E-Clearance success will let OPM clear Defense personnel

The Office of Personnel Management Friday will announce it has completed the link between its Security/Sustainability Investigations Index and the Defense Department's Joint Personnel Adjudication System to make personnel data more easily accessible.

This is the second milestone for the E-Clearance Quicksilver project-one of five OPM is leading. The linkage also will pave the way for the Defense Department to turn over all of its clearance investigations to OPM. Senior government officials today announced OPM's new task, which will bring about 80 percent of all federal investigations under the agency's management.

The administration proposed the consolidation in its fiscal 2004 budget sent to Congress earlier this week. Officials said Congress must pass legislation for the changeover to happen.

'The consolidation provides one standard system for confirming a clearance,' an official said. 'The E-Clearance project will ensure continuity of data for the clearances.'

The consolidation will not involve moving DOD's historical data, but only new investigation data, officials said. Defense will maintain its legacy systems.

OPM also on Friday will announce it is testing an online version of the security clearance form that employees must fill out.

Officials said once the clearance form test is completed by June, employees will connect to it through the Web. It then will be submitted to OPM's Personnel Investigations Processing System and will be processed and the employee will be investigated through the online system.

Officials said OPM is prepared for the high volume of clearances DOD will need. OPM processed more than 2 million investigation requests in 2002.

OPM and DOD will put together a migration plan and a Web site for employees to find information about the consolidation, officials said.

(Updated Feb. 7, 2003, 2:56 p.m.)

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