Security Clearance Functions Moving to Pentagon

During a hearing on the security clearance backlog in front of the House Armed Services Committee, Director for Defense Intelligence Gary Reid announced that the Department of Defense and Office of Personnel Management will merge their background investigation functions. The Defense Security Service will absorb OPM’s National Background Investigations Bureau, which was formed following the 2015 hack of OPM’s data.

According to DefenseOne’s Aaron Boyd, the merger will include moving 2,000 federal employees and a backlog of 600,000 cases by October 1st of next year.  He reports, “Reid said DSS and NBIB have begun to strategize on how the merger will take place but have yet to start the process, pending an executive order from the president.”

Reid and DSS Director Dan Payne, who also testified before the committee, hope that combining the physical and human resources of the two offices will help combat the security clearance backlog, which peaked at 725,000 investigations in April 2018.  70 percent of that caseload comes from the Department of Defense.

The merge will also include “automating and changing operational processes and procedures,” according to Payne, who expressed his commitment to minimizing disruption to the employees of both offices during the transition.

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