OPM Ready to Handle Influx of Clearance Investigations
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is ready to handle clearance investigations for the Obama administration’s approximately 6,000 to 7,000 new politically appointed officials. Kathy Dillaman, Associate Director of OPM’s Federal Investigative Services Division was reported as saying, “Piece of cake. . . .The influx of Obama staffers will be a drop in the bucket compared to the roughly 2.3 million background checks OPM is expected to handle this year.”
In reality OPM currently conducts about 600,000 security clearance investigations a year. Two-thirds of the often cited 2 million “checks” involve only a fraction of the work required for a security clearance investigation. Nevertheless 6,000 only represents 1% of OPM’s annual clearance investigation workload, and OPM is adequately staffed to absorb much more than a 1% increase.
The 6,000 to 7,000 Obama officials are also expected to be spread out over the next few months, which mitigates the surge effect, Dillaman said. OPM is ready to offer [investigative] employees overtime or bring on some additional [investigative] contractors in case clearances start to back up, she said.