The Future Personnel Vetting IT System is Called NBIS

“I, for one, welcome all of the changes that were a long-time coming.”

I believe your statement is shortsighted Marko.

Continuous vetting or continuous evaluation in my opinion will never work long term in the clearance industry. The entire foundation of continuous evaluation hinges upon the clearance holder self reporting things throughout his/her time as a clearance holder like a divorce, civil action, financial debts, foreign contacts, foreign travel, etc.

There are always going to be clearance holders (more than you can imagine) that don’t self report what they are required to do and will get away with it in a reinvestigation or through the continuous evaluation process. As an Investigator it’s amazing the things you uncover when you actually sit down (in person hopefully in the future) and meticulously go through someone’s SF-86 asking each question while that person has been put under an unsworn declaration and reminded of the Title 18 Section 1001 law.

I cannot begin to tell you over the last 15 years doing background investigations how many things are uncovered in reinvestigations with clearance holders that have held clearances for 20+ years forgetting to list things on the Security Questionnaire due to their ineptness, laziness, and sometimes dishonesty in completing the SF-86. One thing I continuously develop are other employments and self-employments that require coverage that weren’t originally listed on the Questionnaire. Now why wouldn’t someone list an employment or period of self employment on the Questionnaire? Sometimes it’s because they are lazy and don’t think it’s necessary even though it’s a requirement and other times (usually this is the real reason), it’s because they were terminated from the employer or left under unfavorable circumstances so they didn’t want to list it which falls under an integrity issue. Even with self employments I have developed with people, sometimes people don’t list their self employment because I discover they aren’t even filing their taxes with their self employment income which is considered a violation of law to not report self employment income with a business.

Marko…I truly believe you are living in this utopian world thinking continuous vetting or evaluation will actually work along with ODNI and all of the other federal agencies that have agreed to do CE without having a periodic reinvestigation and an Investigator actually doing the interviews, then you will be sorely mistaken just as these federal agencies will be when things slip through the cracks. The possibilities are endless of what will slip through the cracks by not doing a thorough federal background investigation even for reinvestigations. I cannot even begin to tell you what is developed and issues discussed when simply doing routine source interviews at someone’s employer or record checks at an employment.

Surely the federal government has thought through all of this…correct? Surely the government isn’t going to pin their hopes on all clearance holders being honest…wouldn’t you think?

I don’t share this same utopian vision because I am the boots on the ground working the cases and seeing the laziness and dishonesty in people reporting required information on a Questionnaire.

What will happen if something slips through the cracks and a clearance holder that shouldn’t get their clearance does because of the continuous vetting process is in place and an Investigator isn’t personally questioning this individual and doing follow up source and record interviews? I sure as heck don’t want to find out! Is the clearance process perfect by having Investigators doing a reinvestigation and a Subject Interview, source interview, and record interviews? The answer is No, however, it is a much better solution than doing nothing at all and hoping people self report and that a few routine random criminal record checks helps keep people honest and reporting required information.

I for one am concerned about the clearance process going forward and don’t share your same sentiments Marko. I think if you actually picked up a Pen and paper and did a Subject Interview you’d realize how important Subject interviews are to the investigation process. In fact adjudicators can see this also as they read the reports so they can vouch for what is going on when they see these investigative reports. You were once an Adjudicator weren’t you Marko?? certainly you can recall the discrepancies and issues developed time and time again when Investigators did interviews with Subjects.