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New Standard for Badges  |  Frequently Asked Questions

From Fermilab Today, October 24, 2005: (Details subject to change as the federal government is making adjustments.)

A few weeks ago, Fermilab Today reported on the new federal standard for badges (HSPD-12) for federal employees and contractors. In a memorandum issued on October 13, 2005, the Deputy Secretary of Energy Clay Sell clarified the application of the federal standard to the Department of Energy. At this time, Fermilab employees, users and contractors are not subject to HSPD-12.

The DOE memo explains that "the mandatory applicability of HSPD-12 and its associated processes shall apply to all DOE Federal employees, all contractor employees that have either an L or Q security clearance, and to all uncleared contractor employees servicing the DOE Headquarters complex. Program offices may, at their discretion and based on a risk analysis, subsequently determine that additional uncleared contractor(s) will need an 'identity' credential and be subject to HSPD-12."

Because no clearance is required to access Fermilab, the federal standard is not mandatory for Fermilab employees, users and contractors. The implementation of HSPD-12 at Fermilab has been suspended.
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From Fermilab Today, September 27, 2005: (Details subject to change as the federal government is making adjustments.)

Per Presidential Directive, the federal government has begun to implement a new, mandatory government-wide standard for secure and reliable forms of identification for all federal employees and contractors. The goal is to enhance security and to reduce identity fraud while protecting personal privacy.

Beginning October 27, 2005, all federal agencies and their contractors must use the new federal standard. It will apply immediately to issuing new badges to Fermilab employees hired on or after that date as well as new users and contractors who require access to Fermilab for more than 6 months.

The standard requires that a new badge that is valid for more than six months is issued only after a Personal Identification Verification (PIV) process. Although Fermilab has requested employee background checks in the past, the standardized background investigations for U.S. citizens will now require fingerprinting and will cover the past five years. Non-U.S. citizens are not required to undergo fingerprinting or a background check since adequate information is obtained in order for them to enter the United States. By October 27, 2007, the government plans to complete the PIV process for all current employees, long-term users and contractors who are U.S. citizens.

The policies for when and where to wear the Fermilab badge will not change, and the format of the Fermilab badge will remain unchanged for now. The government plans to introduce a new type of badge common to all federal agencies in the fall of next year.

Fermilab is in the process of preparing the implementation in a way that is consistent with federal regulations and that avoids interruptions in access to the Fermilab facility by employees, users and contractors. If you have questions, please send an email to badges@fnal.gov.

Frequently Asked Questions

Details of the implementation of the Presidential Directive, HSPD-12, are subject to change. The following answers are based on information known as of October 5, 2005. Changes are under discussion at the federal government level.

Q: What is the basis for the new identification standard?
A: On August 27, 2004, the White House issued a directive for a "Government-wide standard for secure and reliable forms of identification issued by the Federal Government to its employees and contractors (including contractor employees)," known as Presidential Directive HSPD-12. The directive asked the Department of Commerce to develop implementing standards to be used by all federal agencies, and the Department of Connerce issued FIPS 201, the Federal Information Processing Standard 201, "Personal Identity Verification (PIV) of Federal Employees and Contractors," on February 25, 2005. The U.S. Department of Energy issued its procedures and implementation standardas of HSPD-12 and FIPS 201 in the DOE Notice 206.2 on September 14, 2005.

Q: Does the new federal identification standard apply to all government agencies?
A: Yes. The goal is to standardize the requirements for obtaining badges throughout the federal government system.

Q: Are all Fermilab employees, users and contractors requiring badges subject to the new identification standard?
A: Yes. Universities Research Association is a government contractor.

Q: Does the implementation of the new identification standard address privacy concerns?
A: Yes. The Presidential Directive HSPD-12 requires that it "shall be implemented in a manner consistent with the Constitution and applicable laws, including the Privacy Act and other statutes protecting the rights of Americans."

Q: Will new badges be issued to current employees? When will my present badge become non-usable?
A: At this time, the format of the Fermilab badge does not change and current employees do not have to get a new badge. The government plans to introduce a new type of badge some time next year, before October 27, 2006. If you currently have a valid badge, you can use your badge until it expires or until Fermilab is required to issue the new type of badge, whatever comes first. Details are still under discussion at the federal government level.

Q: My badge expires in January. Will you need to do some sort of background check before I can be issued another?
A: Under the existing rules, Fermilab can reissue a badge in January without a background check. The rules for reissuing badges will eventually adopt the federal standard as all current employees, users and contractors must meet the federal standard by October 27, 2007. If the badge holder is a non-US citizen, there is no change to the current procedure. Changes are under discussion at the federal level.

Q: As a user who may need to access the CDF detector on short notice, how can I arrange not to get caught short at some point in the future after my badge expires?
A: The lab can issue short-term badges on the day they are requested if two proper forms of identification are presented. At least one of the documents must be a valid State or Federal Government-issued picture identification. A list of acceptable documents can be found at: http://uscis.gov/graphics/formsfee/forms/files/i-9.pdf.

Q: How will the new standard for badges affect retired employees?
A: After October 27, 2005, Fermilab will no longer issue or renew retiree badges. Retirees can have access to the site as visitors or, if access is required for work-related tasks, retirees can request the appropriate type of badge (guest scientist, contractor, etc).

Q: My wife is a member of the gym and has a Fermilab ID to enter the gym. She is U.S. citizen. Does she need to pass background checks?
A: No. To obtain a recreational badge, no background check is necessary.

Q: Do I now have to wear my badge at Fermilab at all times?
A: The new federal standard does not affect the rules for when and where to wear your badge. At Fermilab, you need to wear your badge when you are inside Fermilab's property protection areas. Fermilab's PPAs are: Feynman Computing Center Computer Rooms and Utility Corridor; Central Utility Building; Accelerator Division controls computer room; Main Control Room; CDF; DZero; Central Helium Liquefier; Master Substation; and Kautz Road Substation.

Q: I have been fingerprinted in the past due to employment in a federal job. Will I need to be fingerprinted again?
A: Yes.

Q: As an existing Fermilab employee, I was not required to submit fingerprint data upon employment. What are the consequences if I choose not to submit fingerprint data for this "badging" process?
A: A failure to provide fingerprints would ultimately mean that the individual would not have passed the background check, and the individual would be subject to termination of employment.

Q: What is the consequence of a negative background check? What is considered an unacceptable result of the background checks? What are the "pass/fail" criteria?
A: The DOE Notice 206.2, approved September 14, 2005, specifies the implementation of the federal standard following the Presidential Directive HSPD-12 and the resulting Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS Pub 201). It states:

"The following are disqualifying criteria but are not all inclusive and may vary depending on access requirements:
(a) The individual is, or is suspected of being, a terrorist.
(b) There is an outstanding warrant against the individual.
(c) The individual has deliberately omitted, concealed, or falsified relevant and material facts from any Questionnaire for National Security Positions (SF-86), Questionnaire for Non-Sensitive Positions (SF-85), or similar form used in the determination of eligibility for a DOE security badge.
(d) The individual has presented false or forged identity source documents.
(e) The individual has been barred from Federal employment."

Q: If I'm denied a badge, do I have a right to appeal?
A: Yes. Upon receipt of a denial-of-badge notice, the applicant has 10 working days in which to indicate, in writing or by electronic means, the intent to file an appeal. After filing the intent, the applicant has 10 working days to file the actual appeal. The details are given in the Department of Energy Notice DOE N 206.2, approved September 14, 2005.

Q: The Presidential Directive does not list fingerprinting as a requirement. Who interpreted this directive such that the level of security of Fermilab badges required fingerprinting and background checks of U.S. citizens who have no involvement in national security?
A: The Presidential Directive was the first step. It asked the Secretary of Commerce to promulgate a federal standard. On February 25, 2005, the Secretary of Commerce approved, based on input from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS 201): Personal Identity Verification (PIV) of Federal Employees and Contractors. It is available online at: http://www.csrc.nist.gov/publications/fips/fips201/FIPS-201-022505.pdf

This document represents the federal standard implemented at all federal agencies and contractors. In particular, on page six, the FIPS 201 document introduces the need for background checks (NAC/NACI), which require fingerprinting. Information on the process that led to FIPS 201 is available at: http://csrc.nist.gov/piv-program/index.html

Q: The link to the Presidential Directive contains nothing about a non-citizen exemption. What is the basis?
A: Non-US citizens are subject to background checks during the visa process and get fingerprinted when entering the United States. Instead of requiring an additional national background check, the federal government so far considers this procedure as sufficient. In particular, the DOE Notice 206.2, approved September 14, 2005, states:

"Foreign National employees/contractors/visitors may not have lived in the Untied States long enough for a NACI [National Agency Check with Written Inquiries] to be meaningful; therefore, the requirement for identity verification will be done in accordance with DOE O 142.1, Classified Visits Involving Foreign Nationals, dated 1-13-04, and DOE O 142.3, Unclassified Foreign Visits and Assignments Program, dated 6-19-04, pending further Office of Management and Budget guidance."

Changes are under discussion at the federal level.


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