As the government looks to implement its Trusted Workforce 2.0 framework and implement the intents of a soon-to-be-released executive order to transfer all background investigations duties to the Department of Defense, expanding the capabilities of the Vetting Risk Operations Center is a key testbed for bringing the various personnel security elements under a central umbrella.

A contract awarded this week will help VROC expand upon its mission and continue the consolidation of the investigation, adjudication and continuous evaluation mission. iWorks Corp. was awarded the $48.9 million contract  to provide personnel security support services, specifically for the execution of the Defense Security Service’s vetting mission.

Reston, VA based iWorks Corp. is a provider of information technology (IT) professional services with a specialty in managing business processes and systems integration for both government and commercial clients. The company maintains two U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Top Secret cleared facilities in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, and the VROC work will be performed at the DSS VROC office located in Hanover, MD as well as at the Department of Defense CAF office in Ft. Meade, MD.

What is the vetting risk operations center?

The VROC falls within the Defense Vetting Directorate, one of the core missions of DSS. Its responsibilities include establishing interim clearance eligibility and implementing the new business model and vetting methodologies of Trusted Workforce 2.0.  VROC consolidates capabilities that previously fell to the former Personal Security Management Office for Industry, the DoD’s Continuous Evaluation Program Management Office, and Industry’s Insider Threat Office.

If all of these acronyms seem new to you, perhaps you haven’t been paying attention for the past year. When the 2018 NDAA authorized DoD to begin processing its own security clearances, the overhaul of DSS was he first step. The new acronym soup is all a part of the work done between DSS, the Office of Personnel Management, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, as they work to implement the intent of the executive branch’s decision to consolidate personnel security under one agency (and within DoD). That work has continued even as the official orders have been at a standstill, with officials promising them ‘any day now’ for approximately eight months.

In a meeting this week of industrial security professionals, NBIB Director Charles Phalen once again emphasized that the executive order is coming – and that most importantly, it would be implemented in such a way that the process would be seamless for the more than 105 federal agencies served by NBIB today.

“You’ll see no distinction between the end of September and October,” said Phalen, the implication being that whenever the executive order is issued, it will go into effect with the fiscal year.

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Peter Suciu is a freelance writer who covers business technology and cyber security. He currently lives in Michigan and can be reached at petersuciu@gmail.com.