OPM and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence have issued a general statement of policies on vetting federal employees and contractor personnel, which “establishes the philosophy for the government’s personnel vetting program and will guide development of governmentwide and agency policy.”
A Federal Register notice of January 13 adds that while the statement itself is not binding except to the extent that terms may be incorporated into contracts, it “is intended to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies and to inform agencies of the framework that will guide their implementation of existing legal requirements, and any new requirements that are adopted.”
It defines a successful personnel vetting program as including, among other features, one that “provides a trusted workforce based on an evaluation of conduct, integrity, judgment, loyalty, and reliability”; “quickly identifies and appropriately addresses issues that may adversely affect the trust determinations of individuals”; and that leverages research and innovation and uses data-driven analytics as appropriate.
Also addressed are issues such as risk management, information management, information technology and organizational culture.
The notice says the next steps are to involve consulting with agencies through interagency processes “to refine and begin issuing and implementing the policies across the federal government to bring about change. In the coming months, ODNI and OPM anticipate several executive branch policies to be issued that will provide high-level direction, establish an aggressive path forward, and outline immediate steps to bridge to the future state.”