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News Release

Monday, January 31, 2005
Contact: Brendan LaCivita
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Prepares for Transfer of the Department of Defense's Background Investigations Services Division

OPM soon will conduct majority of federal background investigations once transfer is complete

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director Kay Coles James continues driving OPM's efforts to quickly and effectively migrate the Department of Defense's (DOD) Defense Security Service (DSS) to OPM's Investigative Services division. Once the migration is complete, OPM will conduct over ninety percent of all background investigations for the federal government.

"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 are uninterrupted."

To affect a smooth transition, OPM recently has met with the General Services Administration, DOD's Defense Finance and Accounting Service, and the Office of Management and Budget to ensure the accurate transfer of thousands of DSS payroll and personnel files to OPM. The meetings are critical to provide for a seamless transition of DSS investigations personnel without any disruption to the employees' critical workload.

"We take seriously our role in homeland security, and will do what it takes to guarantee a smooth and orderly transition," said James.

As a part of the FY 2004 budget presented to Congress, the DSS was transferred to OPM. Partnering with OPM's contract investigative work force, federal investigators will conduct all personnel security investigations for DOD, as well as a wider range of federal agencies.

In addition, OPM will use its new nationwide federal investigator work force to strengthen relationships with state and local law enforcement agencies.

"Combining and centralizing background investigations services under one leadership team provides tremendous benefits for national security because it enables OPM to apply all available resources to meet the federal government's most pressing clearance needs," stated James. "As new critical needs are identified, OPM will be able to redirect resources quickly to meet those challenges."

In addition, consolidating processing of investigations completed by both groups to one automated processing system will save the federal government and taxpayers over a hundred million dollars in future investments. For many years, each program had heavily invested in the development of automation support systems, but by bringing both programs together under one processing format, the best of both development efforts will be combined to maximize efficiency.


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OPM leads and serves the Federal Government in enterprise human resources management by delivering policies and services to achieve a trusted, effective civilian workforce. By Empowering Excellence in Government through Great People, we provide leadership and support to U.S. agencies on issues including human resources policy and oversight, background investigations, federal employee benefits, retirement services, guidance on labor-management relations, and programs to improve workforce performance. For more information, visit or follow OPM on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

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