The federal government wants to create a national background investigation system. And it wants that system by next year.

In a notice to industry on FedBizOpps, the Defense Information Systems Agency announced plans to create a federalwide National Background Investigation Service, or NBIS. The project will fall under the Department of Defense’s chief information officer.

“The NBIS will be a service that supports background investigations by providing the information resources necessary to determine an individual’s trustworthiness to have access to U.S. government facilities, information and information systems,” DISA said. “The objective of this effort is to acquire a working, end-to-end software prototype of the federal background investigation workflow.”

The timeline is for initial operational capability by September 2018, and full operational capability by 2019. “Initially, the prototype needs only to demonstrate 1,000 Tier 3-type investigations,” DISA said. “The full operational capability solution must be scalable and configurable for all investigation tiers, processing all five levels of investigations and up to 3 million total cases every year. Finally, the NBIS must be secure, accept data from numerous external sources, and be tailorable for each agency’s needs.”

The announcement comes after reports that the Office of Personnel Management has a backlog of at least 700,000 background investigations pending. The situation is so bad that OPM has stopped disclosing the number of background checks pending.

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