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It was a hot week of security clearance news headlines as we ushered in mid-March, ushered out March Madness, and made preparations for a major pandemic.
1. The backlog is dead. We’ve reported for months about the steady decline of the security clearance backlog of pending cases, which had reached 725,000 at its height. The National Background Investigations Bureau (NBIB) made big promises for slashing the size of the backlog – promises I for one was very skeptical of. But the combination of process improvements and the implementation of continuous vetting helped it to meet the mark, and it transferred authority to the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency close to the mark, and now sits with a clean slate. Officials are still exploring what ‘healthy steady state’ looks like – but as far as there being a backlog, those days are over.
2. Continuous vetting is in. Move over periodic reinvestigations. Continuous vetting is being rolled out across government agencies thanks to new guidance from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). That’s good news for security clearance processing times, and it’s good news for security. Individuals won’t be submitting periodic reinvestigations every five-or-ten years, and government officials won’t have to hope individuals self report issues in the interim (although you should still self report issues). This is a major step in security clearance reform and the Trusted Workforce 2.0 movement.
3. Coronavirus and your background investigation. It may seem like everything is slamming to a standstill in light of the coronavirus outbreak. (March? It’s cancelled.) But the good news is the process in place makes it quite possible for background investigations to continue to move forward even as many agencies convert to telework status. The majority of background investigators are remote workers, and so background investigations can continue – although you can expect some delays as investigators struggle to pin down individuals who aren’t at their desks or usual offices.
Stay tuned and visit www.clearancejobs.com daily for all of your security clearance headlines!