DoD looks to agile development to fix security clearance backlog

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Chris Cornillie, federal technology market analyst at Bloomberg Government, discusses how the Department of Defense is approaching security clearances, and why they are looking to use automation and agile development.


With security clearances moving to the Department of Defense, the agency wants to clear the backlog as quickly as possible. The Defense Department would like to introduce automation into the clearance process, and are considering agile development to do it. Chris Cornillie, federal technology market analyst at Bloomberg Government, says that they’re looking to make a selection by the end of FY20, and that the end result would automate only a few aspects of the process.

 

“The Defense Security Service is taking over the program, they have a staff of about 900 individuals and they have to absorb a bureaucracy that’s about 10 times the size… at the same time, they’re shifting paradigms from a periodic reassessment process to what you call continuous evaluation,” Cornillie said. “That’s building in automation, but it’s also triaging individuals based on their level of risk. For instance, if you have a top-secret clearance, if you are deemed to have access to high risk, you are probably still going to receive the full background check. But if you’re a low risk individual, for the most part automation is going to do this job.”