OPM Behind the Power Curve in Standing up the National Background Investigations Bureau
Back in January of this year OPM announced that it was standing up of a new agency, the National Background Investigations Bureau (NBIB), which would take over conducting background investigations from OPM’s Federal Investigative Services by October 2016 as a part of security clearance processing reforms. On August 23, 2016 Senators Jon Tester and Claire McCaskill wrote a letter to OPM Director Beth Cobert expressing serious concerns about current national security background investigation backlogs and OPM’s ability to meet its own self-imposed milestones in standing up the NBIB.
Among the information requested in the inquiry are: proposed location of the new agency; projected number of employees; case management details; status update on current backlogs; and whether or not they will meet the October deadline. This latest inquiry from Capitol Hill is a follow up to a similar letter back in May which expressed similar concerns. Not much news has been released since March when OPM announced who the senior leadership of the new agency would be.
Meanwhile, new security clearance background investigations continue to take longer than ever to complete, leaving applicants and employers to bear the trickle down consequences. Additionally, according to statistics found at Performance.gov, clearance reinvestigation queues have more than doubled this fiscal year. As evidenced by the number of frustrated comments on this site from those who have submitted national security position applications and are in a holding pattern, processes are at an all-time low with no end in sight.