President Trump signed an executive order April 24, 2019, that, in combination with the National Defense Authorization Act of 2018, section 925, shifts the primary responsibility for conducting background investigations for the federal government from the Office of Personnel Management to the Department of Defense. This executive order reflects the administration’s commitment to reform the personnel vetting enterprise to ensure a trusted federal workforce and achieve an efficient, effective, and secure operation that meets all government-wide needs for background investigations.
The DOD will reorganize the Defense Security Service to best position the department to assume primary responsibility for the government-wide background investigation mission. DSS will be renamed the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency and will conduct all activities currently assigned to DSS and serve as the primary entity for conducting background investigations for the federal government. DSS (and subsequently DCSA) reports to the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence.
Efforts to undertake the transfer of OPM’s background investigation function and associated personnel, resources, and facilities to DOD will begin immediately.