Last month, whenever FSO PRO had to work on a NISS issue for our clients, we often had to get on the phone with their Industrial Security Representative (ISR). As a result, many of them went ahead and “completed the Continuous Monitoring call” as a matter of convenience. Its always FUN when some- one gives you a surprise review, huh? Good times.
What great FSO’s read!
Security threats gather, and now our watch begins.
How FSOs Are Becoming Even More Essential to Defense Contracting Companies Part 1!As an FSO, I wish for certain changes on a daily basis! I can share this here, in this newsletter, because frankly, no one else would know (or care!) what I am talking about! They are …
- Provide Defensive Travel to your summer vacationers. Share travel advisory warnings – this guy has them!
- Attend the NCMS Nation- al Convention in St. Louis!
- Begin changing “DSS” to “DCSA” on internal memos and training.
- Get yourself registered with DISS!
- Check in with DMDC on all the different ways they can assist you with DISS.
- Log into JPAS and any other timed data base so you don’t get locked out.
- Download the new NISS tools for your reference. (You can ask this guy for them.)
- Administer any scheduled annual training: Annual Refresher, Insider Threat, Self-Inspections for impromptu “Continuous Monitoring” calls!
- Let FSO PRO know how we can help you as you are implementing new FSO changes!
- I wish JPAS would never go “down for maintenance” in the middle of my work day!
- I wish field office addresses were listed on the DSS website when I am drafting DD254s!
- I wish that there was a help desk for eQIP questions and error messages when applicants are struggling!
- I wish that Interim clearances and adjudications would happen faster!
- I wish that the Continuous Evaluation dates would reflect in JPAS, so I don’t have to keep explaining or calling to verify it!
Some changes are better than others. Roll up your sleeves.
Change #1: Their Name!So, you know how at the holidays when you are telling your Aunt Carol you just had an inspection with DSS, and she is left wondering why the Department of Social Services is inspecting you? Well, that goes away this month! Defense Security Service will go from “DSS” to “DCSA” (go ahead and practice saying that a bunch of times). They are being renamed Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency as part of the Executive order signed on April 25, 2019.
Change #2: InvestigationsSpeaking of that Executive Order, it also stated that the DoD will be taking over investigations for personnel clearances. Will this make personnel clearances go faster or slower? No one knows yet, but so far, all this extra work for Reps and transitioning for the agency has given us the impression that it may be faster in years ahead but not in the transition year.
Change #3: Less on-site InspectionsSpeaking of the speed of things, this may help! According to more than one ISR (I have to say that because I have not seen this posted yet) a committee (not sure if committee is the right word) called NASOC (we have not found out what that stands for yet) is being established to help conduct “Continuous Monitoring” with companies so that the ISRs can spend the majority of their travel time with companies that need more intensive reviews. The “Continuous Monitoring” reviews will be phone calls for companies that primarily have “Service Assets” only and provide personnel/service support for classified contracts, (meaning your personnel work at a government site in performance of the contract, not at your office) and are about an hour long. Your on-site Security Vulnerability Assessments will have a longer gap in between. I have done both in the last two weeks – the call is a lot more enjoyable! Plus, the more your ISR is in the office as opposed to traveling, the more time they have to help you or to get caught up on the personnel clearance investigations!
Maybe DSCA will be kind and understanding…
Change #4: Types of VulnerabilitiesSpeaking of SVAs, the “V” stands for Vulnerabilities, but I hear most companies use the word “ding” as in “we got dinged for not having… “. Most FSOs are aware of the types of Vulnerabilities you can get for not having something required in the National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual (NISPOM). These will be called “Vulnerability with Citation” because it was required in the NISPOM. In addition to that, FSOs can receive “Vulnerability with milestone” for failing to implement a safeguarding measure for something that was identified as part of your organizations “tailored” plan.
UhOhThis sounds sort of scary (wait – I can get vulnerabilities for things I did not see in NISPOM?) but it is part of working with your ISR to really assess the vulnerabilities of your organization in a more personal way. The non-NISPOM related activities are about really involving your personnel, management, and executive leadership in security best practices that will ensure security for the whole organization – assets, proprietary information, and, as always, anything related to your classified contracts. If done right, it will make your security pro- gram more active for everyone and increase your rating score.
Change #5: Ratings = “like a FICO Score”Speaking of ratings, DCSA, the agency formerly known as DSS, (yep – you knew that was coming) will be changing their rating system. This has yet to be posted also, but my understanding is that “Satisfactory”, “Superior”, “Commendable”, etc., will go away and instead, organizations will receive a number score “similar to a FICO score” that will be available to government contracting agencies. The point of this “score” will be to encourage the government to use a “high score” as a factor when considering companies for an award. Meaning, if two companies offer the same value during a proposal but one has a higher security rating score than they other, that gives them the edge during the proposal! The idea being that attaching a good security program to the company’s ability to win contracts will increase the buy-in from your Executive Management and your company as a whole.
Just kidding, you will do great! And if not, call us before your boss starts barking at you.
I am happy for her promotion, but very concerned about those stairs. And in those heels?? FSOs, be safe out there, you are valuable.
What’s in It for Me?Okay – there are more changes to talk about, but I am going to stop for now mainly because my Editor gives me a word count and I used the term “Part 1” in the title so it would be weird not to have a “Part 2” but also as a moment of encouragement for FSOs! Facility Security Officers, aka FSOs (whose titles are NOT getting changed yet but if you have good suggestions, send them our way and we will lobby the DCSA for you!) are going to be one of the most essential positions in the company! Navigating these changes, implementing a “tailored plan with milestones” and driving up the ratings score, will take an FSO who is trained, organized, and knowledgeable. You will be required to develop a strong program and communicate it well to your organization who will, in all likelihood, be initially resistant to any change. If our security ratings do become part of the contract award program, your work contributions will be invaluable. For some of you, this means job security. It won’t be easy to replace you! For others, this could be promotions within your organization. For those of you who wear the FSO role as an extra hat, this could the chance to make being an FSO your main hat or handing off that hat to a dedicated person.
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FSO PRO thanks all the FSOs out there for everything you do to keep the warfighter safe. Even the smallest task is designed to keep our nation’s information out of the hands of those who would do harm. We, as FSOs, are doing our part to stay vigilant and determined to protect those who protect us, even in our own small way.
That is why we say how awesome you are. And thank you.