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'Continuous Vetting' Effort will Expand to Cover More Defense Civilians

October 10, 2023

Erich Wagner

Defense One

Office of Personnel Management HQ, Washington, DC DOUGLAS RISSING / GETTY IMAGES

By Erich Wagner, Defense One / October 5, 2023

Biden administration officials on Monday announced plans to expand the use of the new “continuous vetting” process for reviewing existing federal workers’ background checks to all “public trust” government positions by September 2024.

Part of an initiative dating to the Trump administration, continuous vetting refers to a new process by which the federal government uses automated data checks, such as credit histories and criminal records, to continuously monitor federal workers’ suitability to maintain a security clearance or otherwise serve in positions that require public trust.

It is designed to replace the existing process, known as periodic reinvestigations, and proponents hope the new process will ease some of the pressure that follow-up investigations place on the security clearance process, particularly the backlog of background checks required for federal job candidates to start work at their new jobs. Additionally, continuous vetting could catch potential red flags earlier, giving agencies a chance to offer support to federal workers experiencing difficulties before the problem can escalate.

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