DoD Rolls Out “Lines of Effort” to Reduce Investigation Backlog
During a recent Defense Security Service webinar DoD policy experts acknowledged the National Background Investigations Bureau (NBIB) has made little or no progress to clear the current background investigation backlog inherited from OPM’s Federal Investigative Services. New approaches called “Lines of Effort (LoE)” are in the works. Here is a brief summary of these efforts:
- LoE #1 consists of improving end-to-end use of automation and continuous evaluation processes to drive efficiency, while at the same time, redesigning the vetting capabilities in the future.
- LoE #2 (called the Blue Sky Team) is a collaborative effort with a panel of security experts from government, think tanks and commercial industry to develop processes that would incorporate state of the art technology and use a more holistic approach to evaluating trustworthiness and behavior patterns.
- LoE #3 focuses on immediate actions using risk-based strategies to reduce the investigation backlog while mitigating the risk to national security.
While all of that sounds like a grand plan, what does it really mean? Here are latest numbers:
- Current backlog of investigations at NBIB is 714K (424K of which are DoD)
- Initial investigation completion (fastest 90%) is 324 days for Top Secret and 131 days for Secret
The whole situation reminds me of an old saying when cleaning house, “things gotta get worse before they get better.” On another note, I have previously posted that OPM has hired many new background investigators; there is now a surge in job announcements for adjudicators. Meanwhile, applicants and current clearance holders patiently play the waiting game.