NEWS + ADVICE
New Entity Responsible for Security Clearance Investigations
A new federal entity titled the National Background Investigations Bureau (NBIB) will process security clearance investigations. This change was driven both by concerns in the wake of Snowden’s document release and Aaron Alexis’ shooting at the Navy Yard, as well as the OPM data hack that compromised over 20 million personnel files last year.
The NBIB will be located in the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and have the same responsibilities as the Federal Investigative Service (FIS). FIS currently has responsibility for about 95 percent of all security clearance investigations.
To leverage the Pentagon’s superior data handling and cybersecurity skills, the Defense Department will be responsible for developing, running and housing the new NBIB’s information technology systems.
The White House blog post announcing the changes noted:
“This approach will leverage DOD’s significant national security, IT and cybersecurity expertise, incorporating security into the fundamental design of the systems, strengthening the security of the data environment, and providing robust privacy protections.”
The Performance Accountability Council created in 2013 after the Aaron Alexis shooting at the Navy Yard will monitor NBIB’s performance.
This is intended to be a seamless transition, although no timeline was provided for when the changes will actually take place. In the announcement, the administration noted several of the efforts to improve security clearance determinations including the five-year reinvestigation requirement and reducing the number of cleared individuals by 17 percent in recent years, among others.
The impact these changes will have on you as a cleared professional remains to be seen. But let’s hope that a new entity, combined with DoD developing and running the IT systems, means a more efficient and a more secure security clearance process.
For full details, check out the White House blog post: