The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is slowly rolling out a new online background investigation application form.
eApp will eventually replace the Electronic Questionnaires for Investigations Processing (e-QIP) system, the current interface potential clearance holders use to fill out the standard forms needed to begin the background investigation process.
DISA and the National Background Investigations Bureau (NBIB) began testing for the new eApp system last fall, but the agency officially unveiled the new interface at the AFCEA Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium in May.
DISA expects it will roll out eApp sometime in coming months after about 1,000 Army users conduct a usability test of the new system, Raju Shah, NBIS program manager said Friday in a release.
The new application form should resolve some of the frustrations users currently have with eQIP. For example, the application is divided into 10 main sections, which users can jump back and forth between using the navigation bar.
Each of the 10 sections are split into individual sub-sections, where questions are organized and displayed on a single page. In the past, e-QIP users had to click through several pages to answer questions related to one topics.
When users add in an address, the new system automatically cross-checks their entries with the U.S. Postal Service and its databases.
In addition, the new eApp will prompt users to review their answers before moving on to any of the other main sections. The new system will also include an auto-save option.
Updating the e-QIP and clearance application is just one of several projects DISA and the NBIS are working on in effort to improve the governmentwide security clearance process.
DISA has spent the past few years building a new, comprehensive IT system for governmentwide background investigations. Former President Barack Obama charged DISA back in 2016 to design, build, secure and operate an IT system for the Office of Personnel Management’s newly formed National Background Investigations Bureau.
DISA has also been leading the Pentagon’s implementation and expansion of continuous evaluation program. The Defense Department sees continuous evaluation as a key component to modernizing the security clearance process while whittling down the current backlog of more than 700,000 pending background investigations.
Defense officials have already touted continuous evaluation’s role in the upcoming transfer of DoD-related personnel clearances from NBIB and OPM back to the Pentagon. DoD has said it expects to begin its three-year plan to transfer those clearances later in October.
DoD’s role in the governmentwide security clearance process may expand further. As Federal News Radio and the Associated Press have previously reported, the Defense Department is poised to assume responsibility for entire federal background investigation portfolio.