Duty readiness for July 1, 2020 in order to avoid delays:

You can read more about sponsorship deadlines, prescreening requirements, processing times for foreign nationals and coordinating Walter Reed rotational duties in the April 8, 2020 DPSAC News .
Sorting Out the Confusion About Who is Impacted by the Cancellation of the 2020 Intramural Summer Program
DPSAC News is reprinting the following email from Katie Soucy, M.S., Director, Office of Research Training & Development, Division of Intramural Research, National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases. While the email is directed to NIAID Principal Investigators, it clarifies more generally who is impacted by the cancellation of the 2020 Intramural Summer Program:

Dear Colleagues,
I am reaching out regarding some confusion about who is impacted by the cancellation of the 2020 Intramural Summer Program that was announced by Dr. Gottesman via email on Thursday, March 19. The program cancellation is limited to Student IRTAs (paid and unpaid) that were to participate in the Summer Internship Program (SIP), including High School (HS-SIP). For year-round Student IRTAs, all start dates must be moved to August 15 or later (pending further guidance).

The cancellation of the summer programs does not apply to onboarding postbac IRTAs, predoc IRTAs, and postdoc IRTAs. At this time, per NIH leadership, no new trainee can report to their lab until after May 1, 2020 (pending further guidance). That being said, in the NIH Town Hall meeting on Friday, March 20, Dr. Sharon Milgram advised that Principle Investigators be flexible and offer incoming trainees the option to onboard remotely on their planned start date or be given the opportunity to delay their start to another agreed upon date. 

Those onboarding remotely should be encouraged to read papers, attend virtual NIH training events, analyze data, participate in virtual lab meetings, and watch archived seminars/workshops. Please note, universities may also be experiencing delays for graduation and start dates may have to be delayed accordingly. For Visiting Fellows, please refer to DIS for more guidance. For PIs mentoring INRO 2020 students, additional communication to follow. Renewals for all appointment types should continue as planned.

My office will be sending an email to all accepted postbacs (scheduled to onboard April – July 2020) advising them to communicate with you regarding their plans. If you have a trainee that has a start date between now and July 31 (excluding 2020 INRO students – more information to follow) please reach out to your trainee to discuss onboarding plans. For all other trainees (predoc and postdoc), please reach out to solidify plans to onboard. Please let my office know as decisions are finalized, so that we can continue to provide support for all incoming and current trainees. Updates can be emailed to Angela Harris ( angela.harris@nih.gov ).

Katie Soucy, M.S.
Director, Office of Research Training & Development
Division of Intramural Research
National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases
National Institutes of Health
Staying Up to Date with the NIH Director’s Second Virtual Town Hall
NIH Director Francis Collins will host a second Virtual Town Hall to update the NIH Community on NIH’s activities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and answer your questions. All NIH employees, contractors, fellows, and trainees are invited to join.

The event is on Friday, April 24, 2020, from 1:00 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. Eastern Time.

We recommend that you join at least 10 minutes before the town hall begins.

PLEASE NOTE: You must disconnect from NIH VPN and close other running applications on your computer to watch the webcast.

Virtual Town Hall Details:
Moderated by Francis Collins, NIH Director

Additional participants available to answer questions:
NIH Reduces Badging Services to Help Prevent the Spread of COVID-19
Some Local Services Relocated to Building 31
DPSAC has reduced its operations in Building 31. Operating hours will remain the same, from 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM. However, the offices will be open on Monday, Wednesday and Friday by appointment only. Staff will continue to respond to phone inquiries and email on Tuesday and Thursday. The DPSAC email is orspersonnelsecurity@mail.nih.gov and the help desk phone number is 301-402-9755.

All badging services in the South Lobby of Building 10 on the Bethesda campus have been relocated to the main DPSAC office in Building 31, Room 1B03. Badging services at Fisher's Lane and Medical Center Drive ('Shady Grove') have also been suspended and moved to Building 31. Badging services at Ft. Detrick, Baltimore, Research Triangle Park, and Rocky Mountain Laboratories continue under normal operations.
In addition, all patient badging services are suspended indefinitely. Patients and authorized family and caregivers are encouraged to enter through the Cedar Lane patient entrance for processing and visitor ID issuance.
The following locations will remain open and are ready to assist NIH personnel. Please click on the location for full operating details:

Law Enforcement Agencies Discontinue Ink Fingerprinting Services in Response to COVID-19
A number of local law enforcement agencies across the country have discontinued ink fingerprinting services out of abundance of caution due to COVID-19. This may affect individuals who are remote and rely on this type of service in order to complete the fingerprint cards required for their NIH prescreening.

This situation is out of DPSAC’s control and currently there are no alternative options for these individuals to complete their fingerprints remotely. These individuals will need to visit an NIH enrollment facility to complete fingerprinting and/or enrollment for prescreening purposes and for their PIV/RLA badge. 
Q: Our new Research Fellow says he completed the necessary corrections to his background investigation forms and sent them back to DPSAC, but NED still shows the status message “Waiting for individual to correct background investigation paperwork.” Why won’t this update?

A: In many instances, DPSAC asks an individual to correct several mistakes to their investigation forms. If an individual does not correct ALL the errors, DPSAC will continue to contact them asking for the necessary corrections. During this back-and-forth conversation with the individual, NED will continue to show this status message. 

Q: Why does the NED badge tracking have two messages in bold text?
A: Any current status message will be shown in bold text in NED badge tracking. This often happens when the individual still needs to complete both enrollment (fingerprints/photograph) and his/her background investigation paperwork. In the screen shot above, you can see the individual has yet to complete enrollment or submit the investigation forms to DPSAC.
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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National Institutes of Health
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