Case Study eDISS

Facility Security Information Automation in the Department of Energy (DOE)

Download the Case Study –  Facility Security Information Automation in the Department of Energy (DOE)

Challenge
Provide comprehensive Information Technology services support to enable critical mission requirements for HSS.

Highland Solution
Assign highly motivated, fully qualified, security-cleared personnel who are trained and experienced in EHSS system and database support to work as extensions of the EHSS staff, including participating in planning and implementation of system and software development and upgrades.

Results
  • 100% compliance with OPM’s Clearance Verification System (CVS), a key component of the federal eClearance initiative.
  • Creation of a complex-wide Personal Identity Verification (PIV) system is estimated to save DOE $1.8M in support costs over 5 years by eliminating 8 redundant systems.
  • WebCPCI was characterized by the ODNI Joint Reform Team as being among the two or three most advanced systems in the federal government.
  • Conforms to DOE’s Enterprise Architecture requirements.

 

Customer Profile

The DOE Office of Environment, Health, Safety and Security (EHSS) was created to integrate DOE Headquarters-level functions for health, safety, environment, and security into one unified office. To accomplish this important responsibility, EHSS is focused on providing the Department with effective and consistent policy development, technical assistance, education and training, complex-wide independent oversight, and enforcement. Additionally, EHSS addresses Department-wide cross-cutting issues and enhances collaboration and sharing of technical expertise. EHSS has five major roles across these areas of safety and security:

  • Facilitating development of Departmental policy and requirements
  • Providing mission support (or implementation assistance) to the Under Secretaries and their line organizations
  • Working to improve competencies of the federal and contractor workforce in safety and security through our National Training Center in Albuquerque NM
  • Implementing enforcement programs for the Department’s self-regulation of nuclear safety, worker health and safety, and information security
  • Providing feedback to senior management through independent oversight inspections and reviews of contractor and DOE performance in safety and security

Within EHSS, the Office of Departmental Personnel Security is vested with the authority to ensure consistent and effective implementation of personnel security programs throughout the Department, including the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). This office also serves as the Department’s single point of interface with the inter-agency personnel security community, particularly with the significant initiatives led by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). This office’s functions include:

  • Representing DOE personnel security interests at inter-agency forums including OMB’s Performance Accountability Council, OPM’s Background Investigations Stakeholders Group, and the OPM-ODNI Joint Reform Team
  • Establishing expectations for the Department’s personnel security program including mechanisms to assure timely, appropriate and consistent adjudication of clearances
  • Developing and implementing automation initiatives to enhance the Department’s personnel security processes and to enable the Department to meet OMB expectations for reducing security clearance processing times
  • Managing and implementing the electronic DOE Integrated Security System (eDISS+) database and applications and maintaining the master personnel security records for the Department

Situation

The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act (IRTPA) specified aggressive time requirements for adjudicating clearances (80% of clearances adjudicated in 20 days or fewer).  To meet this requirement, maximum efficiency was required from the IT systems supporting adjudication to reduce numerous time lags in the adjudication life cycle: mail time, electronic vs. human routing, search and printing of hard copy investigations, etc.

Issues/Comments

Although tracking of clearance information had been partially automated in DOE for several years, many systems still relied on hard copy documentation and paper case folders for processing clearance request information.  The process of collecting and transferring the physical documentation is both time-consuming and costly.

DOE was encumbered with multiple overlapping yet disjointed security databases and applications. Redundant systems at various sites slowed the clearance processing effort. Multiple non-standardized databases made electronic transfer of clearance data next to impossible.

Resolution

Highland personnel helped develop and currently maintain eDISS+.  This system comprises one database accessed by multiple applications to provide a centralized, standardized repository of Department clearance data.  It also contains several electronic interfaces built to share data with external government agencies, as well as internal DOE programs.  The major elements are:

Database:

  • Personnel Security Database (PSDB) – This database houses all DOE clearance information for active, pending and terminated clearances. This database is accessed by the Web-Based Central Personnel Clearance Index (WebCPCI), CPCI Reports, the Classified Visitor Control System (CVCS), the Visitor Access Database (VADB) and the Weapons Data Access Control System (WDACS).

Applications:

  • PSDB Admin – This is a client application that is used to grant access and assign user roles to people that have a need to use the other client applications that have access to the PSDB. The PSDB Admin application is controlled by the system owner.
  • Web-Based Central Personnel Clearance Index (WebCPCI) – This is the web-based application utilized by DOE security personnel to view and update clearance information in the PSDB. CPCI allows for clearance tracking, adjudication and administrative review processing. This application also has case management functions in order to monitor and report on adjudicative timelines.  The ability to adjudication, track and process PIV access is also included in this application as a sub-module.
  • CPCI Reports – This is a client application utilized by security personnel to create reports from PSDB.
  • Classified Visitor Control System (CVCS) – This is a client application utilized by security personnel to access clearance information concerning upcoming classified visits.
  • Visitor Access Database (VADB) – The VADB is a web based application utilized by the guard force to validate visitors having active DOE clearances.
  • Weapons Data Access Control System (WDACS) – The WDACS is a web based application utilized by NNSA to grant access to weapons data. Recently migrated to a web-enabled application, the functionality was also upgraded per NNSA’s requirements to allow them to process visits more efficiently, and relying less on paper.
  • Computerized Document System (CDOCS) – The CDOCS is a client application that allows case file information to be scanned into the PSDB and associated with an electronic case folder.
  • Applicant Tracking System (ATS) – The ATS is a secure web page that allows a clearance applicant to see when the clearance investigation was scheduled, when DOE received the investigation results, and when a determination was made concerning the clearance request.

Internal & External Interfaces:

  • eDelivery System – eDelivery is the engine by which investigation results received from OPM are received electronically through a secure transmission and imported into PSDB. This data is then accessed via WebCPCI.
  • eAdjudication Web Service – This interface allows “clean” NACLC investigations received via eDelivery, to be ported to the Army’s eAdjudication algorithm. This process will parse the CCT and the SF-86 and return a result code of pass or fail, as a recommendation to the adjudicator.
  • Scattered Castles Data Feed – This is a daily feed of active “Q” clearances in order to populate the Scattered Castles initiative in the Office of Intelligence.
  • DOEInfo Data Feed – This weekly data feed of all active clearances is used by the Office of Information Management to reconcile clearance data for federal employees.
  • Badge Office Data Feed – This daily process connects to a database in the Badging Office at DOE HQ, to reconcile clearance levels for all DOE Federal and contractor employees. Any discrepancies are then resolved by the Badging Office.
  • CVS Data Feed – As mentioned above, this feed sends all active clearances and incremental updates on a daily basis to the OPM CVS The data is used by other agencies for reciprocity purposes.

eDISS+ provides DOE with an automated, paperless personnel security data processing and tracking system that monitors all clearance data from the time QNSP information is entered via eQIP through the OPM investigation to disposition and maintenance of the clearance.

Highland’s support includes all activities necessary to build, administer, upgrade, and secure the technical infrastructure, databases, applications servers, and networks that comprise eDISS+.

Benefits

Benefits of eDISS+ include significant reductions to both the time needed to adjudicate clearances and the amount of paper used in the clearance process.  This helps DOE to meet the timeliness deadlines set forth in the National Intelligence Reform Act of 2004 and the requirements of the Government Paperwork Elimination Act.  Specifically, the ability to adjudicate on-line eliminated the need to print and physically store approximately 5 million pages of information per year.

By implementing eDISS+, DOE was able to replace a number of independent tracking systems, thereby improving efficiency and reducing costs complex-wide.

Highland placed all DOE clearance data into a central location, thereby reducing the amount of time, data entry, and cost needed to track the status of clearances, to organize classified visits, and to assemble and generate system metrics – one system providing a solution to multiple DOE needs.

Download the Case Study –  Facility Security Information Automation in the Department of Energy (DOE)

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