As the next October deadline for HSPD-12 nears, federal agencies are making progress in issuing credentials. The deadline requires all government employees to have background checks completed and credentials issued by Oct. 27.
As of Aug. 4 the General Services Administration’s Managed Service Office says more than 224,000 employees have been sponsored, 119,146 have been enrolled and more than 46,000 credentials have been activated.
Technical issues earlier in the year prevented agencies from sending employee data easily, said Steve Duncan, deputy director at the GSA MSO. “We are really moving now,” he said at the Interagency Advisory Board meeting in late July. “Sponsorships and enrollments are starting to peak.”
Enrollment stations are also being deployed around the country, Duncan says. The GSA is rolling out a total of 250 fixed enrollment stations and has 164 in the field.
There are also 45 mobile enrollment stations making stops around the country, Duncan says. They are setting up the stations up for two- to six-week periods at various spots until the end of September. At the last stop they will be installed as fixed enrollment stations.
Other agencies are making progress in getting credentials out there as well, according to a quarterly report from the White House Office of Management and Budget report. Ten percent of government employees on June 1 had personal identity verification cards. This is quite an improvement from the 3% who had PIV credentials as of March 1.
The latest OMB report also shows that 10% of government contractors have received their credentials, an upgrade from the 3% who had them in the previous quarter.
Additionally, it states that 56% of government employees have had background checks completed, while 40% of government contractors have completed background checks.
All told more than 455,000 credentials have been issued to government employees. More than 4.6 million credentials are expected to be issued to government employees overall. Some 1.3 million government contractors will have credentials issued as well.
DOD criticized for lack of progress
While agencies are making progress, the U.S. Department of Defense’s Inspector General’s office issued a report suggesting that the agency is not complying with HSPD-12 and FIPS 201. The White House Office of Management and Budget and the President’s Council on Integrity and Efficiency requested the audit.
The report shows that the DOD is lacking in six specific areas with its credentialing project. These include:
- Government-wide milestones for completing background checks have not been met.
- Staff at stations that issue the Common Access Card cannot electronically verify whether card applicants have initiated or completed a National Agency Check with Written Inquiries.
- Social Security number displayed on the Geneva Conventions credential, increasing the risk of identity theft.
- Equipment that is not compliant with HSPD-12 has been purchased.
- Bar code technology that is not equivalent to mandatory HSPD-12 security features is used on the Defense Biometric Identification System credential.
- Current PIV credential does not meet interoperability requirements.
The Inspector General recommends that the DOD issue HSPD-12 implementation guidance within 90 days; revise and update DOD Directives and Instructions to incorporate FIPS requirements; and submit proposed end-state PIV credentials to GSA for conformance testing.