HomeInformation SystemsThe National Background Investigation Services (NBIS)

WHAT IS NBIS?


The National Background Investigation Services (NBIS) is the federal government’s one-stop-shop IT system for end-to-end personnel vetting — from initiation and application to background investigation, adjudication, and continuous vetting. NBIS is one consolidated system designed to deliver robust data protection, enhance customer experience, and better integrate data across the enterprise.

Still in development, DCSA assumed operational control and responsibility for NBIS from the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) on October 1, 2020. NBIS will build upon and replace a suite of legacy background investigation IT systems, decommissioning them in stages through 2023.

Do you have any questions? Please call our Agency Support/System Liaison Helpline at 724-794-5612, x4600 for any questions regarding NBIS.

NBIS One Pager

 

Release 2.6 poster

 
NBIS supports end-to-end personnel vetting process, from initiation and application to investigation, adjudication, subject management, and monitoring.
 

ONE CONSOLIDATED SYSTEM

NBIS will replace a suite of legacy background investigation and case management IT systems from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC), including Electronic Questionnaires for Investigations Processing (e-QIP), Secure Web Fingerprint Transmission (SWFT), Joint Personnel Adjudication System (JPAS), Defense Information Security System (DISS), Position Designation Tool (PDT), Personnel Investigations Processing System (PIPS), and more. With one consolidated system, security managers, investigators, and adjudicators will be able to access case status throughout the lifecycle of a background investigation, enhancing capacity and creating synergies from easier data validation.

THE FUTURE OF PERSONNEL VETTING

NBIS is the foundation for future technology and policy requirements. As the federal government looks to reform and modernize its personnel vetting processes with Trusted Workforce 2.0 policy changes, NBIS will play an integral part. The system will leverage technology to improve delivery and capabilities. Notably, it will functionalize innovations, such as Continuous Vetting, as DCSA moves from periodic reinvestigations to real-time automated record checks, immediately alerting investigators to real-time concerns.

HEIGHTENED SECURITY

NBIS will use cutting-edge technologies to safeguard the system, employing the same security controls used to protect warfighter communication systems. End-to-end data encryption and multiple layers of security will better segment data so that — in the event of an adversary attack or data spill — it will contain the spill and limit the impact.

CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT

NBIS is leveraging proven Agile and DevSecOps pipeline approaches to software development. By facilitating fast, collaborative, incremental technology releases, these proven methodologies alleviate the need for broad system overhauls and will speed delivery, improve functionality, deliver customizable solutions, and enhance security. In this approach, NBIS users will be able to provide feedback to inform requirement generation and lead to continuous implementation and improvement.

INCREASING SPEED AND EFFICIENCY

New features such as e-Adjudication (automatically adjudicating background investigations with no substantive information of concern) and mass initiation (allowing users to request investigations for multiple similar subjects at once) will greatly expedite the investigation process. Security managers will also be able to tag cases and develop refined metrics to meet reporting needs. Thirty-two agencies are now using e-Adjudication.

EXPANDING TRANSPARENCY AND USER EXPERIENCE

The new subject portal, e-App, will allow subjects to track their individual case status. The application itself will be easier to use and provide better information for vetting professionals. Subjects will have the ability to save their application more easily.

 

WHY WAS NBIS CREATED?

Mandated by Congress to better protect background investigation data, NBIS was designed to improve upon and create new capabilities, leveraging proven Agile and DevSecOps pipeline approaches to speed up delivery and improve functionality of the background investigation process.

Replaces a suite of legacy background investigation IT systems from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC), including Electronic Questionnaires for Investigations Processing (e-QIP), Secure Web Fingerprint Transmission (SWFT), Joint Personnel Adjudication System (JPAS), Defense Information Security System (DISS), Position Designation Tool (PDT), Personnel Investigations Processing System (PIPS), Central Verification System (CVS), and more.

NBIS will:

  • Collect and validate submitted information, including previous investigations.
  • Process fingerprints and biometric data.
  • Integrate case management with automated workflow, including continuous evaluation.
  • Automatically validate data from multiple sources.
  • Enhance user experience and customer availability.
  • Expand data confidentiality and integrity.  

 

WHEN WILL NBIS TRANSFER TO DCSA? WHO OWNS NBIS?

DCSA wgill assume operational control and responsibility for NBIS from the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) on October 1, 2020.

HOW WILL NBIS CHANGE THE WAY WE DO BUSINESS?

NBIS improves efficiency by automating manual practices and removing paper from the background investigation process. While NBIS is the modernized, integrated tool, most of the current processes and procedures will stay the same and be very familiar to users. NBIS will provide enhanced user experience (UX) and increase customer visibility into cases. The system offers a new user interface, tested and proven by an intensive design review phase, shifting from a case-centric platform to a person-centric UX.

WHERE IS NBIS HOSTED?

NBIS is hosted on a secured cloud architecture that provides security, privacy, and data protection in a functional design.

WHEN WILL THE IT SYSTEMS I USE TRANSFER TO NBIS?

All OPM personnel vetting IT systems coming from OPM and DMDC will eventually be rolled into NBIS and decommissioned. NBIS will be incrementally delivered, performing limited production releases of each new major capability as they become available. The Position Designation Tool (PDT), eApp, and Automated CE Deferral have already been deployed. The Subject Management and Adjudication capabilities will be deployed in January 2021, and the Investigation Management tool will be deployed in January 2022. In 2020, there will be quarterly capability releases for compliant continuous evaluation and investigation management to support Trusted Workforce 2.0. Deployments will start with some cases flowing to legacy systems and others flowing directly into NBIS Continuous Evaluation. Deployments will continue through 2021 with a focus on completing transition to NBIS investigation management. By early 2022, legacy IT systems are expected to be retired. NBIS will continue to change, add, and enhance capabilities and functionalities based on policy requirements.

WILL THERE BE CONTINUITY ISSUES DURING THE TRANSITION?

As agencies start using NBIS, DCSA is committed to delivering superior user support. DCSA’s plan to phase the transition from legacy systems to NBIS over multiple years deliberately strives to ensure service continuity.

WILL CUSTOMERS NOTICE ANY DIFFERENCES IN THE IT TRANSFER?

E-QIP is the only legacy OPM system that will be changing from an applicant’s perspective. Eventually e-QIP will be replaced by e-App through NBIS. Depending on when agency customers onboard to e-App/NBIS and the level of investigation required, some will be using both e-QIP and some will be using e-App to initiate investigations before all investigations are converted to e-App. Our System Liaison Team will support e-App/NBIS simultaneously with e-QIP.

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR TRANSFERRING TO NBIS?

Agencies will work directly with their DCSA agency liaisons to sign the appropriate forms and take the appropriate actions, including signing an NBIS Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), amending or modifying System of Records Notices (SORN), identifying agency onboarding champions, forming an agency deployment team. DCSA will also work with agencies to ensure all individuals have the minimum eligibility requirements and the correct credentials, signed the correct forms, and completed the appropriate trainings.

WHAT IS THE ONBOARDING PROCESS LIKE?

As DCSA onboards agencies to NBIS, we are committed to supporting them every step of the way. To begin onboarding to NBIS, agencies must complete the following requirements (DCSA Agency Liaisons will contact your agency to provide the necessary forms and additional guidance):

  • Sign NBIS Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
  • Determine whether participation in NBIS obligates your agency to publish, amend, or modify your own System of Records Notice (SORN)
  • Identify an Agency Onboarding Champion to serve as the main point of contact (POC) and sponsor throughout the Onboarding process
  • Form an Agency Deployment Team (ADT) that includes individuals with expertise in project management, metrics and reporting, configuration management, investigation initiation workflow, training, and human resources.
  • Confirm your agency has access to a compatible internet browser (i.e., the three most recent versions of Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, or Apple Safari)

Additionally, Agency Onboarding Champions and ADT Members that need to access NBIS will also need to complete the following requirements:

  • Ensure individuals have a minimum of an adjudicated T1 investigation.
  • Confirm individuals have the necessary smartcard for identity authentication that performs a trusted, PKI certification in compliance with Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (e.g., Common Access Card (CAC), Personal Identity Verification (PIV) Card)
  • Complete Personnel Security System Access Request (PSSAR) form (DD2962 v2) for user account creation. Individuals should download the form via the Washington Headquarters Service (WHS) website, ensuring they complete the version that has DCSA labeled as the Office of Primary Responsibility (OPR).
  • Complete DoD-sponsored Cybersecurity training within past 12 months
  • Complete DoD-sponsored Personally Identifiable Information (PII) training within past 12 months
  • Ensure users follow the guidance in the NBIS Account Management Policy (pending release).

 

WHO DO I CONTACT FOR MORE INFORMATION?

Please call our Agency Support/System Liaison Helpline at 724-794-5612, x4600 for any questions regarding NBIS.

 

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Please call our Agency Support/System Liaison Helpline at 724-794-5612, x4600 for any questions regarding NBIS.