January 23, 2020 aartiksmith

Making the Case for a Background Investigations and Personnel Security Case Management System

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The Challenge

Within the Federal government there has been a recent and significant change in the background investigations process and regulatory measures requiring agencies to adjust their workforce security procedures and supporting systems.

In October 2019 the authority to conduct investigations was transitioned from U.S. Federal government’s chief human resources agency, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to the newly formed Defense Counterintelligence & Security Agency (DCSA). The DCSA is now responsible for conducting 90% of all background investigations for Civilian and DoD agency personnel across the federal government landscape. The DCSA will be utilizing a new National Background Investigation System (NBIS) and its trusted system to execute on this mission-critical security responsibility. Federal agencies and other organizations that previously relied on the OPM for investigations now must adapt and work closely with the DCSA to learn and integrate with new systems and processes.

In addition to the DCSA’s charter and security operating requirements, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) continues to institute new and evolving requirements as Security Executive Agency Directives (SEADs) that further expand the background investigation data sets. With the ODNI’s current directive for the continuous vetting of investigative data identified as “SEAD 6”, agencies must satisfy many new ambitious reporting requirements and ways to interpret results from a deeper and wider pool of record checks. Agencies are starting to receive large amounts of continuous vetting data for continuous evaluations. This data is beginning to grow exponentially and increasing the criticality for agencies to react to this data in a timely manner. With so much data comes the problem of how to absorb it, how to make sense of it, and how to manage and act on it quickly.

In the domain of Personnel Security (PERSEC), timely actions make all the difference. Slow vetting results in a slowdown of the onboarding process. Equally distressing, the slow reactions to the SEAD 6 reporting requirements make agencies non-compliant with the ODNI mandates and compounds the issue of allowing infractions to go unnoticed, or worse, unaddressed.

Ensuring agencies and organizations can meet all regulatory requirements, onboard candidates quickly, and have a pulse on all personnel security events and activity is essential to ensuring a trusted workforce of the future.

The Solution

For an Agency to be ready to handle the large amounts of continuous vetting data and be able to react to its contents, agencies need a modern, data-centric Personnel Security Case Management System (PS-CMS). A PS-CMS automates personnel security processes, electronically ingests all the SEAD 6 record check results, automatically attaches results to their corresponding records, issues alerts and notifications when results warrant attention, and allows agencies to quickly query reports and metrics for agency leadership, the ODNI, and the DCSA. The “handling” of this large data set demands automation and smart business rules. Taking this solution one step further, machine learning is applied to define patterns that may surface during continuous vetting, bringing attention to individuals being investigated (i.e. the “subjects” of the investigation) that require immediate attention. With such a system and modern technologies in place, the federal workplace remains secure and provides the Personnel Security organizations with the peace of mind that their environment and people who make up their workforce are Secure, Enabled, and Ready.

Selecting the Right Team

Using technology is common practice in nearly every aspect of our lives. Being so ubiquitous, it is difficult to fathom how we would operate or even exist in our personal and work environments without it. Equally important to its existence, is how technology is configured for its intended use and ensuring the right team is selected with the specific use case and domain experience.

Since 2010, Chainbridge Solutions has been implementing and supporting Personnel Security Case Management Solutions across the Federal government that includes the implementation and support of over 15 federal agencies and their personnel security departments. As a thought leader in Personnel Security and Workforce Management, Chainbridge Solutions is able to offer customers out-of-the-box, proven solutions that incorporate PERSEC processes, business rules aligned to the Federal regulations, DCSA and ODNI terminology, mandated and commonly used reports, and many other timesaving features and capabilities.

Over the last decade, we have collected many pain points from PERSEC organizations allowing us to best understand the burdens they face and all the obligations they have to meet. With this unique insight, we have been able to design into our solutions and implementations all those things that result in truly streamlined and optimized PERSEC systems for our customers.

Our solutions inherently integrate with the DCSA and allow for data exchanges using eDelivery functionality. Through this capability, investigative files are sent electronically and directly to the sponsoring agency for review and adjudication. Our solutions integration also extends to the FBI to ingest fingerprint results, credit bureaus to collect credit reports, and legacy OPM systems such as the Personnel Investigation Processing System (PIPS) and the Electronic Questionnaires for Investigations Processing (e-QIP) System also referenced as eApp.

Utilizing human-centric portals, our solutions offer a broad range of self-service capabilities to allow candidates and subjects to populate their own information or validate information as received by the sponsoring agency. candidates and subjects also have visibility into their investigation process and onboarding estimated time of onboarding readiness. 

Delivering Value

Chainbridge Solutions works with federal agencies to understand their requirements and build from a minimal viable product (MVP) to tailor and further configure a solution to exactly match the needs to our customers. Over the course of many years, many customers, and many successfully deployments into production, we have gained unique insights into PERSEC processes, challenges, objectives, and the ultimate goal of executing their missions with a Secure, Enabled, and Ready workforce.

Using our solutions, federal agencies can easily and effectively accomplish all of their Personnel Security and Workforce Management goals. Working in collaboration with our agency customers, solutions are developed and implemented that automate customer-unique workflow processes while remaining aligned with industry and regulatory PERSEC requirements. Our implemented solutions ensure data is processed in a timely manner, drastically minimizing the risks of breeches and vulnerabilities in the agency personnel. When partnering with Chainbridge Solutions to implement our solutions, agencies no longer have the burden and stress of generating detailed reports for leadership or for regulating agencies such as the ODNI or the DCSA, and then worrying if the metrics and data collected are accurate.

Delivering value comes down to selecting the right team with the understanding and experience of PERSEC and supporting technology to implement the optimal solution. The following is a fraction of the abilities and benefits currently experienced by our customers.

  • Tracking all personnel security information in one, trusted system of record
  • Collecting, analyzing, reporting, and incorporating historical data
  • Observing the full PERSEC case lifecycle and understand status at any time
  • Automating mundane and repetitive and time-consuming tasks preventing resources from working on the more challenging and relevant work
  • View patterns and trends in personnel behavior within reaction time
  • Provide employees quick and easy access to personnel records
  • Be empowered to view data that requires intervention and support for the Subject
  • Instant access to one-click reports in support of management data calls and questions
  • Accurately pulse personnel community metrics such as the number of clearances, number of people under the Continuous Evaluation program, number of favorable adjudications, number or withdrawn cases, and number of cases that resulted in revocation of a clearance
  • Create efficiencies in dated and slow business processes
  • Streamline process leading to cost savings
  • Achieve adjudication timeliness goals easily and often
  • Have peace of mind that no data is falling through the cracks
  • Keep the entrusted workforce entrusted and more secure
  • Minimize agency risk
  • Work smarter, not harder

Want to know more?

Visit us at www.chainbridgesolutions.com and reach out via info@chainbridgesolutions.com to speak with our experts and schedule a demonstration.

About Chainbridge Solutions

Chainbridge Solutions is an SBA 8(a) certified, woman-owned small business, building automated workflow solutions for the Federal Government and private sector. Chainbridge Solutions specializes in existing and legacy application modernization through an agile methodology focused on human-centric design, strong customer engagement, and rapid delivery of results through multiple iterations. Leveraging machine learning and robotic process automation, Chainbridge Solutions delivers smart, innovative solutions that offer workflow efficiencies, cost savings, and a user-centric experience to their customers.