Pentagon Seeks Tech for New Background Investigation Bureau


DISA seeks commercial options to support the new background check system.

A major federal effort is underway to revamp the government background check process, following a massive intrusion into the Office of Personnel Management's records discovered last year. 

The Pentagon, tasked with overseeing IT for the new process, wants information about commercial off-the-shelf technology that could be used to support its applications, storage, security, and other technology services. OPM is partnering with Defense Information Systems Agency on the National Background Investigation System, the technical backbone of the new National Background Investigation Bureau. OPM will oversee NBIB and will continue to conduct background checks, according to the RFI.

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NBIS needs several capabilities, including automated processes for determining what type of investigation an individual needs for a position; an electronic applications process that would allow applicants to submit supporting information online; and an automated records check that would let investigators search for applicant data "against appropriate government and commercial databases to collect, analyze, and validate" information and "flag potential issues."

DISA also released a series of YouTube videos with more information related to the RFI. 

OPM is working closely with the Pentagon after the hack, especially to increase cybersecurity protections, acting director Beth Cobert explained during a conference last month. It's also trying to create special designations for cyber professionals so that recruiters can fully understand their technical skills.

"When someone says they are a Navy Seal or Army Ranger, we immediately know that means they have special advanced skills; that they are at the top of their game,” Cobert said in prepared said in prepared remarks. But with such designations, "when someone says they are a cyber defender, cyberwarrior, or cyber investigator, their level of expertise will be instantly understood and recognized.”