DHS Personnel Security Program Updates
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Personnel Security Program is run out of the Office of the Chief Security Officer (OCSO) and is one of the biggest after DoD, responsible for processing all types of investigations on federal employees and industry contractors for the various sub-components of DHS. The OCSO has recently taken steps to increase efficiencies and be more transparent in the personnel security process, probably as a result of previous Office of Inspector General reports identifying problem areas regarding duplication of efforts and a lack of uniformity.
Information on DHS security policies, procedures, and general reference information is now available on their website and is a great source for those contemplating applying for employment. The fact sheets are especially informative, for example, the “Expedited Entry on Duty for Contractors with Active Security Clearances” clearly outlines how an active security clearance holder can get hired on quickly. They even have an updated on-boarding step-by-step process implemented due to COVID-19 restrictions and the inability for some to get fingerprints or to a credential enrollment facility.
The one area I would like to see an improvement on is in the adjudication arena. DHS should be as transparent as the DoD and DOE with their appeals cases and publish case summaries and statistics annually. As I wrote in a previous post regarding alcohol abuse and the DOE, this would provide insight to industry and future security clearance applicants on what types of issues DHS is more likely to deny eligibility for access to classified information.