DOD proposes oversight office for security clearances

The Defense Department has proposed long-term measures, including a new internal oversight office, to prevent recurring problems that recently forced it to stop processing security clearances for industry, a high-level department official testified before Congress recently.

At the end of April, the Defense Security Service halted processing clearance applications because of depleted funding and a high volume of applications. In May, the agency stopped processing industry requests for new personnel security investigations and periodic reinvestigations.

Robert Andrews, deputy undersecretary of Defense for counterintelligence and security, testified at the hearing before the House Government Reform Committee that he was putting in place a central oversight office within DSS to ensure the problem does not occur again.

The new oversight office will:
  • Work with the larger DOD community, affected federal agencies and industry to develop a process that would link security investigation requirements and funding with DOD contractual requirements

  • Establish a system for prioritizing industry requests

  • Validate requirements for those investigations

  • Monitor, at first daily, the industry investigation process and develop 'trip wires' to reduce the need to impose a future suspension

  • Set up a communications network for DSS, the Office of Personnel Management, Defense Department components, affected federal agencies and industry to ensure all parties are working within established priorities and budget.

DOD awards deal for business transformation support

The Defense Department has awarded a $7.7 million contract to NewVectors LLC of Ann Arbor, Mich., that extends and expands the scope of the company's efforts in support of DOD's Business Transformation Agency.

Under the award, NewVectors will supply a wide range of support services to the Business Transformation Agency, including systems engineering, acquisition and program support, management and administrative support, and evaluation and oversight support. The Business Transformation Agency is responsible for leading enterprisewide business transformation efforts across DOD. Its mission is to improve warfighter support while making the department financially accountable.

About the Authors

Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Federal Computer Week.

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