Be sure to follow our latest DPSAC Newsletter and see below for previous newsletters, articles and topics we have covered.
- September 28, 2023 - IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: DCSA Issues Directive Requiring Agencies to Transition to New System for Federal Background Investigations
The Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA) issued Federal Investigations Notice (FIN) 23-02, which announced that the government-wide system currently used for requesting federal background investigations, the Electronic Questionnaires for Investigation Processing (e-QIP), will be replaced by the National Background Investigation Services (NBIS) eApplication (eApp) on October 1, 2023. Please read the full article in the newsletter for more information!
When an employee, contractor or affiliate plans on leaving the employ of NIH, understand the required process the departing staff member must go through and how to properly return his/her ID badge to DPSAC.
Due to a technical issue with Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA) IT systems, the Office of Research Services (ORS), Division of Personnel Security and Access Control (DPSAC) and Division of Police (DP) are unable to submit fingerprints to DCSA starting September 5, 2023 until further notice, thus impacting all new employees and the issuance of new ID badges. Please be advised this will cause a delay in people being able to pick up their ID badge and/or complete the prescreening process. DPSAC will work diligently to help people complete the required processes as soon as the systems are back online. We want to apologize for any inconvenience this will cause.
Update: As of September 11, 2023, the NIH Office of Research Services (ORS) Division of Personnel Security and Access Control (DPSAC) is pleased to inform the NIH community that the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA) systems outage (referenced right below) has been resolved. DPSAC is now able to submit fingerprints and investigation requests for all request types. DPSAC is working internally to transmit all prior fingerprint submissions and investigation request packages that have been queued.
August 23, 2023 - "Importance Notice from NED Regarding Auto-Termination of Aging NED Tasks"
Please read our newsletter to be on top of this important notice from the NIH Enterprise Directory (NED) Application team regarding the auto-termination of aging NED tasks, published by NED on Monday, August 21, 2023. NED functionality to automatically terminate open tasks 120 days after the greater of the sponsorship date or Entry on Duty (EOD) date is enabled effective August 19, 2023.
Please read our newsletter to be on top of this important notice from the NIH Enterprise Directory (NED) Application team regarding termination of NED tasks that are aging.
July 26, 2023 - "Emergency Tier Designation (ETD) vs. Position Designation (PD)"
DPSAC would like to clear up confusion between the Position Designation (PD) and Emergency Tier Designation (ETD). The PD is
not to be confused with the ETD at the NIH. In short, the PD determines the correct background investigation needed for a position in the Federal Government. An individual’s PD is determined by the
Position Designation Tool (PDT), which must be filled out by a federal employee. On the other hand, the ETD determines the activities and functions authorized by Institutes, Centers and Offices (ICO) Management, Office of Personnel Management (OPM), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that one can perform during emergency conditions. There are ETD Coordinators that have been identified by Executive Officers (EOs) within each ICO. Please read the newsletter in full to understand each designation in detail, or please visit our
website to better understand the differences between PD vs. ETD.
July 12, 2023 - "Requirement to Correctly Insert an Applicant's Email Address in NED"
When entering an applicant or new staff into NED or updating records for current staff, the DPSAC requires the individual's personal email address be listed within the NED record. The new-hire's personal email address is the primary method used by DPSAC to contact applicants, instructing them to complete the prescreening, badging and investigation processes. During the prescreening and/or background investigation process, DPSAC may need to reach out to the applicant directly regarding information that may be personal in nature, regarding the applicant’s background. To protect the individual's privacy, DPSAC requires that their personal email address be listed. DPSAC cannot accept any other email address in place of the applicant's personal email. Plase read the newsletter in full to understand why it is required to list the individual's personal email address. Please note not providing an email address that belongs to the applicant can lead to delays in the badging process.
June 28, 2023 - "Importance of Cooperating with Investigators and How to Verify their Identity"
As part of any T2, T3, T4 or T5 investigation, there is a possibility of getting contacted by a DCSA investigator. It is important to emphasize that staff must still cooperate with the requests, even if they may have already received their badge. Public Trust and National Security investigations may require staff to meet with an investigator to clarify any questions that may come up during the investigative process. Staff may use this
link to verify the investigator. Please read the newsletter in full to learn more.
June 14, 2023 - "Phishing Attempt: Please Be Aware of the Following"
DCSA has been made aware of a sophisticated malicious phishing email circulating (an example of the email is in the newsletter). Please do not engage with this email and advise your staff not to engage with it. You should report it to your security office or cyber security team and delete it immediately if received. This email is NOT coming from DCSA, or any other vetting or Personnel Security entity in the U.S. Government or Department of Defense. IT professionals have confirmed that the email is malicious in nature. For more information, please read this newsletter issue.
May 31, 2023 - "Marijuana Still Considered a Controlled Substance Under Schedule I of the Controlled Substance Act"
Several states and the District of Columbia have decriminalized the use of marijuana, medicinal purposes and/or for limited recreational use. These changes to state law have raised questions about whether federal employees in these jurisdictions may use marijuana. Federal law on marijuana remains unchanged. Marijuana is categorized as a controlled substance under Schedule I of the Controlled Substance Act. Under the scheduling system, the Federal Government classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug. The use of marijuana can still impact the ability for someone to be found suitable for federal employment. For more information, please read this newsletter issue.
Do you have a Summer Student or Summer Intern who will be supporting the National Institutes of Health (NIH) this Summer? Please note that the NIH Summer Student program will be fully on-site for 2023. For remote summer students, DPSAC highly encourages use of Field Print to submit fingerprints at a location near them as soon as possible. This will also help ready students for seamless Badge Enrollment and Issuance at one of the five NIH PCIF locations when arriving on campus on their start day. For more information on Summer Students, please review this NIH Position Classification article on Summer Students. Please also feel free to send the following PDF or article to help Summer Students prepare as they get their badge: "Summer Students! Here Are Three Steps in Getting Your Badge."
May 3, 2023 - "Review of NIH Position Classifications and Corresponding ID Badges"
Determining an individual's correct classification when registering him/her into NED is an important first step in the badging process, as this ensures that individual is vetted appropriately and issued the correct badge to allow them appropriate access at the NIH. Depending on the position classification, the individual will be eligible for one of three ID badge types. Readers are encouraged to read, bookmark and save this webpage: Review of NIH Position Classifications and Corresponding ID Badges, as this webpage allows readers to understand each of the 16 position classifications.
In order to ensure a systematic, dependable and uniform way of designating Federal Government positions, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) in conjunction with the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA) provide the
Position Designation Tool (PDT). The PDT is the required method to determine the correct background investigation for a position in the Federal Government. The PDT provides the ability to identify any national security or public trust responsibilities associated with the position. To develop a familiarity and understanding of the underlying logic for the PDT, the Position Designation System (PDS) is essential. Please read the newsletter to learn how to get further training on the PDT and the classes offered. You may also refer to our website and see the
Four Step Process to Complete the PDT for your convenience.
As a reminder, before employees, contractors or affiliates can start a new position at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) or be issued a Personal Identity Verification (PIV) or Restricted Local Access (RLA) badge, they must complete the ‘Prescreening’ process through the Division of Personnel Security and Access Control (DPSAC). The prescreening process takes, on average, 30 business days from administrative badge sponsorship in NED to badge issuance, not including additional time incurred due to non-responsiveness of applicant, and suitability/security issues on prescreening paperwork. Please see this newsletter to find a useful checklist for AOs when assisting applicants go through prescreening smoothly.
March 22, 2023 - "Clinical and Graduate Medical Education Fellows Processing"
Do you have a Clinical or Graduate Medical Education (GME) Fellow looking to complete their clinical fellowship at the National Institutes of Health (NIH)? Please be sure to read our
full article here with specific details that will help you smoothly guide fellows and help them receive DPSAC prescreening clearance for Entry on Duty, and their NIH PIV badge in a timely manner.
We at DPSAC are very excited to share that our website has been recently renovated and reorganized to be more user friendly and to help readers like yourself to easily navigate and find necessary information. Due to these updates and changes to our website, it is likely that some old links will be broken and will not work. If you find a broken DPSAC link or are aware of any old links that may be directing your readers to our website within your IC, please contact us to let us know where the broken link is located. Or, if you are able to, please update your IC's website to the most updated DPSAC link(s) as well. Please note: Our homepage URL, FAQs page URL, and the Contact page URL have not changed and will not be affected. Thank you!
All PIV card holders are required to renew digital certificates that are tied to their badge in order to continue logging in, using email encryption, and/or digitally signing documents. Renewing digital certificates should be done before their expiration date. HHSIdentity will automatically contact any PIV card holder with an email alert requesting them to renew their digital certificates before their expiration date. Please read the full article in the newsletter to understand the three options that PIV card holders can choose from to renew their digital certificates!
DPSAC has learned that the NIH Summer Student program will be fully on-site for 2023. For administrators who will be involved in processing Summer Students, please read the newsletter for information on the type of badge that Summer Students will be receiving, the DPSAC process the Summer Students must go through in order to receive their badge and how you can help them go through this process seamlessly. For Summer Students, please read the article, "Summer Students! Here Are Three Steps in Getting Your Badge," to understand the process you must go through so you can start your work on your start date.
There are several reasons why an individual’s ID badge may have stopped working. While it is possible that an ID badge may be malfunctioning, most of the time, there is a corresponding event in the NIH Enterprise Directory (NED) that explains why an ID badge is no longer functioning. When a badge stops functioning, it will prevent the individual from opening doors or logging into their computer. Please read this full article that shares an overview of these various reasons why an ID badge might not be working and what is required to get the person a new badge (if necessary).
Before employees, contractors or affiliates can start a new position at the NIH or be issued an ID badge, they must complete the ‘Prescreening’ process through DPSAC. The prescreening process takes, on average, 30 business days from administrative badge sponsorship in NED to badge issuance, not including additional time incurred due to non-responsiveness of applicant, and suitability/security issues on prescreening paperwork. Read the most common Q&As and specifics about Prescreening, which also now includes a "DPSAC New Hire Prescreening Checklist for Program & Applicant," which is a useful checklist for all AOs to refer to.
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