By Government Contracts Editorial Staff
President Trump has issued Executive Order 13859, Transferring Responsibility for Background Investigations to the Department of Defense. The order implements section 925 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 (PL 115-91), which requires the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Director of the Office of Personnel Management, to provide for a phased transition of security, suitability, and credentialing background investigations from the National Background Investigations Bureau to DoD.
Needed Reforms. According to the order, transferring this responsibility from OPM to DoD will retain the benefit of economies of scale, avoid unnecessary risk, promote the ongoing alignment of efforts for vetting federal employees and contractors, and facilitate needed reforms. The order directs the Secretary of Defense to rename the Defense Security Service as the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency. The DCSA will serve as the primary entity for conducting government background investigations and the primary DoD component for the National Industrial Security Program, and it will execute responsibilities relating to continuous vetting, insider threat programs, and any other responsibilities assigned by the Secretary. The OPM Director must complete the transfer of all designated administrative and operational functions by September 30, 2019.
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