Page 3 - FCW, February 2016
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205 days is the average
time a cyber breach goes undetected
White House announces new agency to handle federal background checks
The Office of Personnel Management’s Federal Investigative Services, which currently handles some 95 percent of federal background investigations, will be absorbed by a new joint venture: the National Background Investiga- tions Bureau.
The Obama administration’s fiscal 2017 budget request will include $95 million in dedicated IT development funding for the new agency. NBIB will report to OPM’s director, but the Defense Department will handle the new bureau’s IT operations.
“We needed to balance the need for real change with keeping an enter- prisewide mindset, leveraging the good work that OPM has already done,” said Michael Daniel, special assistant to the president and cybersecurity coordina- tor. “Simply moving this organization would not necessarily make for real significant change.”
One of the leading Capitol Hill critics of OPM, however, was not impressed. “Simply creating a new government entity doesn’t solve the problem,” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), chair- man of the House Oversight and Gov- ernment Reform Committee. “[The] announcement seems aimed only at
solving a perception problem rather than tackling the reforms needed to fix a broken security clearance process.”
But the move was welcomed by committee member Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), who has previously called for security clearance processing to be taken away from OPM.
“I am encouraged by today’s announcement that the administra- tion will be implementing much-needed
the wake of last year’s massive OPM breach, the Obama administration pushed a 90-day review of the process.
In the near term, the interagency Performance Accountability Council, which is charged with fulfilling the Obama administration’s goal of reform- ing the security clearance process and automating insider threat detection, will set up a transition team to help FIS become NBIB.
“Simply moving [OPM’s Federal Investigative Services] would not necessarily make for real significant change.”
changes to the way our government protects what has been described as the ‘crown jewels’ of intelligence: the background investigations of Ameri- cans with security clearances,” Lieu said on Jan. 22.
And although the specific structure is a new development, the government has been exploring ways to automate and improve security clearance inves- tigations since at least 2011, and in
No target date has been given for the switchover, but U.S. CIO Tony Scott said the government is aiming for a seamless transition.
The Office of Management and Bud- get, a lead player in the Performance Accountability Council, did not say whether a new line of business dedi- cated to automated investigations had been set up or would be soon.
— Zach Noble
2/11-12 Cybersecurity
The Suits and Spooks conference brings together a range of industry and government
cybersecurity experts for two days of discussions on emerging threats. Washington, D.C.
2/17 Cybersecurity
NIST’s Matthew Barrett, DOD’s Richard Hale and DHS’ Phyllis
Schneck are among the speakers at this FCW event on finding a more unified approach to federal cybersecurity. Washington, D.C.
2/18 Women in tech
GSA’s Phaedra Chrousos, EPA’s Ann Dunkin and NASA’s Renee Wynn are among the speakers at this AFFIRM-sponsored panel discussion on women IT leaders in government.
Washington, D.C.
February 2016 FCW.COM 3

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