The Department of Defense formally became the lead agency for conducting background investigations for current and potential feds and contractors Oct. 1, fulfilling congressional and administration requirements that the Pentagon take charge of such investigations at the start of the 2020 fiscal year.
According to a Department of Defense official who spoke on background to reporters Oct. 1, the transfer consisted of approximately 2,900 federal employees from the Office of Personnel Management’s National Background Investigation Bureau to the DoD’s new Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency, which encompasses both background investigation duties and industrial and technological security.
“We’ve created what is arguably the single largest security-focused agency in the federal government,” the official said.
Employees of the background investigation agency moved from being Title 5 employees at OPM to Title 10 employees at DoD, a position that is effectively the same, according to the official, and only a handful of employees chose to take discontinued service retirement rather than move to DoD.
“Merging the components into one organization will allow us to execute our two core missions: personnel vetting and critical technology protection, underpinned by counterintelligence and training,’’ said Charles Phalen Jr., acting director of DCSA, in the news release on the merger.
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