Press Releases: Internal Efficiency & Effectiveness
May 3, 2004
OPM Advances E-Clearance Initiative
Move will gain efficiencies in the investigative process
WASHINGTON D.C. - Through the use of technology developed by its E-Clearance initiative, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management has streamlined the completion of the security questionnaire by automating that data collection process. This technology also is eliminating duplication of effort and promotes more accurate and effective exchange of information among the agencies processing personnel security actions.
"Investigating a person’s background is something that must be done in order to ensure that they are what the American people want: loyal, suitable and capable individuals who are ready to serve their fellow citizens and conduct the nation’s business," said OPM Director Kay Coles James. "And through the technology that we have created, OPM is making sure that the background investigations process becomes more reliable while simultaneously promoting efficiency."
Improvements to the E-Clearance process include the Clearance Verification System (CVS), a system designed to monitor and provide access to existing security clearance information (it also enables the verification of clearances and agency assignment of employees); and, the electronic Questionnaires for Investigations Processing (eQIP), an automated information collection tool that obtains data from the applicant, thus alleviating the burden on the applicant, reducing the error rejection rate of applications and shortening the information collection period so that investigations can be scheduled sooner.
OPM opened a training laboratory to provide personnel security officers training and experience on the CVS and eQIP systems. For larger groups, the OPM E-Clearance team travels to agencies to demonstrate the new systems. Twenty-eight agencies have received training at the lab located in Crystal City, Virginia, and three have received offsite training. (To date, 178 individuals have been "trained as trainers.")
- Departments and Agencies trained include:
- Department of Homeland Security
- Department of Justice
- Department of Transportation
- General Services Administration
- National Aeronautics and Space Administration
- Department of State
- Federal Aviation Administration
- Commodity Futures Trading Commission
- Office of Special Counsel
- President’s Commission on White House Fellows
- Administrative Office of United States Courts
- Federal Reserve Board
- National Archives and Records Administration
- Patent and Trademark Office
- National Science Foundation
- Federal Communications Commission
- Department of Energy
- Department of the Interior
Looking forward, the OPM E-Clearance initiative will complete the development of a secure communications portal to support the sharing of electronic investigative files among authorized federal users. The E-Clearance initiative will also undertake a business process reengineering effort to identify, and electronically automate, investigative and adjudicative best practices.
These activities will empower the personnel security community to make informed clearance decisions in a more efficient and effective manner, reducing the time required to grant clearances.