Flying under the radar because of all of the recent security clearance news, little has been written about the facility security clearance backlog that has impacted companies who need the clearance in order to perform work on classified contracts. A Facility Security Clearance (FCL) is an administrative determination that a facility (company) is eligible to access or store classified information at the same or lower classification category as the clearance being granted.
One of the items included in the 2016 omnibus appropriations bill is the Enhanced Personnel Security Program. Why is this significant? Because it will direct agencies to screen social media sites twice within every 5 years as a part of the continuous evaluation process. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has not yet issued guidance on how agencies are to conduct the checks, how to verify any adverse information, or how to apply it using current adjudicative guidelines.
Could it be true? For years I have argued to anyone who would listen, that OPM should not have been given responsibility for national security background investigations. As a security professional in various roles over a number of years, I have seen how the government has allowed human resources managers to inject themselves into what was inherently a security responsibility. At the highest levels, HR senior executives made power grabs in order to give themselves more responsibilities for their performance ratings. As a result, what were once effective background investigation processes were turned into paperwork shuffles and a check the block farce.
According to the acting Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), Beth Cobert, OPM launched a new verification website hosted by the Pentagon that allows you to check to see if your personal information was compromised in the OPM data breech last summer. The site, which has a dmdc.osd.mil URL, asks the individual to input personal information such as name, DOB, SSN, address, email address, and the reason for the request. The drop down for the reason includes: