Latest NBIB Investigation Backlog Numbers

The National Background Investigations Bureau released their first report in response to Public Law 115-173 (also known as the SECRET Act of 2018) and the numbers are staggering. Here is a quick look as of July 2018:

DoD Employees and Contractors

  • 282,489 initial national security investigations (84,289 for Top Secret and 196,768 for Secret)
  • 177,586 periodic reinvestigations (47,607 for Top Secret and 93,306 for Secret)

Other Federal Employees

  • 235,861 initial national security investigations pending completion (65,110 for Top Secret and 170,751 for Secret)
  • 136,464 periodic reinvestigations pending completion (67, 013 for Top Secret and 69, 451 for Secret)

Other Federal Contractors

  • 77,719 initial national security investigations (32,877 for Top Secret and 44,842 for Secret)
  • 81,257 periodic reinvestigations (52,390 for Top Secret and 28,867 for Secret)

The report also stated there are now 1,714 Federal background investigators and 6,687 contractor field investigators tackling this mountain of investigations. I personally have seen recent T3 and T3Rs getting completed in 3 months, but these are obviously clean cases. The T5 and T5Rs are the ones taking the longest and many from over a year ago are just now starting to close. To end on a positive note, things are slowly improving from the investigation completion side of the house, but little or no information is seen from the adjudications side of the house. Hopefully that is getting attention as well.


Thanks for this information, I do not see any information here about Public Trust Investigations. Is there any data on them?


So, it is accurate to say that the backlog of open/pending cases is not a little over 991,000? If so, that hole is getting deeper and wider even if some cases are being processed quickly. In September 2017, one year ago, the number was about 709,000. FWIW, NBIB considers a level of about 180,000 healthy and would allow them to meet their processing timelines/goals.

I really feel for the applicants, investigators, and adjudicators. Everyone must be dealing with a wide range of emotions both waiting on and working on this problem.

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This makes me sick to my stomach. While I was lucky enough to begin working before submitting my SF-86, I now find myself worrying, and have been for months, when my company is going to let me go because they’re tired of waiting. This is no doubt affecting people’s lives and is a national security issue. This isn’t what I was expecting to sign up for when I went to school for years to earn an advanced degree, only to live with this daily stress of wondering if the beginning of my career is going to be put on hold even more so than it already has.

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Is there any more context to these numbers? Is this a snapshot of investigations currently open or the number of investigations worked on during some window of time?

If it is the former, the backlog has grown (again). If the later, it really doesn’t tell us much of anything.

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Well I guess all the fear that Contract Investigators were going to be replaced after the migration to DSS isn’t gonna happen. Looks like job security to me.

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These are the numbers provided in the report to Congress. The way it was written was just as I presented, but they may have included DoD in the the Federal workforce numbers and then separated them out,

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There was never a conversation that DoD would replace the contract companies – we can’t lose them. The process is hopefully going just the opposite where NBIB agents and all of the contractors can share cases instead of the current process of all or nothing.

It was rumor on other sites

Ahh, ok. I was wondering where the rumor originated. I only read thorough this forum and two others. I’ve not found any others really interesting.