Editor's note: The following selection is repeated - verbatim - from an ongoing "Ask the Administrator" dialog with Mike Griffin, located on InsideNASA, and can be viewed by anyone at NASA:
Question(s): If we are suppose to be oneNASA, including our contractors, why do contractors have to go through a special badging process every time they go to another NASA Center other than their home Center? They folks are key to our survival, yet we issue them visitor badges?! After all, they are wearing badges clearly marked with NASA and their home Center. That should be good enough. From:Robin Land,Langley Research Center
Response (on 06-Apr-2007): Answered by David Saleeba, Assistant Administrator for Security and Program Protection. NASA has over 80,000 contractors. The vast majority of contract employees only work at and/or require access to one center. Any contractor who now needs access to a center other than where he or she is badged, requires civil servant sponsorship at the new center, and thus, a visitors badge. The requirement or restriction now in place is largely based on the wishes of each center and concurrence of my office. Centers do not want contractors from another center to come on-center undeclared. We are working the issue of contractors needing access on a regular basis to multiple centers. The numbers are very few and we have procedures to accommodate these contractors.
We are currently reviewing policies and procedures based on Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD-12) that may allow contractors the same level of access at all centers as our NASA civil servants. Technology will eventually allow appropriate access thru the smartcard badge once we transition everyone in the next few years.