DSS taking over BIs?


#1

This RFI is the latest progress on the NDAA’s requirement for a plan for DSS to take over background investigations. Is this just a lot of busy work toward no end, or do any of you think DSS will really take over for NBIB?

For those who have the history to know when DSS was running its own investigations, do you think this is a good thing?

I’m still trying to decide if any of this will help with the backlog, or is just a diversion!

https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=38f74a6d1e492540bf7aed8d470efdd8&tab=core&_cview=0


#2

It is not a Request for Proposal (RFP) which would indicate a certain level of commitment, but just a Request for Information (RFI) with lots of weasel words that it is not an actual solicitation. But I think you’ll find that language in any RFI.

To me it says they are moving down that path and committing some resources to keep moving. Of course they don’t have to keep moving in that direction, but I think they will.

I think DSS (and before that DIS) did a pretty good job of handling investigations but that was a long time ago in a much simpler world. And they didn’t use contractors, not to my recollection. I don’t have an objection to contractors (though I’d prefer having government employees performing this kind of work) but the problem is that OPM has been nickel and diming the contractors who in turn pinch pennies when it comes to their people, both in terms of salary and in terms of unreasonable pressure to complete cases.


#3

In terms of the transfer of staff they seem to be open to suggestions per the Q&A package posted 10/4 on that RFI. If 70% of NBIB cases are DoD, I’m interested to see how this will all play out (in a general sense) long term. FY17 NDAA seems to be a bit non-committal as well, yet the latest NDAA (yet to be signed by POTUS) says the following:

SEC. 938. BACKGROUND AND SECURITY INVESTIGATIONS FOR DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE PERSONNEL.

(a) Transition To Discharge By Defense Security Service.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary of Defense has the authority to conduct security, suitability, and credentialing background investigations. In carrying out such authority, the Secretary may use such authority, or may delegate such authority to another entity. As part of providing for the conduct of background investigations initiated by the Department of Defense through the Defense Security Service by not later than the deadline specified in subsection (b), the Secretary shall, in consultation with the Director of the Office of Personnel Management, provide for a phased transition from the conduct of such investigations by the National Background Investigations Bureau (NBIB) of the Office of Personnel Management to the conduct of such investigations by the Defense Security Service by that deadline.

(2) PHASED TRANSITION.—The phased transition required by paragraph (1) shall—

(A) provide for the transition of the conduct of investigations to the Defense Security Service using a risk management approach; and

(B) be consistent with the transition from legacy information technology operated by the Office of Personnel Management to the new information technology, including the National Background Investigations System, as described in subsection (f).

(b) Commencement Of Implementation Plan For Ongoing Discharge Of Investigations Through DSS.—Not later than October 1, 2020, the Secretary of Defense shall commence carrying out the implementation plan developed pursuant to section 951(a)(1) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 (Public Law 114–328; 130 Stat. 2371).

(d) Transfer Of Certain Functions In OPM To DSS.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—For purposes of meeting the requirements in subsections (a) and (b), the Secretary of Defense shall, in consultation with the Director of the Office of Personnel Management, provide for the transfer of the functions described in paragraph (2), and any associated personnel and resources, to the Department of Defense.

(2) FUNCTIONS.—The functions described in this paragraph are the following:

(A) Any personnel security investigations functions transferred by the Secretary to the Director pursuant to section 906 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004 (5 U.S.C. 1101 note).

(B) Any other functions of the Office of Personnel Management in connection with background investigations initiated by the Department of Defense that the Secretary and the Director jointly consider appropriate.

(3) LOCATION WITHIN DOD.—Any functions transferred to the Department pursuant to this subsection shall be located within the Defense Security Service.

(e) Conduct Of Certain Actions.—For purposes of the conduct of background investigations following the commencement of the carrying out of the implementation plan referred to in subsection (b), the Secretary of Defense shall provide for the following:

(1) A single capability for the centralized funding, submissions, and processing of all background investigations, from within the Defense Security Service.

(2) The discharge by the Consolidated Adjudications Facility, from within the Defense Security Service pursuant to transfer under subsection ©, of adjudications in connection with the following:

(A) Background investigations.

(B) Continuous evaluation and vetting checks.

The language is pretty straightforward, I think