National Background Check Investigation Bureau

By Michael Klazema on 10/18/2016

On October 1st, the National Background Investigations Bureau (NBIB) officially took over for the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) as the entity responsible for running background checks on federal employees and contractors. The shift is a major change for federal-level background checks as the OPM had been responsible for those screenings for many years. However, per a report from FedTech, the NBIB won't be completely up and running for another 12 to 18 months.

The reason for the delay is the "secure, backend IT architecture" that the NBIB is developing with the Department of Defense. The organization claims that the delay won't impact the agency's ability to conduct background checks on federal employees. The NBIB in its final form will rely heavily on in-progress IT support systems per management.

Terry Halvorsen, CIO of the Department of Defense, claims that the IT system will be "more secure, effective, efficient, [and] modern" than the systems that the OPM has been using for IT purposes. The Obama administration announced the creation of the NBIB in January 2016 following a tumultuous year in the OPM.

In 2015, the OPM made headlines for one of the largest data breaches in United States government history. The breach exposed "the background investigation records of current, former, and prospective Federal employees and contractors." The OPM estimated that the breach led to the theft of 21.5 million Social Security numbers as well as data about federal employees and their families. In total, 22.1 million people were likely compromised due to the breach.

With its new IT system, the NBIB aims to be able to keep personnel background check data (as well as other employee or contractor information) more secure. The job of maintaining the IT system and providing security for the NBIB in general has fallen upon the Department of Defense. The DoD is also working on updating the systems that the OPM was using for background checks so that the NBIB can ensure secure screenings and data storage until the new IT backend is finished.

In addition to the security from the DoD, the NBIB is being led by a director with strong security industry leanings. Per the FedTech report, Charles Phalen Jr., the inaugural director of the NBIB, spent 2007 to 2011 working as the Director of Security for the CIA. Since, he's served as the VP of corporate security for Northrop Grumman, a global security firm


Industry News

Tag Cloud
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • March 22 Countrywide, states and local municipalities have committed to ban the box legislation, seeking to equalize opportunities in the job market for those with criminal histories.
  • March 22

    Thinking about becoming a firefighter? Here are some of the background check requirements you might face.

  • March 20

    Four Department of Commerce employees are out after their background checks resulted in security clearance denials. All four had worked high-ranking positions for months despite incomplete background checks.

  • March 15 As more states legalize the recreational use of cannabis, they contend with the emergence of new industries surrounding marijuana cultivation and production. 
  • March 14 In most cases, it is easy to determine where an issue might show up on a pre-employment background check. Citations for traffic violations or reckless driving charges will appear on a motor vehicle record check. Verdicts in a civil court case will show on a civil court background check. And criminal convictions—from petty theft to violent felonies—show up on criminal background checks.
  • March 13 How many years back do employment background checks go? This question can have multiple different answers depending on the situation.
  • March 13 A new bill in Florida would require landlords of apartment complexes to present tenants with verifications of employee background checks to give them peace of mind the people working in and around their homes are trustworthy.
  • March 08 Police officers working with the University of Texas at Arlington recently arrested a man who had avoided police capture on a warrant out of Oregon for nearly two decades. The man, whose real name is Daniel Charles Ray Hanson, spent those 17 years using a variety of fake names and identification documents to move around the country, often engaging with educational institutions under false pretenses. Police say Hanson regularly went by at least three different aliases. He sports a rap sheet that stretches back to an arson conviction in 1995. 
  • March 07

    The Future of EEOC Guidance in Texas Is Up in the Air

    The EEOC issued guidance in 2012 warning employers about the dangers of enforcing categorical policies to bar candidates with criminal histories. That guidance is not enforceable in Texas thanks to a recent court ruling.

  • March 05 Vermont is the latest state to restrict employers’ access to and use of social media accounts of employees and applicants.