recommended reading

OPM seeks to clarify national security roles

The Office of Personnel Management has proposed expanding the definition of jobs that are considered national security positions.

In the proposed rule, published in Tuesday's Federal Register, OPM says the change is part of its effort to simplify and streamline federal investigative and adjudicative processes to make them more efficient.

The proposed rule would clarify, not change, the standard agencies follow to designate national security positions. Under current guidelines, a national security job in any department or agency is held by an individual who "could bring about, by virtue of the nature of the position, a material adverse effect on the national security," whether or not the position requires access to classified information.

OPM notes that federal employees who don't have access to classified information, such as those who protect borders, ports and critical infrastructure, as well as those in positions related to protection of government information systems, could still potentially exert a material adverse effect on national security.

"OPM therefore proposes to update the definition of 'national security position' to add positions where the duties include 'protecting the nation, its citizens and residents from acts of terrorism, espionage, or foreign aggression,'" the proposed rule states.

Among the positions OPM suggests adding are those employees who protect or control access to facilities or information systems; those who control, maintain custody, safeguard or dispose of hazardous materials, arms, ammunition or explosives; and those who perform criminal justice, public safety or law enforcement duties.

OPM cautions that not all positions with those responsibilities will be reclassified. "In each instance, agencies must make a determination of whether the occupant's neglect, action or inaction could bring about a material adverse effect on the national security, i.e., could cause at least 'significant or serious damage to the national security.'"

Threatwatch Alert

Software vulnerability

Malware Has a New Hiding Place: Subtitles

See threatwatch report


Close [ x ] More from Nextgov

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • Effective Ransomware Response

    This whitepaper provides an overview and understanding of ransomware and how to successfully combat it.

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.