Pentagon, OPM Moving Forward in Transferring Security Clearance Investigations

The Department of Defense continues to make progress transferring the authority to process security clearances from the Office of Personnel Management to the agency. An official noted that the Pentagon is working with interagency partners to transfer the functions, personnel and resources of OPM’s National Background Investigations Bureau to the Defense Security Service, according to a statement posted Friday

Garry Reid, director for defense intelligence at the DoD, and Charles Phalen Jr., director of NBIB, told lawmakers the Pentagon and OPM have already implemented changes in background investigations to speed up clearance procedures. 

“Overall, these new measures have helped reduce the inventory of DoD investigations by almost 18 percent over the past four months,” Reid said. “We will build on this work in the coming months – continuing to focus on backlog reduction as we develop detailed plans for the transfer and transition,” he added. 

Phalen said NBIB has reduced the clearance backlog by 3,000 to 4,000 cases every week, with the figure falling from 725,000 in April to 605,000 to date. The DoD plans to establish a Personnel Vetting Transformation Office as part of the transition to help process security clearances. 

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