There are wide variations in the quality and security of identification used to gain access to secure facilities where there is potential for terrorist attacks. In order to eliminate these variations, U.S. policy is 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). This directive mandates a federal standard for secure and reliable forms of identification.
Homeland Security Presidential Directive-12
August 27, 2004
SUBJECT: Policies 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).
- To implement the policy set forth in paragraph (1), the Secretary of Commerce shall promulgate in accordance with applicable law a Federal standard for secure and reliable forms of identification (the "Standard") not later than 6 months after the date of this directive in consultation with the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy. The Secretary of Commerce shall periodically review the Standard and update the Standard as appropriate in consultation with the affected agencies.
- "Secure and reliable forms of identification" for purposes of this directive means identification that (a) is issued based on sound criteria for verifying an individual employee's identity; (b) is strongly resistant to identity fraud, tampering, counterfeiting, and terrorist exploitation; (c) can be rapidly authenticated electronically; and (d) is issued only by providers whose reliability has been established by an official accreditation process. The Standard will include graduated criteria, from least secure to most secure, to ensure flexibility in selecting the appropriate level of security for each application. The Standard shall not apply to identification associated with national security systems as defined by 44 U.S.C. 3542(b)(2).
- Not later than 4 months following promulgation of the Standard, the heads of executive departments and agencies shall have a program in place to ensure that identification issued by their departments and agencies to Federal employees and contractors meets the Standard. As promptly as possible, but in no case later than 8 months after the date of promulgation of the Standard, the heads of executive departments and agencies shall, to the maximum extent practicable, require the use of identification by Federal employees and contractors that meets the Standard in gaining physical access to Federally controlled facilities and logical access to Federally controlled information systems. Departments and agencies shall implement this directive in a manner consistent with ongoing Government-wide activities, policies and guidance issued by OMB, which shall ensure compliance.
- Not later than 6 months following promulgation of the Standard, the heads of executive departments and agencies shall identify to the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and the Director of OMB those Federally controlled facilities, Federally controlled information systems, and other Federal applications that are important for security and for which use of the Standard in circumstances not covered by this directive should be considered. Not later than 7 months following the promulgation of the Standard, the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and the Director of OMB shall make recommendations to the President concerning possible use of the Standard for such additional Federal applications.
- This directive shall be implemented in a manner consistent with the Constitution and applicable laws, including the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a) and other statutes protecting the rights of Americans.
- Nothing in this directive alters, or impedes the ability to carry out, the authorities of the Federal departments and agencies to perform their responsibilities under law and consistent with applicable legal authorities and presidential guidance. This directive is intended only to improve the internal management of the executive branch of the Federal Government, and it is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, entities, officers, employees or agents, or any other person.
- The Assistant to the President for Homeland Security shall report to me not later than 7 months after the promulgation of the Standard on progress made to implement this directive, and shall thereafter report to me on such progress or any recommended changes from time to time as appropriate.
GEORGE W. BUSH
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The DHS Office of the Chief Security Officer (OCSO) is committed to protecting our workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic. To support social distancing requirements, OCSO is offering an alternate DHS credential known as a Derived Alternate Credential (DAC) to employees in lieu of a DHS Personal Identity Verification (PIV) credential so that personnel can still gain logical access to the DHS network without visiting a DHS Credentialing Facility (DCF). Personnel who obtain a DAC will have to get a DHS PIV Card later. Additional information can be found on the Security Information and Reference Materials page.
Additional information on DHS's Credentialing Program can be found on the Security Information and Reference Materials page.