Agencies using HSPD-12 as ‘glorified ID cards’

Gregory Wilshusen, Director of Information Security, GAO

wfedstaff | June 4, 2015 12:00 pm

The ID card hanging around your neck isn’t living up to its potential. The Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD-12) cards allow secure entry into federal facilities.

But some agencies have not used the cards to their full potential, treating them more like “glorified ID cards,” said Gregory Wilshusen, director of Information Security Issues at the Government Accountability Office, in an interview with In Depth with Francis Rose.

Wilshusen is also the author of a recent GAO report on agencies’ use of HSPD-12.

The card has personal identity verification (PIV) credentials based on a chip embedded inside.


GAO also found that agencies have not always set up a system for tracking the cards for contractors, particularly when new contractrs are issued and when contractors’ terms of service end.

The watchdog agency recommended that nine agencies, including the Office of Management and Budget, make greater efforts to implement the PIV capability.