The Pentagon and the Office of Personnel Management plan to establish a joint office in 2019 to handle all security clearance investigations for the defense community, Nextgov reported Wednesday. The partnership comes amid the growing backlog of security clearances at the Department of Defense that reportedly reached 725,000 in April.
The DoD will merge its Defense Security Service office with OPM’s National Background Investigations Bureau to consolidate background investigations and maintenance of the National Background Investigations Services system. The agencies plan to establish the office in October of next year and expect to employ up to 2,000 federal workers.
Garry Reid, director for Defense Intelligence, said the DSS and the NBIB already started to strategize, particularly on how to use physical resources, such as real estate, computers and office supplies, as well as human resources.
“We are integrating two organizations into DSS while simultaneously automating and changing operational processes and procedures,” said DSS Director Dan Payne. “Everyone at this table recognizes these complexities and are resolute in ensuring it is done successfully."