With the initial transfer of the National Background Investigations Bureau to the Pentagon complete, defense officials say they can turn their attention toward both modernizing the security clearance process and better protecting critical IT systems among cleared industry providers.
The defense and intelligence communities are pivoting from the term “continuous evaluation” to a concept of “continuous vetting,” which the Defense Department and Office of the Director of National Intelligence said will shift the way they monitor and establish trust with federal employees and contractors.
The RAND Corporation estimated government could save as much as $27.8 billion over 25 years by enrolling more security clearances into a sophisticated continuous evaluation program.
The Trump administration is taking another small step to shift functions at the Office of Personnel Management to the General Services Administration.
Progress with the security clearance inventory has put pressure on the Defense Department’s Consolidated Adjudications Facility, which is realigning resources and personnel to work through its own backlog.
New policies aren’t official yet, but defense and intelligence officials say they’re designing the newly renamed Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency that’s positioned for a more modern era.
The House-passed 2020 defense authorization bill includes paid family leave for federal employees, as well as another legislative attempt to block the Trump administration’s proposed OPM-GSA merger.
GSA has issued a request for information to begin modernization of legacy mainframe hardware at the Office of Personnel Management. The RFI is part of GSA’s Centers of Excellence initiative, which both agencies have agreed to use to advance the merger.
In a letter to acting OPM Director Margaret Weichert, Sens. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) questioned why the administration didn’t warn Congress earlier about the agency’s coming financial challenges.
Industry leaders say up to 10% of their cleared intelligence community workforces are idle at any given time, because they’re waiting for agencies to grant, update or transfer a security clearance, according to the Intelligence and National Security Alliance.