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Atlanta, GA - U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Acting Director Dan G. Blair recently addressed participants at the Center for Federal Investigative Services (CFIS) orientation session in Atlanta, Georgia. CFIS is responsible for conducting federal personnel background investigations to ensure federal agencies have the information needed to make a security clearance or suitability decisions. The session was part of a series of orientations OPM is conducting for staff recently transferred from the Department of Defense's (DOD) Defense Security Service (DSS) to OPM. The sessions familiarize former DOD employees with OPM's standards for conducting federal background investigations.
"We seek to ensure those who work for the government possess the experience, training, skills, and loyalty our citizens expect and deserve, while determining they pose no risk to national security or public trust," Blair stated. "OPM is expected to manage 90 percent of all background investigations conducted for federal agencies. In the post-9/11 environment we live in, it is critically important investigations be performed in a timely and high-quality fashion."
OPM is considering several initiatives to clear cases more quickly. Among these is an expansion of OPM's national investigative capacity to 8,000 fully productive investigators and support staff. OPM also is leveraging technology to expedite the collection of personnel forms and deploying investigators overseas to handle cases requiring foreign field work, and is developing common investigative standards that should encourage more agencies to accept background clearances granted by other federal agencies.
"OPM's mission is to build a high-quality and diverse federal work force based on Merit System principles, and the DSS complements that mission by conducting investigations key to speeding the federal hiring process - ensuring the right people, with the right skills, in the right jobs," Blair added.
The next and final orientation session will be conducted the week of May 9 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
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.