A bi-weekly newsletter from the Division of Personnel Security and Access Control
Providing timely information to help keep NIH safe and secure
March 25, 2020 Issue of DPSAC News
In this issue:
  • DPSAC Committed to Adhering to NIH and CDC Guidance to Prevent Risk to Our Customers, Staff and the NIH Community
  • NIH Reduces Badging Services to Help Prevent the Spread of COVID-19
  • NED Release v5.2 Goes Live March 30 - Includes Important Functionality Changes
  • Law Enforcement Agencies Discontinue Fingerprinting Services in Response to COVID-19
  • FAQs - Reclassifying a Fellow to FTE
  • Helpful Tips: Avoiding Additional Delays in Processing New Hires
  • AOs Who Wish to Obtain Sponsor Authority
DPSAC Committed to Adhering to NIH and CDC Guidance to Safeguard Our Customers, Staff and the NIH Community
In light of recent events and concerns regarding COVID-19, the Division of Personnel Security and Access Control (DPSAC) would like to reiterate our commitment in following and abiding by the NIH and CDC guidance to prevent, deter, and mitigate any risk of infection to our customers, staff, and the NIH community. Therefore, please be assured that DPSAC has implemented mandatory, stringent safety precautions and procedures for protecting our customers and DPSAC staff members during public interactions and daily operations.

Effective immediately, we have instituted several measures and policies ensuring promotion of public health and safety as follows:

1)     Adherence to General Guidance Principles
a.    All DPSAC staff have been informed and mandated to adhere to general guideline principles not limited to:
         i.       Following basic protective measures from the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention, and NIH guidance.
        ii.       Discouraging sick employees to come into work and instead seek medical advice as needed.
       iii.       Maintaining social distancing and limiting personal contact whenever possible.
      iv.       Abiding and implementing frequent proper hand washing and sanitizing techniques.
        v.       Avoiding direct contact with surfaces and faces (eyes, nose, mouth).
       vi.       Other elements as prescribed.

2)     Front Desk Operations     
a.    Customers will now be asked to place their identification documents on the counter for validating identities
and limiting direct handling of materials.
b.    If direct handling occurs for whatever reason, sanitizer will be utilized prior and afterwards.
c.    Customers requesting documentation review will place documents on counters instead of directly passing to
Front Desk staff members.
d.        Staff will sanitize counters through disinfectant spray throughout the day.
e.        Other elements as prescribed.

3)     Enrollment
a.        Use of document authenticators for ID authentication has been suspended.
b.        Pin pad along with other surfaces will be wiped down with disinfectant wipe.
c.        Enrollers must sanitize both their hands and applicants’ pre and post enrollment sessions.
d.        A sanitizer droplet will be placed into applicant hands instead of direct exchange of sanitizers.
Enrollers must sanitize hands prior to and post fingerprint authentication.
e.        Customers will be asked to place documentation on desk for review to avoid touching.

Please stay safe,
The Division of Personnel Security and Access Control (DPSAC)

NIH Reduces Badging Services to Help Prevent the Spread of COVID-19
Some Local Services Relocated to Building 31
Due to the evolving COVID-19 situation, DPSAC has implemented measures to help prevent the spread of disease and reduce the risk of exposure to its staff members as well as individuals who need to visit a DPSAC office. 

Reduction of Badging Services:
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.
DPSAC will maintain normal operating hours in Building 31 from 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday. The DPSAC email is orspersonnelsecurity@mail.nih.gov and the help desk phone number is 301-402-9755.
The following locations will remain open and are ready to assist NIH personnel. Please click on the location for full operating details:

DPSAC Implementation of Mandatory Safety Precautions:

  • DPSAC urges visitors to be mindful of the guidance that has been posted on reducing the spread of COVID-19 and to kindly not visit a DPSAC office if they are sick, have a fever or are displaying any symptoms of a respiratory infection. DPSAC also urges visitors who are not displaying symptoms to use hand sanitizer.

  • DPSAC is also encouraging NIH staff to call (301-402-9755) or email DPSAC (orspersonnelsecurity@mail.nih.gov) for general inquiries or badge status requests as opposed to visiting a DPSAC office. DPSAC encourages the community to visit a DPSAC office only if they require an in-person service such as enrollment or badge issuance.

  • Individuals who are visiting DPSAC are required to sanitize their hands prior to entering the DPSAC office and prior to completing their enrollment, fingerprinting or badge issuance.

  • Individuals entering the DPSAC office will be required to stagger themselves and maintain a distance from other individuals. DPSAC staff will be onsite to coordinate appropriate distancing between customers.

Please review the CDC guidance about COVID-19 to prevent illness and recognize symptoms . If you feel the onset of flu-like symptoms, stay home – or go home immediately if you are at work – and call your healthcare provider for medical advice. As soon as you’re able, contact your supervisor and the NIH Occupational Medical Service, as noted in the NIH guidance
  NED Release 5.2 Goes Live March 30, 2020
Includes Position Designation Tool (PDT) and New Badge Tracking Status Points
NED Release 5.2 is scheduled for deployment March 30, 2020. Please review the NED team's "NED v5.2 Release Information and Training Announcement" in anticipation for this release:           
* * *
NED v5.2 is planned to go live on March 30, 2020. This release includes important changes as well as a redesign of NED Portal person search functionality.

What are the important functionality changes?
1.    Position Designation Tool - Per the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA), AOs/ATs are required to determine the correct background investigation for an individual using the Position Designation Tool (PDT) located at ( https://pdt.nbis.mil/ ). In addition to completing Form 2866, users must also enter the PDT background investigation tier and upload the completed PDT form in NED.

Note:  It is recommended that users who designate positions and/or enter position data in NED attend formal DCSA training. AOs are encouraged to rely on supervisors, project officers, etc. to assist in completing the PDT accurately. DCSA PDT Training Course: https://www.dcsa.mil/mc/tec/upcoming_courses/

2.    Enhanced badge status tracking – Additional badge status messages are added to help the NIH community understand which actions are required to complete the background investigation process. Users no longer need to rely on DPSAC to obtain the most recent investigation form status information.

3.   “Opt-in” functionality – AOs have the ability to “opt-in” on behalf of individuals who want AlertNIH notifications sent to their personal contacts.

How will the NED Portal re-design in NED 5.2 affect users?
NED “find person” functionality changes include:

  • “Find person” functionality is consolidated, and search capabilities are improved
  • Navigation to perform tasks on existing records is changed
  • ·Menu options are moved: Update, Deactivate, Modify Services, Transfer, Renew Badge, View Badge and Account History

Please refer to the attachment (available by clicking here ) for more information.

What else is planned for NED in upcoming releases?
Over time, the look and feel of the entire NED Portal application will undergo a redesign (broken into four phases) to:

  • Remove customizations to align with vendor’s “out-of-the-box” software features
  • Integrate new capabilities
  • Incorporate usability feedback
  • Support faster and less expensive future maintenance

The NED Portal “find person” functionality re-design is Phase 2.

What do you need to do?
Join one of the NED v5.2 training sessions scheduled for March 24, 26, 30 and April 3, where we discuss the upcoming changes in more detail and present a live demo.

Register for training by clicking on the following link: NED Release 5.2 Training

If you have questions or concerns about:

NED Team
Law Enforcement Agencies Discontinue
Ink Fingerprinting Services
in Response to COVID-19
DPSAC has learned that several 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. DPSAC News ran a ‘Helpful Tip’ awhile back that discussed reclassifying a non-FTE ( except Fellow ) to FTE. Could you explain why Fellows are excepted?   

A. The NED team addressed this topic in a July 2019 email to the NIH AO/AT community regarding NIH Non-FTE to FTE Reclassification Guidance. Reclassifying to an FTE is slightly different for fellows because of the NED connection to the Fellowship Payment System. 

Below is an excerpt from the NED notification with guidance for Reclassifying a Fellow to FTE:  

Reclassifying a non-FTE (except Fellow) to FTE
Update the person’s classification from non-NIH FTE to NIH FTE using the Update function in NED.
This step will notify DPSAC of the change, so they can initiate a background investigation for the NIH FTE position if needed. Please do not modify the person’s EOD date during the reclassification process as NED will revoke the person’s current badge.

Reclassifying a Fellow to FTE
When changing a fellow’s classification from Fellow to NIH FTE, the Fellowship Payment System (FPS) will prevent the Fellow’s IC from creating, renewing, transferring, or activating any type of award, as the person is no longer identified as a Fellow. However, the person will continue to receive all their stipend payments for any awards activated prior to the change in classification.

ICs are encouraged to create and approve award renewals to extend a Fellow’s duration prior to changing the individual’s classification in NED. If the renewal is not needed, it can then be cancelled. Awards of any type will not activate automatically; nor can they be activated manually after the classification has changed.

If the classification has been changed to NIH FTE in NED, the IC needs to enter an NBS FPS help desk ticket to create, extend, or activate an award in FPS. The IC must include the Fellow’s name and HHS ID, award number, and details regarding the required actions. The NBS FPS team will coordinate with the IC and OFM to manually process the action. Please enter “Assistance with Fellow to FTE” in the short description of the ticket and include instructions to triage to the NBS FPS team directly.

Please contact:
  • the NED team at nedteam@mail.nih.gov for questions about entering or updating information in NED,
  • DPSAC Team at orspersonnelsecurity@mail.nih.gov for questions about background investigations,
  • FPS Team for questions about FPS, by opening a help desk ticket for NBS FPS team.
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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