President Donald Trump plans to authorize the Defense Department to oversee the governmentwide program for security clearances through an executive order, Federal News Network reported Tuesday.
Sources said the Pentagon plans to combine the National Background Investigations Bureau with the Defense Security Service and other DoD components to establish the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency to oversee the security clearance process.
The proposed DCSA will operate with over 10K federal and contractor employees and two organizational units: a counterintelligence analysis center and a critical technology protection center, according to a defense official.
Patricia Stokes, director of defense vetting at DSS, will oversee DCSA’s personnel vetting directorate, two industry sources told the publication.
The DoD official noted that the planned DCSA will also be responsible for the department’s consolidated adjudications facility that helps determine a candidate’s clearance eligibility and other counterintelligence resources.
Lt. Col. Audricia Harris, a spokeswoman for DoD, said the Pentagon has begun to update the vetting process for personnel.
“We are working closely with our interagency partners and the Performance Accountability Council Program Management Office to ensure the successful transition of the mission while conducting background investigations,” Harris said in a statement.