NBIB Hiring More Background Investigators to Help Clear Up Backlog
The National Background Investigations Bureau (NBIB) conducts approximately 95% of the background investigations for the Federal Government, and also handles portions of investigations (e.g., NACs, FBI fingerprint checks) for agencies that run their own investigations. In 2016 the NBIB had a total investigator workforce of 5,843 (federal and contractor investigators) and have since increased it to 7,697. In a recent presentation to security professionals, NBIB indicated that by October of this year they plan to top out and have 8,500 investigators on the street chipping away at the 700,000 plus investigation backlog. Keep in mind, this backlog is not just security clearance investigations, but includes all tiered investigations needed for eligibility for badged access to government assets, suitability for appointment to a federal position, or fitness eligibility to work on behalf of the government on a Federal contract.
With the three year phased transition plan for the DoD portion of the workload to move over to the Defense Security Service (DSS) starting in FY 2019, NBIB projects the number of investigations (including periodic reinvestigations) they will be responsible for will drop from 2.4 million to 1.2 million per year. DSS will initially take over all DoD NACs and T3R investigations in the first phase. One can only assume, based on the increased number of investigators and the lighter workload, that timelines for closing investigations will be substantially shorter. Of course this will not happen overnight, but if all goes as planned then security clearance applicants can finally breathe a sigh of relief and have hope their background investigation will be done in a reasonable period of time.