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Ex-CIA Official to Lead New National Background Investigations Bureau

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The new National Background Investigations Bureau will be led by the CIA’s former security director.

Charles Phalen Jr., who was working in the private sector after 30 years as a government employee, will start next week as the new bureau’s first director.

The NBIB was established last year to handle the massive government data breach at the Office of Personnel Management, the Associated Press reports. 

Phalen brings a lot of experience. He worked at the FBI and CIA.

The AP wrote:

The break-in at the OPM exposed security clearances, background checks and fingerprint records of more than 21 million current, former and prospective federal employees. That intrusion was widely blamed on China and led to the resignation of the OPM director and drew outrage over changing explanations about the severity of the hack.

The bureau will be part of OPM, but the Defense Department will design and operate the computer system that houses and processes people’s personal information.

Beth Cobert, acting director of OPM, told reporters that the bureau also is working to reduce the time it takes to investigate and issue or deny security clearances. Currently, it takes an average of 170 days to investigate a top-security clearance request, far exceeding the goal of 80 days, she said.

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