Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12, or HSPD-12, was issued by President George W. Bush in August of 2004. HSPD-12 calls for common identification standards for federal employees and contractors.
"...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)."
HSPD-12 calls on executive branch departments and agencies to ensure that their organizations meet those standards. HSPD-12 requires agencies to follow specific technical standards and business processes for the issuance and routine use of Federal Personal Identity Verification (PIV) smartcard credentials including a standardized background investigation to verify employees’ and contractors’ identities. Specific benefits of the standardized credentials required by HSPD-12 include secure access to federal facilities and disaster response sites, as well as multi-factor authentication, digital signature and encryption capabilities.
In 2011, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued OMB Memorandum 11-11, which calls on agencies to accelerate their adoption of PIV credentials, the enablement of applications to use those credentials, and the upgrading of existing physical and logical access control systems to use those credentials.