New Electronic Fingerprint Requirement for Security Clearance has Many Benefits


Electronic fingerprint system to benefit cleared companies

While a majority of defense contractors with security clearance may not already have it in place, the soon-to-be required electronic fingerprinting will be beneficial in a number of ways.

According to a Defense Security Service release, approximately 11 percent of companies with security clearance under the National Industrial Security Program (NISP) are using the system, called the Secure Web Fingerprint Transmission (SWFT) program.

While this number may seem low, facilities with security clearance have the opportunity to begin their transition to the new system immediately, according to the Defense Security Service. In order to do this, the companies need to purchase the necessary equipment at a price tag ranging from $2,000 to $20,000 per machine, the release said.

Purchasing these machines can have major benefits for security cleared companies, as they can help prevent fingerprint files from being rejected by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) due to issues with the ink such as smudges. Of the 3,160 investigative cases that were submitted by the Defense Industrial Security Clearance Office (DISCO) and rejected by the OPM, 67 percent dealt with fingerprint file issues, according to the release.

In addition to electronic fingerprints, a lifestyle polygraph is also typically required for personnel looking to obtain security clearance to qualify for defense and intelligence jobs.