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FCW : October 2016
in cloud contracts were awarded by the Air Force in fiscal 2016, according to Deltek $30 million October 2016 FCW.COM 9 The Obama administration has tapped Charles Phalen Jr., Northrop Grum- man’s vice president of corporate security, to run the new National Background Investigations Bureau. Phalen took the helm of NBIB on Oct. 1 as the new entity absorbs Federal Inves- tigative Services and assumes responsibility for processing federal background checks. NBIB was created as a semi-autonomous agency at the Office of Personnel Management in the wake of the OPM breach that resulted in the theft of personal information on more than 20 million federal employees and contractors. NBIB will partner with the Defense Department, which will build and manage a new IT platform for the background checks. DOD CIO Terry Halvorsen said the continuing resolu- tion passed by Congress in September includes $95 million for the Defense Information Systems Agency to build the IT system and the authorization to begin that work. Halvorsen said it will take 12 to 18 months to complete; in the meantime, DOD will work with OPM on securing the existing system. NBIB inherits a backlog of more than 500,000 people awaiting the initial process- ing of their security clear- ance or reinvestigations. It currently takes an average of 120 days to process a secret clear- ance and 170 to process a top secret clearance. The goals are 40 days and 80 days, respectively. “I am fully aware of the backlog in background investigations,” Phalen said during a conference call with report- ers. “We will be working immediately to improve the timeliness, and that will be a top priority for me and the entire NBIB team.” When Phalen’s appointment was announced, federal officials also out- lined a number of initiatives designed to give NBIB greater capacity to pro- cess security checks. Specifically, they noted that 400 new field officers have been hired in the past year and more are on the way. Contractors will con- tinue to conduct most field operations, but those activities will be reformed to incorporate more federal oversight. In addition, the bureau will create a new law enforcement liaison office and work with state and local law enforce- ment agencies to automate the collect- ing and sharing of criminal records. On the personnel side, there will be rotating details and joint details with members of the intelligence community. Although he currently works in industry, Phalen has 30 years of govern- ment experience. His previous positions include director of security at the CIA, assistant director of the FBI’s Security Division and chief of the Protective Programs Group in the CIA’s Office of Security. — Sean D. Carberry Northrop Grumman’s Charles Phalen to lead NBIB Charles Phalen Jr. FAA.GOV Top federal officials said authorizing funds to replace legacy IT is vital to sustaining and accelerating shared- services momentum before the next administration takes office. The Modernizing Government Tech- nology Act of 2016, passed by voice vote in the House on Sept. 23, combines a cloud funding measure that originated in the Senate with an Obama adminis- tration-backed bill that calls for a $3.1 billion governmentwide revolving fund to retire and replace legacy systems. “It gave us a workable framework to modernize IT systems and imple- ment resource-efficient shared servic- es among agencies,” said David Mader, controller at the Office of Management and Budget, during a panel discussion at the Association of Government Accountants’ Shared Services Summit earlier this month. “The legislation will be foundational” for agencies’ consid- eration and implementation of shared services. The MGT Act does not appropri- ate new money but instead authorizes working capital funds at the 24 agencies governed by the Chief Financial Offi- cers Act to drive IT modernization and bank the savings achieved from retir- ing expensive legacy IT and shifting to managed services. It also authorizes a governmentwide revolving fund to be run by the General Services Administration. The adoption of shared services is growing quickly, said Beth Angerman, executive director of GSA’s Unified Shared Services Management group. The organization is only a year old, but she said it has already helped 35 agencies move toward shared-services programs. “We’ve been successful beyond our dreams,” Mader said. “We’ve got more demand than supply” for services. That demand is spilling over from federal providers, such as the Treasury Department, to commercial providers, he added. And he said the next adminis- tration should take an early look at how to expand supply for federal agencies. — Mark Rockwell Officials and lawmakers seek to supercharge shared services NORTHROPGRUMMAN.COM 1016fcw_003-009.indd 9 10/11/16 2:25 PM
September 30, 2016
November and December 2016