A bi-weekly newsletter from the Division of Personnel Security and Access Control
Providing timely information to help keep NIH safe and secure
July 29, 2020 Issue of DPSAC News

In this issue:
  • Looking for the Status of a Badge Request? Don’t Forget to Check NED’s View Badge History!
  • FAQs: Badging Services for New Hires from Out of State; Renewing Badge Certificates; 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
Looking for the Status of a Badge Request? Don’t Forget to Check NED’s View Badge History!
In March 2020, the NIH Enterprise Directory (NED) deployed NED Release 5.2 that added several new badge tracking messages to the NED Badge Tracking History. The goal of this was to help the NIH community have a better understanding of where exactly an individual is in the DPSAC badging and background investigation process. Prior to March, the NED badge tracking history did not offer much insight into the completion of background investigation items (i.e. e-QIP). The failure to fully and accurately complete these items is often the reason for delays in the overall badging and background investigation process. 

Now, the NED system provides more accurate status messages that show what the individual has completed so far, and what steps are still needed to complete the badging/background investigation process.

See below for a screenshot on what the new badge tracking status messages look like from start to finish:

Follow these steps to use NED Badge Tracking History to check on an individual’s badge status:
To use NED to check on the badge status for a person, follow these simple steps:
Step 1 .    Log into the NED system at https://nedportal.nih.gov/

Step 2.     Click on the “Find Person – Perform Task” link on the left navigation panel (Figure 1) 
Step 3 .   Search for the person by typing their name or HHSID in the search box and click on the magnifying glass
(Figure 2)
Step 4.   Click on the result the person you are searching for and then click on the “View Badge and Account History” button on the bottom of the page. (Figures 3 &4)
See below for a description of each of the *NEW* badge tracking status messages. These messages are particularly important as they show the need for additional action on behalf of the applicant or task owner and what is needed for the badge process to move forward:
  • Waiting for DSPAC to send background investigation paperwork: This message means that the process is waiting for DPSAC to initiate the individual into the electronic Questionnaires for Investigation Processing (e-QIP) for their background investigation and to email the individual notifying them to complete the necessary forms. In most instances, this will occur within 1-2 business days after badge sponsorship. Please note that DPSAC cannot initiate an individual into e-QIP unless the individual has a valid U.S. Social Security Number (SSN) in the NED system. 

  • Waiting for the individual to complete background investigation paperwork: This message means that DPSAC has initiated the individual into e-QIP and the process is waiting on the individual to login and complete their e-QIP questionnaire and all other required forms for their background investigation. This step may still show for 1-2 business days after the person completes the questionnaire as DPSAC must download them from the online e-QIP portal. 

  • Waiting for DSPAC to review background investigation paperwork: This message means that the individual completed their e-QIP questionnaire and now the process is waiting for DPSAC to conduct a thorough review of the e-QIP to ensure accuracy and completeness before submitting to the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA) and that the entire e-QIP request package meets standards issued by DCSA. Approximately 70% of the forms submitted by the applicant contain errors or omissions requiring DPSAC to email the individual to make corrections before submitting the request to DCSA. This step can take from 7-10+ business days to depending on the applicant’s responsiveness to DPSAC requests and 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 where the individuals paperwork is reviewed in order to submit the investigation request to DCSA and determine the individual’s eligibility to be issued a federal Personal Identity Verification (PIV) or Restricted Local Access (RLA) badge under Homeland Security Presidential Directive- 12 (HSPD-12) credentialing standards. This step is typically completed in 1-2 business days assuming the investigation request is up to standard and that any security/suitability issues found in the individuals paperwork are mitigatable. 

Please remember that in addition to completing background investigation forms, individuals must also complete the enrollment (fingerprints/photograph) process. If the individual has not yet completed enrollment, the View Badge History feature in NED will also show a status message in bold text of “ Awaiting Individual Enrollment ” along with the status of the background investigation forms.

Please note, ‘Enrollment’ is the process of enrolling for your PIV or RLA badge by capturing your photo, fingerprints and validating your identity to tie your information to the badge. Your NED Badge Tracking Status must indicate “Awaiting Enrollment” before DPSAC can enroll you for your badge.
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. 
Q. Am I allowed to come onto campus for my fingerprint appointment even though I am not part of Group A or B? My supervisor told me I am not able to get fingerprinted because I am in Group C, which hasn’t been given the OK to return to our duty stations yet. I’m afraid to disobey my boss.

A. Your supervisor is mistaken. Employees have been assigned to different groups as a result of the pandemic to indicate when each group will be allowed to return to their workstation on campus. Being placed in a particular group has nothing to do with your background paperwork. Please feel free to make an appointment to get fingerprinted. 

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. I work in Rockville and need to get my HHS ID Badge certificate renewed. Do I have to go to the DPSAC Badge Issuance Station on campus to complete this task or can my IC renew my certificate?

A. Most NIH Team Members who have been issued an NIH Windows computer/laptop have the Access Card Utility (ACU) software already preloaded. If the badge certificate is not yet expired, they can type “Access Card Utility” in the search box (see the magnifying glass in the lower left corner of the screen), and follow the directions.  The ACU software is not available for Mac computers. Once the certificate is expired individuals need to come to an NIH badge office to get them renewed. You cannot reset a PIN code with the ACU software. 

Q. From time to time I need to refer to the NED User Guide. Can this be viewed online?

A. Here is a link to the NED User Guide. NIH Enterprise directory (NED) Release 5.2 overview. https://www.ors.od.nih.gov/ser/dpsac/resources/Documents/NED Release 5.2 Changes March 2020.pptx . You may also want to contact the NED team for additional assistance: 

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. 

Department of Health and Human Services
National Institutes of Health
Office of Management
Office of Research Services
Division of Personnel Security and Access Control
Keep up with the latest NIH updates