If you live in the South, Sweatember is leading into Hotober… the temperature doesn’t shift as much as it should, but the leaves get prettier!
Changes for the FSO are better this month! DCSA, the agency formerly known as DSS, has launched all their new products for the Federal Rule, the new Self-Inspection, the new Security Reviews and all the things we need to close out 2021 with a strong security program.
We always recommend checking the DCSA website, www.DCSA.mil, for announcements, tools, and up-to-date resources.
All of these changes may seem a bit inconvenient at first, but DCSA is assuring us that the overall user experience will be greatly enhanced with the new requirements and tools and—so far—we are finding that to be MOSTLY true (C’mon NISS! Do what you are told!)
Why Use the DCSA Website?
If you have a DCSA Rep who responds to you immediately (we are looking at you Braden Harrison and Matt Wells! We love you guys!) then that is awesome! If your Rep is busy (and they are ALL super busy right now with the agency changes), the website is a wealth of information at your disposal!
When Should We Check the DCSA Website?
Other than when you are trying to find an answer to a Federal Rule-related question, you should check it once a week. Seriously. Any time there are industry changes, outages, resources for security awareness month, Call Center closings, etc., they put that on the website first. I have called the call center for a question and been told “it’s been on the website for 2 months.” Even though that response made me feel a little throat-punchy, he was right. It was there and I should have checked the website!
What Would Help Me?
Here are some items on the website that can really help your programs.
- What’s New? Daily Alerts, Headlines, and links to social media – even job postings!
- Having trouble with NISS? There are links to courses and job aids for NISS.
- Clearance Questions for Personnel? VETTING RISK OPERATIONS CENTER (VROC) Contact information.
- When/How to Submit Fingerprints? Fingerprint Transmission Instructions and timing reminders.
- How to sponsor a Facility Clearance and the Process? Facility Clearance Branch contact information and instructions.
- Big Changes at Your Company? Resources for MARS: Mergers, Acquisitions, Reorganizations and Spin-off/Splits.
- Cleared Personnel Reports Something Adverse? Instructions for proper incident reporting. You Need More Training? Courses and links for all new CENTER FOR DEVELOPMENT OF SECURITY EXCELLENCE (CDSE) training.
- Need Quick Ideas for Cybersecurity Month? New Cybersecurity Shorts (that’s videos, not tiny pants!) and Social Media Smart Cards.
- Don’t Know what you don’t know? They are adding “Key Points to Remember”.
Happy New Fiscal Year!
Kids have a new school year in August, India kicks off a new year in April, Alaska celebrates in March when the snow and ice begin thawing, the Jewish new year is in September, but for Defense Contractors, the “new year” is that October 1 timeframe.
The new Fiscal Year.
Ah, such a beautiful time… said no one
Around this time each year:
- The finance and proposal teams have had near nervous breakdowns over the re-competes and new awards – “Can we get a TS FCL upgrade by next week???”
- HR has sent you dozens of resumes to vet for clearances – “What? He said he has an Active Top Secret! What do you mean he is Archived?”
- FSOs have been contacted by contracting officers for your “CSA Office and address” to put on DD254s and
- FSOs are simultaneously in and out- processing personnel – “What do you mean you shredded your badge, Bob?!”
Fives Key Ways FSOs Can Support The New Fiscal Year:
- Update Annual “perm cert” VARs in DISS with new period-of-performance (POP) dates.
- Update Annual Training requirements that are contract specific.
- Indoctrinate new personnel and get them re-badged and read-on to the same contract again.
- Update personnel training rosters and personnel security folders.
- Provide new metrics to your Senior Management.
Here’s some more detail on that!
- Perm Cert VARS: Before the new option year kicks off, make sure you have updated any Visit Authorization Requests in DISS or on forms to continue access for personnel who are on a contract that was just extended. Make it for as long as you can – usually 12 months is permitted in DISS.
- Contract Specific Training: Many new awards come with “complete this training in the first 30 days” requirements such as Insider Threat, Cyber-Challenge, Anti-Terrorism or PII. These requirements are often indicated in the performance work statement (PWS) or Statement of Work (SOW). Make sure you are helping to in-process personnel correctly by including this training with other Security On-boarding items.
- Speaking of On-Boarding: Tweak your onboarding checklists to ensure all items are covered: training, forms, VARs, badges, periodic reinvestigations, keys, parking passes, alarm code updates, citizenship verifications, new investigations, OCONUS/Theater travel prep, SF312s…add any new items and remove old ones that were contract-specific.
- Rosters: People have left (good riddance, Bob!) and new people have arrived. Plug new names into any security matrix you have for clearance count, training rosters, clearance investigation tracking and foreign travel. Remove the old ones and archive their records. Make sure they are separated/debriefed from DISS properly and don’t forget to check VARS in DISS and remove them. Finally, destroy any old SF86 information and archive their records.
- Update Senior Management: It is so important to keep the Senior Management engaged with the security program. One of the best ways is to provide them with Security Capability Metrics. Create bullets that: show percentages of clearances (ex: 50% of all personnel hold TS Clearances), FCL Levels (Top Secret FCL with Secret Storage and COMSEC Account), eligibility “We can support Top Secret clearances and SCI Designations” and, of course, training responses (ex: 90% of personnel participated with the FBI “Movie Day”!). Having Senior Management’s buy-in and support is valuable to what you are doing AND to Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency!
Let’s Have Some Fun!
I know, as a rule, Security Officers frown on using social media. That’s a good rule.
However, our social media FSO, Shea, has been putting together some fun, free things that will add a smile to your FSO heart and maybe test your knowledge on Facebook and Twitter!
Here are a few posts:
- The NISPOM Rule “Pop Quiz”
- FSO Memes
- Free worksheets, checklists, and planner items
- Announcements and threat awareness
- Quick Tips & Ideas
- Motivational Quotes
- Contests with Prizes for FSOs
Need more explanation or assistance with any items mentioned this month?
Contact FSO PRO!
Looking for FSO Gifts? Check out the FSO PRO Shop!
*Security Review Binders– set up and ready for your inspection materials
*Coffee Mugs—for your FSO Friends or your ISR.
*Membership Club— inspection help, questions, training, cheat sheets & FSO hacks!
*Training Videos for your cleared personnel
*Purchase Just One Hour FSO Support!
*Security Review Prep—get an extra set of hands as you prepare.
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.