Thanks to the huge security debacle and obvious demonstration of complete incompetence, the United States Senate is looking to potentially strip OPM of its ability to handle security clearances for government and military employees:
Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas), who chairs the important House Subcommittee on Information Technology, called the idea of moving the security clearance database away from OPM “something to be explored.”
But some wonder whether another agency would even want to take on the task of securing that database. The Pentagon might be hesitant to take it back, as government-wide HR doesn’t necessarily fit under their military purview.
“I don’t think DOD would want it,” said McNerney, who also advised the Pentagon’s chief information officer on cyber issues as a lawyer. “Manage that crappy system? Are you kidding me? DOD isn’t the only agency that has SF-86s. Are they going to be responsible for every agency’s personnel files? DOD’s not going to want that mission.”
Plus, the OPM has bigger issues with its security clearance system than just protecting the actual data.
The agency has piled up a backlog of pending clearance requests, which may be exacerbatedby the recent decision to shut down its online submission system until a security defect could be rectified. The OPM receives 20,000 to 30,000 background checks each week.
Some have also accused the agency of poorly managing the security of its outside contractors that help conduct these background checks.
Officials have acknowledged that the digital intruders were able to infiltrate the OPM networks after lifting login credentials from an employee at KeyPoint Government Solutions, the government’s main background check contractor.
These failings are not necessarily a reason to take the whole process away from OPM, McCaskill said.