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Washington, DC - Kay Coles James, Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management announced that key management positions facilitating the integration of 1,800 Defense Security Service (DSS) employees into OPM's Center for Investigative Service have been configured and the positions will be filled within the coming weeks.
James stated, "We look forward to the integration of DSS employees into OPM's Center for Investigative Services in February. To facilitate the transfer we have moved to add important new management positions to the OPM team. Qualified and talented applicants are competing for these positions, and the OPM team will make an announcement on the hires shortly."
OPM will select a Chief and Deputy Chief of Operations for each of four regions, as well as a Program Manager and a Deputy Program Manager for quality assurance and investigations support functions at the Personnel Investigations Center at Ft. Meade, Maryland. When selected, this leadership team will report to the Center for Federal Investigative Services (CFIS) center in Boyers, Pennsylvania for an extensive orientation and management training session. The sessions are scheduled to start February 14, 2005.
"Providing background investigations for potential federal employees is a critical component of the War on Terror," James stated. "As such, we must ensure the migration of the Department of Defense's Defense Security Service function to OPM is done properly to ensure the investigation process and its impact on national security is uninterrupted."
The Defense Authorization Act of FY 2004 contained a provision that would allow the OPM Director to accept the transfer. Ongoing discussions between OPM and DoD resulted in an agreement to transfer the Personnel Security Investigation (PSI) function from DSS to OPM. Partnering with OPM's contract investigative workforce, these Federal investigators will conduct all personnel security investigations for DoD.
CFIS supports thousands of DoD and non-DoD Federal agency security offices worldwide. Its automated support systems have demonstrated high volume processing capability, handling over one million requests for some level of background investigations during FY 2004.
An earlier agreement to train DSS personnel on the use of OPM's computer system known as the Personnel Investigations Processing System will make the transfer of employees to OPM much easier. The training of DSS personnel on the use of this system was completed in June 2004. All new background investigations being conducted by DSS are being processed on the PIPS system. The Defense Department estimates that it avoided at least $100 million in planned system enhancement costs by migrating to OPM's system.
Our mission is to Recruit, Retain and Honor a World-Class Workforce to Serve the American People. OPM supports U.S. agencies with personnel services and policy leadership including staffing tools, guidance on labor-management relations and programs to improve work force performance.