- The Obama administration said it will establish a new national agency to conduct background checks on federal employees and contractors.
- Once the new National Background Investigations Bureau is up and running, the Office of Personnel Management’s Federal Investigative Services will no longer manage background investigations for federal agencies.
- There is not yet a set timeline for when the new agency will takeover background checks, but some officials said it could be as early as this year, according to a Reuters report.
- Last year, a massive data breach at OPM exposed the personal information of about 22 million current and former federal employees and contractors.
The federal government has been under increasing pressure because of a lack of adequate cyber defenses. Not only did OPM suffer a massive hack, but two contractors it used to help handle a backlog of security checks were also hacked. In November, federal CIO Tony Scott released his new Cybersecurity Strategy and Implementation Plan.Among other things, the plan calls for timely detection and rapid response to cyber incidents.
A transition team will help transfer FIS' operations while still conducting background checks. The Department of Defense will handle the new National Background Investigations Bureau's information systems, according to Reuters.
FIS typically conducts nearly 2 million background investigations a year. The new agency will likely take on the 8,800 investigators now working for FIS, which includes 2,300 government employees and 6,500 contractors, according to Reuters.