DISA transfers background check IT work to Defense Security Service

DISA will transfer the "authority, direction, and control" of its National Background Investigation Service to the Defense Security Service.
The Defense Information Systems Agency building complex at Fort Meade, Md., Jan. 2, 2013. (DoD photo by Thomas L. Burton/Released)

The Defense Information Systems Agency has transitioned the team that is responsible for building out the systems that will serve as the backbone for the revamped federal background check process.

The move had been in the works for several months, and David Norquist, the Pentagon’s Chief Management Officer who is performing the duties of the deputy secretary of Defense, issued a memorandum in late January transferring the “authority, direction, and control” of DISA’s National Background Investigation Service (NBIS) to the Defense Security Service (DSS).

The move sends the entire NBIS team of 40 DISA and 12 Joint Service Provider personnel to the Defense Security Service, which will take over federal security clearances for the Office of Personnel Management’s National Background Investigation Bureau.

“DSS gains a tremendous brain trust with these individuals,” DISA Director Vice. Adm. Nancy Norton said. “I want all the personnel who are transferring to know that they will always be a part of the DISA family and we look forward to working with them in their new DSS roles. The entire DISA workforce takes great pride in how professionally they advanced the security vetting program for the nation and the DOD.”


Norquist ordered the moved to happen within 180 days, or by late July.

DISA had been leading the development of the NBIS, in conjunction with OPM’s NBIB, since 2016. Shoring up the background-check process has been a priority for the Trump administration, but the Government Accountability Office included it on its 2019 list of programs that need to see improvement.

Terry Carpenter, NBIS’s program executive officer who will move over with the office, said he will continue the organization’s partnership with DISA.

“The continuing partnership between DISA, the Army Analytics Group, and the Defense Personnel and Security Research Center to develop artificial intelligence algorithms for analyzing big data will further improve the overall investigative and adjudicative quality while reducing processing time,” Carpenter said in a statement.

Billy Mitchell

Written by Billy Mitchell

Billy Mitchell is Senior Vice President and Executive Editor of Scoop News Group's editorial brands. He oversees operations, strategy and growth of SNG's award-winning tech publications, FedScoop, StateScoop, CyberScoop, EdScoop and DefenseScoop. After earning his journalism degree at Virginia Tech and winning the school's Excellence in Print Journalism award, Billy received his master's degree from New York University in magazine writing while interning at publications like Rolling Stone.

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