NBIB’s First Announcement: Clearance Investigation Costs Will Rise
Last month I wrote about the lack of information coming out of OPM about the new National Background Investigations Bureau (NBIB) regarding the details of when they will take over conducting background investigations from OPM’s Federal Investigation Services. Lo and behold, in a story posted this week on Federal News Radio, Jim Onusko, NBIB’s transition leader, made his first announcement: the costs of investigations will go up for the next few years! Surprised?
No details were provided as to what investigative products causes the prices to go up, only that the NBIB will award a contractor to support investigations to help reduce the huge backlog of periodic reinvestigations that was a result of USIS getting canned, the OPM security breach, and reinvestigation timelines changed from 10 years to 5 years for Secret clearance holders. Onusko infers that increasing the costs of investigations will allow the NBIB to hire more investigative service providers which will decrease the time it takes to get the finished product. He also stated that the prices will reflect recent and future changes to federal investigative standards.
In my mind, the whole transition process in standing up the NBIB has been less than stellar and lacking in transparency. Despite two inquiries from Senate members asking OPM to provide some details of the transition plan, the lack of information or communication has continued. Meanwhile, the security clearance process is bogged down, investigators are getting burnt out, and applicants are having to find other employment opportunities because they cannot get even an interim security clearance in a reasonable amount of time. Stay tuned…………