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.
The Peraton team was successful in helping the NBIS PEO replace an unsustainable personnel vetting process and a suite of legacy background investigation and case management IT systems with a single, unified system. The consolidated system allows security managers, investigators, and adjudicators to access case status throughout the lifecycle of a background investigation, enhancing capacity and creating synergies from easier data validation.
The Department of Defense (DOD), through the NBIS PEO, has been directed to reform and modernize federal personnel vetting. The NBIS PEO managed an IT portfolio that was obsolete, inflexible, often exposed to security vulnerabilities, and was comprised of mostly legacy applications running on a variety of hardware platforms including mid-tier and mainframe computers.
The systems within the IT portfolio were inherited from multiple agencies that had no shared standards and little documentation, had highly fragmented architecture, and poor UX/CX—these factors, combined with a paper-based process, contributed to an exceedingly long personnel vetting process.
Peraton recognized that the desired reform requires the use of transformational approaches to reengineer the process for executing the personnel vetting mission in an efficient and agile manner utilizing information technology capabilities including:
- Big data concepts supporting machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) solutions
- Secure cloud architecture
- Agile development of automated tools
- Advanced data analytics
- Intelligence amplification
- Mandated and emerging relevant data sources (i.e., social media)
- Emerging or not previously utilized technology and automation
The NBIS PEO required a rapid prototyping activity to produce a minimum viable product (MVP) supporting basic investigation capabilities within 90 days. Following successful demonstration, the second phase of the project required a full spectrum NBIS investigation management capability enabling full life cycle security clearance processing for seven federal agencies within one year.
To support the accelerated timelines required and the complexity of this development effort, Peraton proposed and implemented a Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®)-based Agile development process allowing for rapid system development. Using a suite of AWS and commercial off-the-shelf software, the proposed investigation management application would use a three-tiered architecture that works together to meet all customer requirements. This includes secure user authentication and access control processes, user experience components, a workflow engine, a Databroker component, an application programming interface gateway, and a privileged access manager.
The Value Delivered
Peraton digitally reimagined the process for executing the personnel vetting mission enabling the NBIS to improve efficiency by automating manual practices and removing paper from the background investigation process. The NBIS replaced a suite of multi-agency, legacy background investigation and case management IT systems with one consolidated system that allows security managers, investigators, and adjudicators to access case status throughout the life cycle of a background investigation, enhancing capacity and creating synergies from easier data validation.
The value that Digital Reimagined delivered to our customer includes:
- A foundation for future innovations (e.g., continuous vetting)
- Enabling the NBIS to use cutting-edge technologies to safeguard their system with end-to-end data encryption and multiple layers of security
- Enabling the NBIS to incorporate Agile and DevSecOps software development methodology that:
- Enables the delivery of fast, collaborative, incremental technology releases
- Facilitates the development of new features that expedite the investigation process
- Addresses frequent DOD requirements changes
- Reduces release time to production:
- Reduced testing from weeks to hours
- Reduced release time from months to days
- 75% pass rate with end to-end automation of the DevSecOps life cycle
- 50% reduction in defects through automated testing
Published: Sep 28, 2022