The Department of Defense and the Office of Personnel Management will merge 2 offices and move 2,000 federal employees and more than 600,000 security clearances cases. The new office will be established under the Defense Security Service by October 1, 2019. The office will absorb the National Background Investigations Bureau.
NBIB was created to handle most background investigations and DoD built secure infrastructure to maintain those operations, called the National Background Investigations Services System.
The backlog hit a peak of 725,000 in April 2018, so Congress ordered NBIB to transfer investigations to DSS rather than split the work between the 2 agencies.
“We were working through the process of splitting out of an enterprise and there’s risk associated with that,” Director for Defense Intelligence Garry Reid said. “This is actually much more streamlined for us from an efficiency standpoint.”
The Defense Department makes up 70% of the clearance caseload.
The 2 offices are working on details on how to best utilize physical and human resources, but have yet to start the process, pending an executive order from the President.
“Below the sr. staff levels, I know that employees at both agencies are concerned about their jobs, their duty locations, their change in command,” DSS Director Dan Payne said. “I am committed to minimizing the disruption to both field workforces—the people on the ground doing the work and accomplishing our mission…We are integrating 2 organizations into DSS while simultaneously automating and changing operational processes and procedures. Everyone at this table recognizes these complexities and are resolute in ensuring it is done successfully.”