In 2017, the President of the United States issued an Executive Order revising the Office of Personnel Management’s responsibilities, clarifying suitability requirements, and reciprocity guidelines. The Executive Order articulates the formation of the National Background Investigations Bureau and its role as the executive-office appointed to oversee the background investigations process. The order also highlights the need for cyber vetting and improved technology:
“The Government’s tools, systems, and processes for conducting these background investigations and managing sensitive investigative information should keep pace with technological advancements, regularly integrating current best practices to better anticipate, detect, and counter malicious activities, and threats posed by external or internal actors who may seek to do harm to the Government’s personnel, property, and information. To help fulfill these responsibilities, there shall be a primary executive branch investigative service provider whose mission is to provide effective, efficient, and secure background investigations for the Federal Government.”
The Executive Order addresses “continuous performance improvement” referring to improved technology in the background investigations process and evolving policy. “Continuous vetting” is also defined as “reviewing the background of a covered individual at any time to determine whether that individual continues to meet applicable requirements.”
The order paves the way for new Federal Investigative Standards. OPM is currently phasing out the Background Investigation, Periodic Re-investigation, and Single Scope Background Investigation as it implements the new Tier 4, Tier 4R, Tier 5 and Tier 5R investigations.
To read the Executive Order, click here: 2017 EXECUTIVE ORDER – SECURITY CLEARANCES, SUITABILITY, AND FITNESS FOR FEDERAL EMPLOYMENT