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DISA uses OTA to pilot background-investigation platform

The Defense Information Systems Agency has awarded a $49 million other transaction agreement (OTA) to develop to prototype a shared service for federal background investigations. 

DISA announced on July 9 that Enterprise, LLC, a Herndon, Va.-based firm, received the award on June 22.  The planned system, called the National Background Investigation Services Investigation Management Shared Service, aims to be an "integrated case management solution that will bring together the core functions … and provide the interface for investigative users," DISA officials said.

National Background Investigation Services, or NBIS, is the DOD organization created to take over background-check responsibilities from the Office of Personnel Management's National Background Investigation Bureau.  DISA houses the new service, and it is pushing for more continuous monitoring to streamline the reinvestigation process for security clearance holders and reduce the current backlog of more than 700,000 cases.

OTAs elsewhere in DOD have drawn criticism, but DISA is defending the approach as the best way to "acquire leading-edge technologies by tapping into a non-traditional defense contractor base."

“We’re building a first-of-its-kind enterprise system that brings together the complex integration of a number of disparate systems on an unprecedented scale," NBIS Program Manager Raju Shah said.  "We needed to hear from as wide a selection of vendors as possible to understand what was possible and be able to narrow to what’s probable."

Other firms on the Enterprise team include Accenture Federal Services, Next Tier Concepts, Pegasystems and Torch Research.

About the Author

Troy K. Schneider is the Editor-in-Chief of both FCW and GCN, two of the oldest and most influential publications in public-sector IT. Both publications (originally known as Federal Computer Week and Government Computer News, respectively) are owned by GovExec. Mr. Schneider also serves GovExec's General Manager for Government Technology Brands.

Mr. Schneider previously served as New America Foundation’s Director of Media & Technology, and before that was Managing Director for Electronic Publishing at the Atlantic Media Company, where he oversaw the online operations of The Atlantic Monthly, National Journal, The Hotline and The Almanac of American Politics, among other publications. The founding editor of, Mr. Schneider also helped launch the political site in the mid-1990s, and worked on the earliest online efforts of the Los Angeles Times and Newsday. He began his career in print journalism, and has written for a wide range of publications, including The New York Times,, Slate, Politico, Governing, and many of the other titles listed above.

Mr. Schneider is a graduate of Indiana University, where his emphases were journalism, business and religious studies.

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