The Defense Department and Office of Personnel Management expect to have merged two offices and moved 2,000 federal employees and a 600,000-case backlog of security clearance investigations nine months from now.
The new office will be established under the Defense Security Service by Oct. 1, 2019, Director for Defense Intelligence Garry Reid told the House Armed Services Committee during a hearing last week on the security clearance backlog. The office will absorb the National Background Investigations Bureau, established in the wake of the 2015 OPM network breach.
Originally, NBIB was created to handle the majority of background investigations while the Defense Department built out secure infrastructure to maintain those operations, called the National Background Investigations Services system. As the backlog grew—hitting a peak of 725,000 this April—Congress ordered NBIB to transfer Defense investigations to DSS. Rather than split the work between two departments, the administration plans to move all clearance work to the Defense Department.
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