OPM Unveils National Background Investigations Bureau; Charles Phalen to Serve as NBIB Chief

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operational-security1The Office of Personnel Management has announced the launch of the National Background Investigations Bureau and appointment of Charles Phalen, formerly vice president of corporate security at Northrop Grumman, as director of NBIB.

Beth Cobert, acting OPM director, wrote in a blog post published Thursday Phalen will assume his role on Oct. 1 at NBIB, which will replace OPM’s Federal Investigative Services organization.

The White House announced in January the plan to establish NBIB to oversee background checks on federal contractors and employees as part of efforts to update the security clearance and investigation process.

Phalen, who previously worked at the CIA for four years as director of security, will bring his industry and government experience in information, physical and personnel security to NBIB in support of the bureau’s mission to streamline the background investigation process, according to Cobert.

Cobert, an inductee into Executive Mosaic’s Wash100 for 2016, said NBIB will be based in Washington and will have a new organizational structure that aims to promote use of data-driven processes, agile acquisition strategy and strategic engagement with stakeholders.

She noted that NBIB will collaborate with the Defense Department to develop a digital information technology platform that seeks to ensure data security and interoperability and establish a law enforcement liaison division that will work to facilitate access to criminal history records.

The new bureau will also set up a federal investigative records enterprise office that will be responsible for the management and automation of the collection and retention processes for government-wide background check records as well as consolidate the administration of contract and federal field operations into a single organization, Cobert said.

Other initiatives that NBIB plans to execute include the establishment of a business transformation unit, suitability executive agent entity and a customer engagement unit, Cobert added.

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