Bureau of Engraving and Printing

Background

Many people who have taken their children on a tour of Washington DC have visited the Bureau of Engraving and Printing to watch newly printed money rolling off the presses. The Bureau is the largest producer of security documents in the United States, printing billions of Federal Reserve Notes as well as postage stamps for the United States Postal Service.

Scenario

In the last couple of years, the Bureau has moved from using standard paper and pencil tests to online, electronic assessments. As a result, employees are now able to take online assessment in Security Awareness and, in the near future, in Office of Procurement.

The first security awareness assessment addresses Internet security. In the past, BEP employees attended a live class on Internet security as an informational reminder about the care employees should take when interacting over the web. However, none were tested afterwards because of the difficulty and expense of assessing what 2700 employees had learned using a manual test.

Now, however, the department is moving its courses and assessments into the 21st century, digitizing everything. As a result, instead of spending a day in the classroom, individual employees can download a PowerPoint presentation or PDF file on Internet security and then take a ten-question, true/false online assessment. Employees receive an e-mail that provides a link to the site where they can access the content and then take the assessment.

The Bureau chose Questionmark for these assessments because it enables the Bureau to schedule the exams, grade them, and then report who took and passed the course – all automatically.

According to John Bilinski, an application developer at the Bureau, using online assessments made the process much faster and easier for the department’s managers, and it assures that everyone has read the material and taken the test.

“Now all the managers have to do is print out reports,” he said. “It’s a lot faster and more efficient."

Results

Employees at the Bureau who take the assessments from their own computer say that the tests are fast and easy to take. Bilinski appreciated the fact that while Questionmark stores the users’ IDs in its database, the Bureau authenticates the names from its own active directory, thereby eliminating any security risks. However, since the BEP must constantly update Questionmark's database as people change jobs and even their names, Bilinski is considering using Questionmark's LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) authentication product that makes it possible to verify assessment participants against centralized directories. The Bureau is still evaluating that approach.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed are those of John Bilinski and do not represent the opinions of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, the Department of the Treasury or the United States of America.