DC Security Clearance Consultants

HSPD-12 Adjudications

Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12: Policy for a Common Identification Standard for Federal Employees and Contractors

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.

SF-85 form

HSPD-12 calls for a mandatory, government-wide standard for secure and reliable forms of identification issued by the federal government to its employees and to the employees of federal contractors. The implementation of this Standard will ensure the identification for government employees and contractors is reliable and secure. The Office of Management and Budget was directed to oversee agency implementation. Agencies must ensure consistency with existing privacy and security law and policies to ensure employee and contractor information is protected and appropriately used.

CAC card
Common Access Card (CAC)

Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD- 12) ensures that personnel who are issued Common Access Cards (CACs) do not pose an unacceptable risk to the Federal Government. Only individuals whose identity can be verified, and who do not pose an unacceptable risk, may be issued a CAC. Individuals must not pose an unacceptable risk to the life, safety, or health of employees, contractors, vendors, or visitors; DoD’s physical assets or information systems; personal property; records, including classified, privileged, proprietary, financial, or medical records; or the privacy of data subjects.

HSPD-12 adjudications determine who may be issued credentials for physical access to DoD-controlled facilities or access to DoD controlled information systems. Homeland Security Presidential Directive, or HSPD, 12 Adjudications seek to ensure that personnel who receive HSPD-12 credentials:

  • Are not known or suspected terrorists and do not provide an avenue for terrorism.
  • Do not pose an unacceptable risk to the life, safety or health of employees, contractors, vendors and visitors.

To this end, and to ensure the CAC is a trusted credential for use within the DoD and across the federal government, the issuance of a CAC is based on four main criteria: eligibility, verification of DoD affiliation, completion of background vetting requirements and verification of claimed identity. HSPD-12 adjudication is based on a type of investigation called a National Agency Check with Inquiries or NACI or on an employment or national security background investigation at an equivalent level.


National Agency Check and Inquiries (NACI)

Requests for investigation are submitted with the SF 85 (Questionnaire for Non Sensitive Positions) Minimum investigation required for non-sensitive/low risk positions.  Coverage includes:

  • Employment/self-employment/unemployment coverage (5 years inquiry)
  • Education (5 years highest degree – Inquiry)
  • Residence (3 years – inquiry)
  • Reference contacts
  • Law enforcement checks (5 years- Inquiry)
  • National agency checks -- access to previous federal investigations through:

All personnel are issued CACs.


HSPD-12 Adjudications - DOD HSPD-12 CAC Credentialing

HSPD-12 Basic Standards:

  1. Terrorism
  2. Problems with identity verification
  3. Fraudulent identity verification
  4. Unauthorized access concerns
  5. Unlawful or inappropriate use of identity credentials
  6. Unlawful, unauthorized, inappropriate use, modification, corruption or destruction of federally-controlled information systems.

HSPD-12 Supplemental Standards:

  1. Misconduct or negligence in employment
  2. Criminal or dishonest conduct
  3. Material, intentional false statement, deception or fraud in connection with federal or contract employment
  4. Alcohol abuse
  5. Drug use
  6. Statutory or regulatory bar
  7. Treasonous acts or activities

HSPD-12 Adjudications determine who may be issued credentials for physical access to DOD-controlled facilities or access to DOD-controlled information systems.