The new bureau to handle security clearances, which is expected to launch Oct. 1, is looking for new technology systems and services across 12 functional areas to upgrade its current legacy IT.
The Defense Department issued a request for information (RFI) to industry outlining its initial plans to build a better, faster, more secure security clearance technology infrastructure.
“The National Background Investigation System (NBIS) is the all-encompassing IT applications, storage, security, services, operations, and support for the National Background Investigation Bureau (NBIB),” the RFI stated.
The NBIS says it plans to look at existing government systems and technology first, and then look for commercial systems and finally developing new government-specific systems.
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“NBIS project management office must establish an enterprise IT enclave that enables business process reengineering, including modular system development to accommodate changes in data requirements, advanced security protections to safeguard data, enables broad shared services to maximize investments, and not only meets the needs of the end users, but also connects those users to the process,” the RFI stated.
Jim Onusko, transition leader of the NBIB, said at the INSA AFCEA National Security Summit on Sept. 7 that his office is working closely with the DoD.
“DoD will be building, maintaining and protecting the IT infrastructure of the NBIB. That’s huge. That’s their core competency,” Onusko said. “We will inform them as the business sponsor for the business requirements of a new IT system that is conducive to automation and digitization. And they will build that out.”
Onusko said the NBIB will meet initial operating capability on Oct. 1 and then with the help of DoD build out the infrastructure over time.
That long-term plan is focused on 12 functional IT areas.
Additionally, DISA will run the virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) for all NBIS employees and the data center operations. DISA and the Joint Force Headquarters-DoD Information Networks (JFHQ-DoDIN) will provide the cybersecurity services, including the end-to-end situational awareness and command and control.
DISA plans to hold one-on-one sessions with interested vendors. Responses to the RFI are due Sept. 23.
While DISA develops the acquisition strategy and begins prototyping different capabilities, the NBIB will depend on the legacy systems run by the Federal Investigations Service.
In a letter to Sens. John Tester (D-Mont.) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), the Office of Personnel Management said it will “continue to use the revolving fund to maintain the legacy IT environment and provide the enhancements necessary to continue to operate securely and provide quality investigation products.”
OPM told the lawmakers that its digital transformation strategy includes long-term and short-term IT improvements around end-user services such as laptops and mobile devices, and security enhancements.
“The goal of the NBIB IT function is to provide a single point of coordination with DoD and within OPM as both the short and long term NBIB technology needs are identified,” OPM stated.