OPM has a Fire and Forget Mentality
As an add-on to the article “DSS Looks to push through the Security Clearance Investigations Backlog” posted by Lindy Kyzer on our main site, here are a few other reasons why some background investigations are moving at slower than a snail’s pace. Back in December of last year I posted an article about FBI name checks and how they were impacting case closings. Just this week that was reaffirmed by a source at OPM who said the FBI was still working off a significant backlog on the requests that get a hit and have to be checked manually, which is taking an average of 8-11 months to complete. Also noted were specific FBI field office locations that were impacted more than others such as Washington, DC, Palo Alto, Chicago, Houston, and some Florida offices.
From my own perspective, it is frustrating that OPM/NBIB has not implemented a straggler control process to track, identify, and prioritize the cases that have been open for an inordinate amount of time past their due date. For example, I have Tier 1 through Tier 5 level investigations submitted from as far back as February of last year that only have one or two items pending in order to close or they haven’t had the ESI scheduled yet. As a result, I have seen investigations on applicants submitted in January that closed in April, while these others whose investigations were submitted in the summer of last year are still waiting. This fire and forget mentality by OPM affects applicants, security personnel, agencies and companies who can’t complete work or contract requirements because they are waiting on the clearance investigation process.