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DIS enhances data distribution.

The Defense Investigative Service (DIS) has the responsibility for administering a variety of programs. While work in these programs has been increasing, the number of personnel has declined. Improvements in efficiency are necessary to allow DIS to remain an effective organization and to support the industrial security requirements of the Department of Defense (DoD) and other federal agencies that subscribe to DIS programs (DISP).

To identify and implement improvement opportunities, DIS adopted the Corporate Information Management (CIM) methodology. CIM is a program aimed at meeting cost-reduction targets and deploying information technology while reducing costs. CIM assigns responsibility for process improvement to functional managers and uses business modeling techniques to simplify business processes prior to automation.

One of the CIM's early products was the development of a strategic plan for DIS that identified a number of incremental projects to accomplish business objectives. One of these projects was the management of industrial security data. Data is currently collected manually and compiled at the field office level in both electronic and paper copy.

The official record for a facility is filed in hard copy at the field office. Copies of some of the information are forwarded to the regional office for data input. The regional office also retrieves information needed by the field office for operational purposes, prints it, and forwards it to the field office. This system has two apparent drawbacks: It is inefficient, and it prohibits timely system-wide analysis of security issues.

In 1993, DIS conducted 17,000 security inspections of contractor facilities in the program. Reports were completed for each of those inspections and were handled according to the current system. While the information in the database is valuable for DIS management purposes, it does not contain data useful in developing industrial security policies or enhancing protection of classified material. If a contractor were to request information about common security problems in contractor facilities, the data would be difficult to obtain. It would be necessary to request the information from the field activities personnel, who would search paper files, extract the information, and feed it back to headquarters. The inefficiencies in this procedure have limited the capability to analyze what is taking place in facilities and to provide timely information to customers.

The CIM workshop that produced the plan was followed by a Functional Economic Analysis (FEA) workshop. The FEA team evaluated the plan by using benchmarking measurements and by comparing current processes to the plan. Integrated Definition (IDEF) activity models were detailed and cost comparisons made. The FEA team findings estimated savings between $39 million and $80 million for the agency over the next six years. The automation project began on July 12, 1993, with a requirements definition workshop. During the workshop, managers in the organization defined the information requirements necessary to meet mission objectives.

Three objectives were on hand at the start of the workshop: minimizing data entry by the industrial security representative; maximizing data value by making it readily available within the defense community; and minimizing development costs. When the industrial security representative is at a contractor's facility evaluating a security program or providing direct assistance to the contractor, he or she is having the maximum impact on improving security programs. Conversely, when the representative is sitting in a DIS office filling out a report or completing an administrative task, the value of the work being done with respect to improving security in contractor facilities is minimal.

To correct this problem, workshop participants examined data collection activities in detail, constructed data models, and identified areas where improvements could be made. The starting point was the assembling of forms, manuals, regulations, and directives identifying the processes and information required to conduct the industrial security program. This material was reviewed and compiled into a source material log. Each of the forty-six items was reviewed to determine what specific data was required and how that data was collected. Initially, 750 data elements were identified. These elements were put into an IDEF data model and were used to develop transaction requirements.

Participants found that one-third of the information was not necessary or was duplicated elsewhere. By the time the team completed the process, the number of data elements was reduced to 470. Recording of data will occur one time, at the field office. reducing the amount of time now spent recording and transmitting data.

Recording data is an activity that produces no dividends unless the data is available for use. Accessibility was addressed by integration of the industrial security data model by applying the DoD data standardization procedures.

Developing an integrated database is also essential to improving efficiency in DIS operations. Data exists within DIS that pertains to many programs. The Facility Clearance (FCL) is an example. An FCL is issued by DIS when a facility becomes eligible to receive classified information. To make that determination, the owners, officers, directors, and executives of the firm must also be eligible for clearance. The industrial security representative completes a survey in the field, the Defense Industrial Security Clearance Office in Columbus, Ohio, processes the personnel clearances, the personnel investigation center in Baltimore, Maryland, controls the inquiry, and investigators conduct research in the field. An integrated database would allow each of these elements to have access to all the information needed in a timely manner.

Initial steps for agency automation are underway. This project and others being scheduled will maximize the use of existing hardware and software. This effort has already provided dividends for the agency and will continue to do so as efficiency increases.

John F. Donnelly is director of the Defense Investigative Service.
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Title Annotation:Pentagon Corner; Defense Investigative Service
Author:Donnelly, John F.
Publication:Security Management
Article Type:Column
Date:May 1, 1994
Previous Article:Securing safety policies through self-inspection.
Next Article:The Portable MBA in Management.

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