Electronic Fingerprinting to Become Mandatory for Security Clearance Background Checks


Electronic fingerprints to be required for obtaining security clearance

A memo signed last July by the Under Secretary of Defense (Intelligence) (USD(I)) specifies that background investigations for security clearance through the Department of Defense will require the electronic capture of full sets of fingerprints by the end of 2012.

According to a release from the Defense Security Service, the requirement will also go into effect for defense contractors who have been cleared under the National Industrial Security Program (NISP).

This new requirement will apply to a significant majority of these contractors that employ workers in defense jobs, as only approximately 11 percent of the 13,000 NISP cleared facilities currently electronically submit their fingerprints, the release said.

One of the major steps that companies with security clearance need to take is to purchase equipment in order to utilize the Secure Web Fingerprint Transmission (SWFT) program. There are approximately 500 products that the FBI considers certified to capture such fingerprints, the Defense Security Service says.

The new fingerprinting program will be administered by the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC), according to the center's website.