A bi-weekly newsletter from the Division of Personnel Security and Access Control
Providing timely information to help keep NIH safe and secure
April 8, 2020 Issue of DPSAC News
In this issue:
  • Reminder: It's Time to Begin Processing Fellows to Meet the May 4, 2020 Sponsorship Deadline
  • Emergency Designation Tier vs. Background Investigation Tier: What's the Difference?
  • 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 - Includes Functionality Changes
  • Law Enforcement Agencies Discontinue Fingerprinting Services in Response to COVID-19
  • FAQs - Who Should Complete the PDT for a Research Fellow?
  • Helpful Tips: Avoiding Additional Delays in Processing New Hires
  • AOs Who Wish to Obtain Sponsor Authority
Reminder: It’s Time to Begin Processing Fellows to Meet the May 4, 2020 Sponsorship 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:

Badge sponsorship completed for all Fellows in NED no later than May 4, 2020 (8 weeks prior to start 
    date of July 1, 2020). Kicks off DPSAC processing. 

Clinical Fellows must complete all DPSAC prescreening requirements no later than June 1, 2020** 
    (4 weeks prior to EOD): 
  • Background Investigation (e-QIP) and required forms (i.e., OF-306)
  • For federal hires, OF-306 completed in USA Staffing, an HR system. Access to this system will be provided by your HR specialist.
  • Completion of Enrollment (Photo/Fingerprinting**)

AO/Supervisor actively checks on their fellows to ensure completion of DPSAC requirements

Consider additional processing time for Foreign Nationals
  • DIS validation & receipt of SSN required for DPSAC Processing
  • A SSN cannot be obtained until the applicant has been in the US for 10 days, so please plan ahead for staff without social security numbers. 

Consider additional processing time required for coordination of rotational duties
  • Walter Reed Rotations: Position Sensitivity Level (PSL) in NED must indicate “T3” for access to medical records

Heads up to AOs: Please remember that NED automatically flags the ‘works with children’, ‘childcare’ exception factor for Clinical Fellows. If the Fellow will not be working with children, the AO will need to send a note to DPSAC at ORSPersonnelSecurity@mail.nih.gov indicating that the individual does not work with children. NED will not currently allow you to remove that designation. Being proactive with this notification will save time and effort for both the Clinical Fellows and DPSAC Staff. Staff working with children have additional requirements that may need to be completed which include having hard copies of fingerprints and additional documents specific to the states they’ve lived and worked in. 
* Failure to complete both the e-QIP submission and Fingerprinting within 120 days after badge sponsorship will result in e-QIP and Fingerprint submission expiring.
** If an individual is unable to travel to an Enrollment location to complete enrollment by the anticipated EOD, fingerprint cards can be mailed to be completed at local police station and returned to DPSAC. This option does not replace the Enrollment requirement. 
Please Note: COVID-19 has caused several local police stations to temporarily discontinue offering ink fingerprinting services. Please check with your local police stations to determine availability and possible alternative locations. Fingerprints can be completed by any accredited fingerprinting service. 
Emergency Designation Tier vs.
Background Investigation Tier: 
What’s the Difference?
DPSAC has seen an increase in Tier II background investigation requests recently for NIH staff. After investigating, we have learned that several of these requests were inadvertent updates to the Background Investigation Tier indicated in NED as opposed to the person’s Emergency Designation Tier. This article is a short primer on the difference between these two “Tiers.”

Emergency Designation Tier Overview
The Emergency Designation Tier is a value entered in NED for NIH employees (FTE). This value is used to outline the working status of FTE staff in the event of an emergency impacting NIH operations. 

There are three values to select from:
  • Tier I – Emergency Employee
  • Tier II – Non-Emergency/Teleworker
  • Tier III – Non-Emergency/Non-Teleworker

When an FTE record is created in NED, the designation of an Emergency Tier is mandatory. This value is contained in the “Work Information” section of an individual’s NED record. The Emergency Designation Tier can be updated at any time. For assistance in updating someone’s Emergency Designation, NED has created a job aid available at : https://intranet.cit.nih.gov/DOtab/deca/CAB/NED/Help%20Documents/NED%20Portal%20Job%20Aids/ETD%20job%20aid%20for%20AOs-ATs%20v3.pdf .

Background Investigation Tier Overview
The Background Investigation Tier is a different designation in NED that is utilized by DPSAC to ensure the correct type of background investigation is completed for a given person. The Background Investigation Tier is required for all NIH staff (employees, contractors, fellows, etc.) who will be at NIH for more than six months. 

The different Background Investigation Tiers are as follows:
  • Tier 1 – Non-Sensitive [Low Risk]
  • Tier 2 – Non-Sensitive Public Trust [Moderate Risk]
  • Tier 3 – Noncritical-Sensitive [Moderate Risk]
  • Tier 4 – Non-Sensitive Public Trust [High Risk]
  • Tier 5 – Critical-Sensitive or Special-Sensitive [High Risk]

These different tiers direct the scope of an individual’s background investigation (e.g., 5 years vs. 10 years of historical data, need for a credit check, etc.). The Background Investigation Tier is a value stored in the “Position Information” section of an individual’s NED record. The correct Background Investigation Tier is determined using the Position Designation Tool located at: https://pdt.nbis.mil/

For more information on position designation at the NIH, please visit: https://www.ors.od.nih.gov/ser/dpsac/resources/Pages/investigation-requirements-for-your-position.aspx .

Isn’t a Tier a Tier? What Difference Does It Matter?
As you can see, there is a big difference between the Emergency Designation Tier and the Background Investigation Tier. Updating the wrong one could subject someone to an unnecessary background check or show that someone is no longer eligible for telework. If you have any questions about Emergency Designation Tiers, please contact the NIH Office of Human Resources. They have published additional guidance about Emergency Designation Tiers at: https://hr.nih.gov/sites/default/files/public/documents/2019-12/ETDGuidelines.pdf

For any questions about Background Investigation Tiers, please contract DPSAC at: ORSPersonnelSecurity@mail.nih.gov
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 physical 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 feel free to contact DPSAC at orspersonnelsecurity@mail.nih.gov or 301-402-9755 with any concerns and/or questions. 

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:
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:

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 Now Live
Includes Position Designation Tool (PDT) and New Badge Tracking Status Points
NED Release 5.2 deployed March 30, 2020. Below is a summary of the NED team's "NED v5.2 Release Information and Training Announcement":           
* * *
NED v5.2 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 April 7 and 9 where we discuss the 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:
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: My IC is bringing on a new Research Fellow. NED now requires the completed output from the Position Designation Tool (PDT). Should I just send the PDT link
( https://pdt.nbis.mil/ ) to the new person and ask them to fill it out?

A: No! Individuals being brought on at NIH should not be asked to complete the PDT. The PDT should be completed by the AO, Human Resources, Supervisor, Project Officer, etc. -- i.e., whoever is in the best position to know the duties of the position, the potential damage that could be caused by the position and the amount of supervision should be completing the tool (or assisting with its completion).  

Q: I missed all of the NED 5.2 Release training sessions last week and cannot attend this week either? Can I still take the training?

A: Yes! One of the NED 5.2 Release training WebEx sessions was recorded and is available on demand. Simply access the training by clicking on the following link: https://intranet.cit.nih.gov/DOtab/deca/CAB/NED/Help%20Documents/NED%20Release%205.2%20Training%20-%20March%2026%202020%20session.mp4
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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