A bi-weekly newsletter from the Division of Personnel Security and Access Control
Providing timely information to help keep NIH safe and secure
November 18, 2020 Issue of DPSAC News
 In this issue:
  • 6th NIH Virtual Town Hall Scheduled for November 20, 2020
  • Visitors Arriving at NIH Bethesda Campus for Credentialing Appointments Asked to Present DPSAC Confirmation Email at Gateway Center or CVIF
  • All Staff Eligible for Asymptomatic COVID-19 Testing
  • Revised Visitor Access Procedures for NIH Facilities
  • FAQs: EOD Date Required in NED to Schedule Appointment for Badge Pickup
  • AOs Who Wish to Obtain Sponsor Authority

DPSAC News Wishes Its Readers a Very Happy Thanksgiving
6th NIH Virtual Town Hall Scheduled for November 20, 2020
NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins will host the 6th NIH Virtual Town Hall on Friday, November 20, from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. The meeting will review NIH’s scientific contributions to ending the pandemic. Other topics will include pandemic fatigue and how to continue staying safe and healthy. The Coronavirus Response Team will update the community on NIH’s return efforts in light of current COVID trends. 

Instructions for logging onto the videocast are provided on the NIH employee intranet site at: https://employees.nih.gov/pages/coronavirus/events.aspx
Visitors Arriving at NIH Bethesda Campus for Credentialing Appointments Asked to Present DPSAC Confirmation Email at Gateway Center or CVIF
When an applicant schedules a credentialing appointment with DPSAC (e.g. Enrollment/Badge Issuance/ Prescreening/Certificate Renewals), s/he receives immediate confirmation of the appointment in the form of an email. Recently, DPSAC has added verbiage to this email asking applicants to present a copy of the confirmation appointment email to security screeners upon arrival at the Gateway Center (or CVIF). This new requirement is intended to simplify and expedite the security screening process for these individuals and for the screeners on duty.   

The revised appointment confirmation email now contains the following notice:

For customers obtaining credentialing (i.e., Enrollment or Badge Issuance) services at the NIH Main Campus, Bethesda, Maryland:
***Prior to your arrival to the NIH, please print a copy of this email or have it ready to be presented
on your smart phone.  Once you have arrived, present this message to the Security Guard or Police Officer at the NIH’s Gateway Center or Commercial Vehicle Inspection Facility (CVIF) to ensure you are
expedited through the security screening process. Failure to do so may result in delays or possible denial of
entry to the NIH. *** 

Note: Applicants/Customers who already have access to campus can ignore the new message. 

Should an applicant have questions about this process, s/he can call the DPSAC Case Review and Customer Service Branch Helpdesk at: 301-402-9755.
All Staff Eligible for Asymptomatic COVID-19 Testing
The NIH Clinical Center 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.

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.
Revised Visitor Access Procedures for NIH Facilities
The NIH recently modified its visitor procedures to increase safety and promote security awareness for the entire community. Visitors will be allowed to pass through the Gateway Visitor Center and Commercial Vehicle Inspection Facility (CVIF) only if they can show they have a legitimate purpose or sanctioned business reason.

Please refer to the November 4, 2020 DPSAC News to read more about these important changes to Perimeter Security Access and Building Access Control.

Additional details on the revised visitor procedures and building access can also be found at: https://security.nih.gov/
Q. One of our new employees was advised that she could not schedule her badge pickup until her EOD date. Is that accurate? 

A.  NED will not allow an ID badge to be issued prior to the EOD date provided in the system. If the person has completed the requirements to receive an ID badge, NED will state “Waiting for EOD date: [date inserted here].” If they choose to pick up the badge a day later, or a week later, that’s fine.   

The DPSAC main office in Building 31, Room 1B03 on the Bethesda campus is open daily and is by appointment only. If all appointments are booked on a particular day, the new employee would schedule badge pickup for the next available day, once again, on or after their EOD date, but not before. 

The employee can call DPSAC Access Control at 301-451-4766 to schedule an appointment, assuming s/he is ready for issuance in NED, or, “Awaiting EOD Date” in NED. If it’s the latter, DPSAC can force the appointment scheduler software to create an appointment. 

Q: Can you provide guidance regarding the return of badges while many of us are teleworking during the COVID-19 epidemic?
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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