NBIB Increases Cost for Security Clearances

Posted Sep 16, 2016 by
Mike W.

Back in July 2015, agencies underwent an increase in cost to process security clearances. The reason for the increase was to offset costs from the massive breach of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) computers uncovering sensitive information of millions current and former federal employees and their families. As a result of this breach, the U.S. government decided to create the National Background Investigations Bureau (NBIB). This new branch within OPM replaced the Federal Investigative Services (FIS) which was responsible for performing background checks on federal employees and contractors.

In an article from Federal News Radio: 1500 AM by Jason Miller, the NBIB announced that agencies will be paying more for security clearances in fiscal 2017 and 2018. As NBIB prepares for full operation, Jim Onusko, the transition leader of NBIB, said, “The cost factors is multi-dimensional. One of the things the NBIB already has been able to do is get the cost cycle proactively in advance to better align with the budgeting process.” However, other officials believe differently about the cost increase. Bill Evanina, a national counterintelligence executive in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), is hopeful that lawmakers will support an idea of paying for security clearances especially if NBIB becomes an agency. Evanina said, “I think we need to get away from the fee-for-service construct....I think background clearances are so important for where we are now and where we are moving in the future..., I think it should be funded by Congress.” NBIB should be at initial operating capability on October 1 of this year.

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