HSPD-12 credentials still few and far between

Less than 1 percent of more than 4.3 million federal employees and less than 1 percent of the 1 million contractors who need secure identification cards mandated under Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 have them.

The Office of Management and Budget issued the latest agency figures earlier this week, detailing the government's progress toward meeting the Oct. 27 deadline.

The figures show a minor increase in the percentage of employees and contractors with HSPD-12 cards, OMB said.

Karen Evans, OMB’s administrator for e-government and information technology, said that although agencies have made some progress, there are areas that need further improvement. She expects the number of cards agencies issue to employees and contractors to significantly increase starting this month.

Agencies reported that 36,757 employees and 9,895 contractors have cards that comply with HSPD-12.

Departments report increasing the number of completed employee background checks. About 56 percent, or 2.4 million, of employees and 43 percent, or 476,320, of contractors have completed National Agency Checks with Inquiries (NACI).

The Treasury Department and the Army Corps of Engineers are the only two agencies that have completed all their NACI checks. Several others, including the departments of Agriculture, Education and Interior, and the Smithsonian Institution have finished background checks for at least 95 percent of their employees.

The Labor Department has made the most progress among the large agencies by issuing 60 percent of its employees' HSPD-12 credentials, while USDA is the only agency of the 67 using the General Services Administration’s credentialing services that has issued ID cards to more than 10 percent of its employees, OMB's report states.

GSA also expects a large increase of employees applying for credentials starting this month. Late last month, GSA officials held a customer meeting to ensure agency customers know they have more than 30 enrollment centers open and ready to handle employees and contractors. Evans said 18 of those 30 are in the Washington metro area.

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