With the implementation of Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD-12), “Policy for a Common Identification Standard for Federal Employees and Contractors”, the HHS Program Support Center (PSC) was required to meet specific evolving accreditation standards by October 27, 2005, and additional standards by October 27, 2006, and even more stringent standards by October 27, 2007. The standard also states that “all sites must be certified and accredited (C&A) against NIST Special Publication (SP) 800-79, Guidelines for Certification and Accreditation of PIV Card Issuing Organizations”.
The HHS Program Support Center provides Personnel Security Support and Security and Administrative Support Services for many of the HHS Operating Divisions (OPDIV’s) and other HHS components locally and in the regional offices across the United States. Protection Strategies Incorporated (PSI) was awarded a contract to conduct a complete evaluation and analysis of the current business practices and work-flow process of the personnel security operations in the Security Services Branch/PSC and then provide a plan of action to recommend corrective actions to streamline the personnel security operations in the Security Services Branch/PSC, specifically the processing of suitability and clearance packages and provide personnel security and administrative support services to eliminate the current backlog of applications and increase productivity.
Personnel Security and Administrative support services that PSI is providing include but are not limited to:
- Review the current procedures for accepting requests for background checks
- Review the current practices for the accountability of the information packages from the receipt of the requests to adjudication
- Review personnel security forms (SF85 and SF85P) and processing the information packages to initiate background investigations through the Office of Personnel Management (OPM)
- Review the process for the distribution of cases to the Security Services Security Branch Staff members
- Coordinating with Security Services Branch staff employees and Management Staff to ensure timely responses to requests for security related information
- Enter data into databases, generate reports, and review reports of investigation
- Review the process for responding to customer service inquires regarding investigative information and making status checks with OPM
- Review current filing system to determine if all HSPD–12 criteria for records keeping are adhered to
- Develop a plan of action and organize the business process, ensuring timelines are met
- Make recommendations for separate filing systems for vital records and non secure records
- Make recommendations for the tracking of the packages from receipt to adjudication