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HSPD-12 - GovITwiki


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Homeland Security Presidential Directive-12, known more commonly as HSPD-12, is a "Policy for a Common Identification Standard for Federal Employees and Contractors."

Wide variations in the quality and security of forms of identification used to gain access to secure Federal and other facilities where there is potential for terrorist attacks need to be eliminated. Therefore, it is the policy of the United States to enhance security, increase Government efficiency, reduce identity fraud, and protect personal privacy by establishing a mandatory, Government-wide standard for secure and reliable forms of identification issued by the Federal Government to its employees and contractors (including contractor employees).


Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12: An Introduction

The Executive Branch mandate originally was issued in August 2004. the idea was to create standardized, interoperable cards capable of being used as employee identification and allowing for both physical and Information technology system access.

The initial deadline for agencies to begin issuing the IDs was October of 2006. But at many agencies this deadline was more of a test and a proof of concept then a full enterprise solution. The Office of Management and Budget has been coordinating cross-agency efforts for things like a "National Agency Check with Inquiries" (NACI) and decisions on if the cardholder user identifier (CHUID) is the right standard for all federal employees, contractors, and military service members.

There also is a debate on whether state and local officials and first responders should be included.

Many agencies have set up HSPD-12 working groups. These groups will work out implementation details by 2008.

Current Situation


  • OMB issued a document for agency chief information officers providing direction for the acquisition of products and services for the implementation of Homeland Security Presidential Directive-12 (HSPD-12) “Policy for a Common Identification Standard for Federal Employees and Contractors” and also provides status of implementation efforts.
  • GSA has identified 21 categories of products/services for which normative requirements are expressed in NIST publication FIPS 201 and associated technical specifications. Specific evaluation and approval requirements for each of the 21 categories of products/services have been established and publicly posted at the FIPS 201 Evaluation Program website.


Current rules require, by October 27, 2007, agencies complete background checks on all current employees and contractors and issue PIV credentials with one exception. For individuals who have been Federal department or agency employees over 15 years, a new investigation and PIV credential issuance may be delayed, commensurate with risk, but must be completed no later than October 27, 2008. Identity credentials should be provided as outlined in Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 201 and associated technical specifications. [1]


[1] White House memorandum m07-06

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