David Berteau, president and CEO of the Professional Services Council, and Wesley Hallman, senior vice president of policy at the National Defense Industrial Association, discuss the ongoing security clearance backlog at the Office of Personnel Management.
Charles Phalen, Director of the National Background Investigations Bureau, told Government Matters last week that the backlog of security clearances has been noticeably reduced. This comes with President Donald Trump recently signing an executive order moving NBIB from the Office of Personnel Management to the Defense Department. Wesley Hallman, senior vice president of policy at the National Defense Industrial Association, says that many things still need to be monitored closely as the backlog is reduced. “Equally important is maintaining the extra resources that have been going to the process,” Hallman said. “It is key we have the organizational structure right and the resources right to get after the backlog over the long haul, so we make sure that companies have the access to the right talent at the right time to carry out business for the government.” David Berteau, president and CEO of the Professional Services Council, says that the despite all this momentum, there is still a tight deadline for the transfer from OPM to DoD. “One [risk] is a very tight timeline. Even though they have indicated that we have been planning this for a while, it took time for the executive order to get out. The end date is still the same, and the June 24 date of DoD picking up [NBIB] is less than two months away now,” Berteau said. “And so, there’s a lot of compressed timeline in there. There are a lot of moving parts that have to be taken care of and not the least of which is the unique funding mechanisms.”