HHS to OPDIVs: New Hires and New Contractors to Complete and Submit e-QIP Documentation Before PIV Cards Are Issued
On June 7, 2013, the Department sent an 'HSPD-12 PIV Card Issuance Process Update' to Operating Division and Staff Division leadership, advising them "to be aware that their new hires and contractors must now complete and submit their e-QIP documentation, prior to HHS being able to issue the PIV card to the individual."
Excerpts of the notification from HHS Office of the Secretary, Director of Security, Daniel Galik, follow:
With the issuance by the Office of Security & Strategic Information (OSSI) of "HSPD-12 Implementation Policy for the Use of the Personal Identity Verification (PIV) Card for Strong Authentication", issued on April 8, 2013, OPDIVs and Staff Divs should be aware that your new hires and new contractors must now complete and submit their e-QIP documentation, prior to HHS being able to issue the PIV card to the individual.
OPDIVs and Staff Divs should take action to ensure this updated process requirement is implemented no later than July 1, 2013. The process fix addresses Office of the Inspector General findings where new employees/contractors were issued their PIV cards, and in a small number of cases, never fully completed or actually submitted their e-QIP documentation.*
The Electronic Questionnaires for Investigations Processing (e-QIP) system is OPM's web-based automated system that was designed to facilitate the processing of standard investigative forms used when conducting background investigations for federal security, suitability, fitness and credentialing purposes. The e-QIP system allows the user to electronically enter, update and transmit their personal investigative data over a secure internet connection to OSSI.
The e-QIP electronic questionnaire, including the submission of the e-QIP-associated signature pages together with other required documents must be submitted to OSSI prior to issuance of the PIV card.
Using the information submitted via e-QIP, a National Agency Check with Inquiries (NACI) is conducted by OPM as the basis for PIV card issuance for new employees. Once completed, it never needs to be repeated unless the applicant has a break in service exceeding two years.**
Previously, a number of individuals supported by OSSI failed to follow through on completion of the e-QIP submission. When these individuals return for an update to their PIV card they are required by federal policy to repeat the entire process to include having new fingerprints processed and to re-enroll for the PIV card. This is an unnecessary expense to HHS and inconvenience to the individual.
The updated process step will both prevent this from occurring and strengthen our security posture for those with access to sensitive data.
* This requirement was implemented at NIH by the Division of Personal Security and Access Control (DPSAC) many months ago.
** While a NACI background investigation is the most common background investigation at the NIH, it is not appropriate for many NIH positions. These other background investigations will require periodic re-investigations.