Security Clearance Process

New Contract Seeks to Streamline Defense Department Security Clearance Process

A $39 million task order contract awarded this week to CACI International Inc. includes software engineering and integration services for the Defense Logistics Agency’s security clearance process.

Dan Allen, CACI President of U.S. Operations, said, “With this new task order to support the Department of Defense, CACI will directly enhance the nation’s ability to ensure that only the highest quality professionals receive security clearances. Our direct experience in building advanced interoperable and modular systems for the federal government makes us an excellent choice for this important work.”

The new contract is for a seven-month base period with nine option periods of varying lengths. CACI will provide a service-oriented architecture solution to the security-clearance process, with the goal of increasing timeliness and efficiency.

It will be a work worth following in the coming months and comes on the heels of several efforts to increase the speed and efficiency of the clearance process in the face of some harsh assessments.

Comment Archive

  1. Avatar

    No computer can replace wasted time in the field–money well spent????

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    I hope CACI hires people knowledgable about the process. I can tell them a zillion ways to streamline it, starting with OPM not accepting case papers that are filled out incorrectly…

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    CACI is digging its claws into OPM. Smart move – lots of money to be made. First, in 12/2010 they were named 1 of only 3 contractors allowed to conduct OPM fieldwork; that’s 1 of 3 shares of $2.5 billion over the next five years. Now they are chipping away with task orders.

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    Hey Gang,

    I’m back. I decided to keep a sub contract to make some extra cash. I’m like the Jay Z of the investigating world or if you’d like the George Foreman–you just can’t get rid of me 🙂

  5. Avatar

    Welcome back Cotter!

  6. Avatar

    Perhaps CACI will assist in making clearance crossovers (ex. from DoD to DIA) more prompt! It is amazing how some of my friends have TS/SCI, however have to wait up to 3 months to have their clearance “accepted” by OGA.

  7. Avatar


    Did you mean to say that CACI/KGS/USIS’s contract awards were all for the same amount?

    Also, for anyone who may know, what exactly does “service-oriented architecture solution to the security-clearance process, with the goal of increasing timeliness and efficiency” mean in lay terms?


  8. Avatar

    anyone agree?

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    Very Special Investigator –

    I don’t know the breakdown of the award between the 3 companies (it must be a damn secret because I haven’t been able to find out), but to be 1 of only 3 companies on such a huge contract has got to be pretty damn lucrative.

    As far as CACI’s new task order described above, I wonder if they are finally going to create a program to replace PIPS. I never expected to see, let alone work with, DOS again after I finished high school. Booting up with those gigantic floppy disks…it all seems so silly now.

    As to what your quoted statement actually means, I have no idea.

  10. Avatar

    BW –

    Welcome back. I think some of your luck rubbed off on me because I found a new gig, too. I won’t be contracting part-time; I need to preserve my sanity.

  11. Avatar

    I work for USIS. I can definitely state that according to one of our team leaders in our (former) district office, that we lost 6% of the contract. She stated it was because of timeliness issues on PRT cases which explains the very harsh timeliness crackdown on those cases in the last few months.

  12. Avatar

    @Very Special Investigator

    A “service oriented architecture” is a fancy way of saying “software program” – as to what specifically it will look like I wasn’t able to find any details on that. What it did say is that it would improve timeliness and efficiency. But if they were able to get a contract that vague, power to them. A SOA is often used in complex systems to help different systems “talk” to each other. The way I see it the contract is likely to develop a software solution to bring together some of the antiquated and incompatible systems…perhaps it will help with reciprocity issues…perhaps it has nothing to do with that.

    Someone who knows more, please feel free to enlighten me. And if you need some help going to bed tonight you can read this wikipedia article about SOAs:

  13. Avatar

    Blues Clues (Congrats)

    Share with us when you can. I am focused on my DoD project, but will knock-out a few records here-and-there for extra cash. I am not working any full cases, simply have no time. I’ll tell ya, getting use to an office environment after 8.5 years is a bit tough. Other than that, at 1630 I’m done and nothing staring me in the face at home.

  14. Avatar

    I am a vet and am trying to start a new career as a contractor does anyone know a good company or a website that can help me? I tried doing other jobs and attending school but I just don’t fit in I need to be with my people my brothers and sisters in arms. I would prefer to head to Afghanistan or something of that nature. If anyone can help it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

  15. Avatar

    SOA is a way to divide a large software application into small special purpose and re-usable mini applications (services). A fairly complex software infrastructure which provides tools that application can use to find and re-use these services. For example one service might go out to one or all of the three major background investigation financial record companies (Experian etc.), supply identifying information (name, address, SSN etc.) and get a financial check on an individual. Other programs which need to get this information could invoke this service and get the data without having to write code to do this.

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    BW –

    “…and nothing staring me in the face at home” is exactly when I am looking forward to!

  17. Avatar

    Yes USIS screwed up when they started giving unrealistic deadlines for all case types and investigators did not focus on PRT cases. Basically all cases were PRT cases in USIS eyes. Management can only blame themselves. Now we are realigning our company and good people are losing there jobs. They keep saying change is good but the kind of change we are going through right now sucks.

  18. Avatar

    “Perhaps CACI will assist in making clearance crossovers (ex. from DoD to DIA) more prompt! It is amazing how some of my friends have TS/SCI, however have to wait up to 3 months to have their clearance “accepted” by OGA”

    So much for SCI reciprosity?

  19. Avatar


    I’m fuzzy on the reciprocity rules, but I think that each agency has the option to re-adjudicate (i.e. the basic investigation and/or whatever riders are necessary for the new job, such as SCI). I believe that agencies can re-adjudicate as they see fit as not all agencies have the same adjudication rules (they are all supposed to use the 13 federal adjudicative ‘guidelines,’ but agencies apply them differently). The intel agencies and the 3 letters agencies seem to have higher decline rates.

  20. Avatar


    They have worked the OPM contract the same way the whole time – money, money and more money. The case assignment strategies that have come and gone were all developed to do one thing: make the most money the fastest – and right away. Absolutely no foresight! This is where life experience comes in; a huge portion of the management staff are in their 20’s.

    Why did they hang on to so many district offices and DMs for so long when CACI and KGS run all of their OPM work from one national office each? Way too much overhead!

  21. Avatar

    Blue’s Clues,

    Thanks for the reply! I agree, the 13 adjudicative guidlines SHOULD be incorporated for all investigations, however when you speak of DIA and other three letter agencies want to bring on board persons with active TS/SCI (whether adjudicated by Army CCF or DIA), I believe they need to do their own “check” of the persons last SSBI and SF86. If nothing major has changed during that time period, people should be good to go. I am telling a friend of mine that they are NOT doing another SSBI, however are confirming their SSBI to meet their (three letter agencies)SCI standards. For example, while Army CCF might not care if your sister is maried to a non-US citizen, NSA may have a problem with that.

  22. Avatar


    Also, certain agencies require that extra coverage be obtained; it typically depends on the position type. OPM offers multiple extra coverage options including law enforcement position and astronaut position. Extra coverage typically involves additional lines of questioning. If someone already has a clearance without extra coverage but the gaining agency requires extra coverage, the gaining agency can opt for a brand new investigation that meets their standards. You can’t go out and just get extra coverage to supplement an old (although still current) investigation.

    There are many variables at play dependent on a specific individual’s situation.

  23. Avatar

    That is a good question. It did take management spending who knows how much money to bring in consultants to determine there was too much overhead. We as investigators have always said that management just cared about making money and not providing a thorough and complete ROI for adjudicators and or security officers. They always denied it but it looks like since USIS lost 6% of the contract it cost them. I am all for getting rid of overhead but some of the people they are getting rid of they should not and vice versa. One interesting thing I learned is 3 upper level managers all resigned at the same time and it is fact two of them went over to KGS and it is rumored the other one did too. It think these 3 upper level managers were buddy buddy with the CEO who was ousted at the beginning of December. With the old CEO out and a new CEO in they were not going to be able to do basically nothing and get paid for it. I am not upset these three left.

  24. Avatar

    First BW, I’m going to send you some typing so you have something to do at night. Secondly, to my fellow investigators, I’m going to be holding a clinic on the use of ‘there,’ ‘they’re’ and ‘their.’


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    Blue’s Clues,

    Excellent points indeed.

  26. Avatar

    USIS is a company that one would have stopped evolving. They are the perfect example of “ready, shoot, aim”. Aside from this latest round of housekeeping, I’ve never understood many of the procedures that have gotten implemented over the years. As we speak, they are having major contractor revolt due to the AIMS system. I know of at least three long term contractors that have bailed for other companies because that system is a disaster for contractors.

  27. Avatar


    Trust me, it’s a total disaster for ALL investigators – contractors, part-timers and full-timers alike. Word on the street is they didn’t want to pay for professional software developed to do exactly what was needed; instead they developed the current system in house.

  28. Avatar


    I agree that some of the folks who have unfortunately lost their jobs were worthy of remaining with the company; others…not so much.

    I don’t understand why DMs, TLs and WLLs are not allowed to go to the field (if they wanted to) in their home districts. Word is if they want to go to the field they can only apply to posted positions and must compete with all other internal and external applicants. Relocation (at their own expense) might be required. Do we really have so many people in the affected group that it would be that difficult simply to allow them to go to the field in their home districts? I think not.

  29. Avatar

    An interesting fact about AIM, the creator of it left USIS in December of 2011. Also we have been told flat out by upper management in our area before they left that AIM sucks and they know it sucks but it is what we have right now and we have to deal with it.

  30. Avatar

    Someone I know just had to fill out an old-school SF-86 BY HAND! So, there’s definitely some crazy things still happening in the clearance world…

  31. Avatar


    As I see it, CACI’s DOD contract to modernize IT systems for security clearance purposes will have no effect on clearance reciprocity. Reciprocity is a policy and policy enforcement problem. OMB has repeatedly laid out detailed rules for clearance reciprocity, including SCI and other SAPS. The problem has been enforcement. It appears that OMB has no way of checking on compliance. This may change now that ODNI must provide an annual report to Congress regarding reciprocity statistics.

    In July 2010 DSS completed its transfer of responsibility for DOD Personnel Security IT Systems to the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC). DMDC is now responsible for the Defense Central Index of Investigations (DCII), the Joint Personnel Adjudication System (JPAS), the Secure Web Fingerprint Transmission (SWFT), and the improved Investigative Records Repository (iIRR). These systems will eventually be integrated into the Defense Information Systems for Security (DISS) along with the Industrial Security Facility Database (ISFD) and Educational Network Registration and On-Line Learning (ENROL). DISS also provides Automated Records Check (ARC) and eAdjudication functionality and will become the single point of entry for DOD personnel security.

    I suspect that under this new contract CACI will be involved in integrating all these separate systems into DISS, which will cover about 87% of all security clearances. But DISS will only be 1 of 3 IT components of the security clearance process for DOD. The other 2 separate systems are the ones used by the people conducting the investigations and the people at the Central Adjudication facilities. Then there’s the remaining 13% of security clearances that won’t be covered under DISS.

  32. Avatar


    I’m sorry to say that I can’t provide any specific information; I have no knowledge of the overseas contractor gigs. You might start by checking out the posted positions with the big name defense contractors. Also, don’t rule out the possibility of a federal job overseas; as a vet you have hiring preference – use it!

    If you really have no idea where to begin, try googling something like ‘overseas defense contractor jobs’; you might run across a few recent news articles or corporate press releases that are of interest to you. Also, try googling around for blogs that discuss similar job interests…it’s a good way to network.

    As far as federal jobs, check out

    I know this isn’t much, but I hope this helps you find a place to begin. Good luck and thank you for your service.

  33. Avatar


    A few 3 digits still use handwritten in some instances.

  34. Avatar


    Try starting by joining SOCNET. There is a wealth of info there, but follow the rules of the site to a tee.

  35. Avatar


    Don’t have time–I’m wasting it typing on this board 🙂

  36. Avatar

    Bsd BW, no doughnut.

  37. Avatar

    I am wondering if KGS is going to throw their hat into the OS rebid ring since the USIS PM for the OS contract left unexpectedly to go to KGS.

  38. Avatar

    Does anyone have an idea of the time from for a DoD TS/SCI to crossover to DIA? I’ve heard it can take up to 2 months?

  39. Avatar


    We have loads of overseas contracting jobs with a variety of companies. Check out this link:

    Also, search “overseas” at and for a variety of articles and videos with tips and information.

    With troop levels going down in Iraq and Afghanistan new contract positions are opening up. Highlight your prior military experience and good luck finding a good fit!

  40. Avatar

    I’m a retired E-7 from the Army. Did every job in the Military Police to include Provost Sgt/Provost Marshall, translator, investigator,customs inspector. I’m 65 years old but still able to work. I have been looking for a job in in my field. I also worked for a University Police Dpt for almos 10 years after retirement and set up a security facility which is used to train first responders for FEMA/HOMELAND SECURITY.

  41. Avatar

    So what’s new with everyone?

  42. Avatar

    I met some new friends at Band Camp.

  43. Avatar

    What instrument do you play?


  44. Avatar


  45. Avatar

    I’ve never heard that insrtument before!

    Welp, another Saturday shot to hell working. I’m up to my ears in priority linquist cases, ugh, when will the madness end? These cases are going to be the end of me.

  46. Avatar

    I’m waiting for the day this site has headlines like “New SF86 Asks Thorough But Common-sense Questions In An Easy-To-Fill-Out Manner” or “100% Of All Reinvestigations Last Year Only Covered Period Since Last Investigation” or “Handwritten SF86s Determined To Violate International Laws Against Torture”.

    And while I’m at it I’d like a unicorn.

  47. Avatar

    Jane, I’m with you!

  48. Avatar

    Quick Question,

    I was contracting in Kuwait with a secret clearance, for numerous reasons i woke up one day and didnt want to work there any more. I went to the airport, bought a plane ticket and came back to the states. The company filled an incident report in my JPAS file. I was put in a LOJ status. Now i have a new job offer and i need my secret clearance. The new company put in a RRU. Should I be worried and will DISCO do a full investigation again?

  49. Avatar

    I hear they are going to make us take notes with our weak hands in the near future.

  50. Avatar

    I remember when they were talking about making use those computer tablets you can write on. could you even imagine?

  51. Avatar

    As a follow up to the 7 Oct 11 post titled: “Security Clearance Isn’t an Unalienable Right,” a US District Court dismissed the lawsuit brought by Mahmoud M. Hegab, the former NGA budget analyst who lost his clearance and his job because of his wife’s activities with an Islamic faith-based organization. The judge cited that Egan v. Navy precluded any review of the merits of a security clearance determination.

    I suspect that Hegab’s attorney, Sheldon Cohen, was expecting this and is prepared to pursue this matter further.

  52. Avatar

    My two cents from just beginning this field of work: stop allowing recruiters to fill out questionnaires for their recruits.

  53. Avatar


    You are new, so you have no say so 🙂 Kidding; I think I know you!!!

  54. Avatar


    I remember the genius idea. One thing they never thought of is: Those tablets are not authorized to be in about 75% of the places we frequent. Alot of time was wasted on that idea.

  55. Avatar

    Whatever happended to the rumor that RESI’s were going away?

    I miss that wishful thinking.

  56. Avatar

    Resi’s are pretty ridiculous. Either the neighbors love the person, don’t know the person or, if they have derogatory info to share, they want to be a protected source so we can’t really use their testimony anyway… I had a case once where BOTH neighbors were protected sources. Spent many hours with them (literally) getting a ton of really good information, only a little of which could be substantiated through other means. Since they were protected, I had to go get two OTHER neighbors, who barely knew the person and couldn’t really tell me anything, to complete my case. So, so stupid!

  57. Avatar

    I am currently waiting on a top secret security clearance (has been about 5 months now). In the interim, I started a job with a consulting company. As part of the job, I was asked to fill out an sf-85 (non-sensitive background check). Will this affect my sf-86/top secret clearance process?

    Please advise!

  58. Avatar

    These testimonies mean little. We do nothing but gather opinions–you know the old saying.

  59. Avatar

    I knew it was too quite!

    Hooray for ridiculous new policy!

  60. Avatar

    What are everyone’s thoughts on OPM’s new reference policy?

  61. Avatar

    I was wondering what Fed was referring to. Now I know.


  62. Avatar

    These cases are never going to close now…

  63. Avatar

    Subs should be excited–it’s easy money. FTE’s equally as happy as metrics will be easier.

  64. Avatar

    Hi All –

    I was surprised to see the new sources requirement – i.e. investigators can no longer use an employment source with developed/listed social contact to cover both social AND employment coverage requirements. With the big push toward quicker turnaround times, this seems like a step backward.

  65. Avatar

    OPM’s new social reference policy = more work and more hassle on top of existing backbreaking work and hassle.

  66. Avatar


    No, your public trust (SF-85-P) investigation will not impact your TS (SF-86) investigation. They are different investigation types and are independently conducted.

  67. Avatar

    BW –

    Metrics will get a bit of a boost from the extra, unnecessary sources but it will put a further strain on ACDs.

  68. Avatar

    I told you all it was too quiet!


  69. Avatar

    The main problem I see with the new guidelines, being in the DC area, many people only socialize with people at work and in their neighborhoods. When someone has an hour-long commute each way, there is just not a whole lot of time left in the day. I can foresee OPM is going to end up with an extra neighbor or an extra co-worker for social coverage.

  70. Avatar


    Turn the lights back off 🙂

  71. Avatar


    ACD’s are no more than an internal date for a money grab. They will push them again soon.

  72. Avatar

    Lights are back off, BW.

    For sure.