New and developing requirements from the USDA and ARS Homeland Security units regarding visitor tracking and accountability have necessitated the Beltsville Location to develop new procedures that not only ensure compliance, but provide a more reliable and confident means of controlling non-employee movement throughout BA facilities. The Beltsville Security Advisory Committee has met extensively to develop a visitor policy that is not only effective in meeting these mandates, but stresses common sense in terms of compliance and implementation, particularly with the open campus environment found at BARC.
For the purpose of these new procedures, a short-term visitor (U.S. citizen or non-citizen) is defined as an individual who does not have a USDA photo identification card and is provided short-term access to BA facilities for the purpose of tours, workshops, meetings, etc. for a period of 2 weeks or less.
The reporting and accountability requirements for non-citizen visitors as detailed in the Area Director's memorandum of January 15, 2003, to all Beltsville Location employees remains unchanged.The following locations will serve as visitor check-in/out locations for the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center:
- Building 003 lobby desk for all visitors to BARC-West
- Building 426 front desk in the E&P section for all visitors to BARC-East, APU and contractor personnel
- Building 307C BHNRC Main Office
The receptionist desk in the Administration Building will serve as the visitor check-in/out location for the U.S. National Arboretum.
- All short-term visitors are required to sign-in and receive a visitor's badge prior to gaining admittance into any building. The sponsoring individual or unit must ensure this requirement is satisfied.
- All visitors must wear their visitor's badge, clearly visible, at all times while on site.
- Any visitor at BARC for a period of 2 weeks or less must sign-in and obtain a visitor's badge each day.
- Visitors that will remain at BARC for a period greater than 2 weeks, such as contractor's employees, postdocs, graduate, undergraduate and high-school students, visiting scientists, volunteers, collaborators, etc., must obtain the appropriate paperwork from their sponsoring employee and obtain a temporary photo identification badge from the George Washington Carver Center (GWCC) Photo ID Section. Once this photo identification badge is obtained, the visitor sign-in/out requirements are no longer required for that individual. The hours of operation for the GWCC Photo ID Section are from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays only. The telephone number is 504-2415.
- Short-term visitors are to be escorted at all times, within reason, by the sponsoring employee or their designate. Common sense is the primary factor when an escort is required. Short-term visitors are not authorized to serve as an escort at any time.
- Visitor hours at BARC are from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. The visitor check-in locations will only service visitors during this time frame.
- If the visitor leaves after regular hours, the escort is to see the visitor outside of the building, retrieve the visitor badge, and note the time the visitor left. The escort or sponsoring employee is then to return the badge to where it was issued the next business day and make sure the time out is written in the correct log.
- The specific employee, lab, or unit that is hosting or sponsoring a conference, lecture, or other meetings during regular hours, is responsible to inform attendees that they must sign-in and receive a visitor's badge prior to attending the event. It is recommended to locate such events where sign-in locations exist, such as Buildings 003, 307C, or 426. For events that must be conducted after hours in any facility space such as Building 005, 011A, or other area, a sign-in log can be provided with the appropriate number of visitor badges. Call 504-0147 to make the proper arrangements. Escorting of all visitors is required. Using the above referenced buildings during regular hours can reduce the burden of the sponsor of coordinating the signing in and badging of guests.
- Visitors to the National Arboretum are not required to sign-in and obtain a visitor's badge unless they have business beyond the lobby or restrooms of the Administration Building or they are attending a special function or event after regular business hours. In this case, the sponsoring employee or unit is responsible for signing in/out and badging all event attendees.
- ARS response to an elevated Homeland Security Advisory Condition may restrict access to BA facilities to essential personnel only. Notification with appropriate instructions will be sent out if and when this condition is put into effect. Revocable permits for use of the facility will reflect these requirements.