DHS IG Report on Personnel Security Process
A May 2009 report, The DHS Personnel Security Process, issued by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) stated that:
“Department of Homeland Security personnel security offices are performing similar functions but use different policies throughout the personnel security process. Across the department, components strive to provide quality results in a timely manner but often are delayed by applicants, overwhelmed by customer service requests, restricted by database functions, and limited by information availability.”
The report made 20 recommendations to improve the Department of Homeland Security’s personnel security process, including some recommendations to consolidate security functions. As of November 2008 DHS was phasing in the use of a new department-wide web-based system to manage investigations and clearances to replace the 9 separate systems used by component agencies. Currently about half the components of DHS have authority to conduct their own clearance investigations. Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Custom Enforcement contract for background investigations with several private companies. US Coast Guard and DHS Headquarters use a mix of investigative services provided by contractors and the Office of Personnel Management. The Secret Service uses internal investigative resources.
The report also contained investigative and adjudicative elapse times by departmental components. For 2008 average investigative times ranged from 30 to 96 days and average adjudicative times ranged from 17 to 147 days.
Related Article: DHS to Streamline Security Clearance Process