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DIS scales down.

DIS Scales Down

With the lessening of Cold War tensions, the shift in emphasis away from defense spending has accelerated. Yet maintaining the American way of life depends on a strong defense, and a strong defense is inherently dependent on the nation's ability to protect its secrets. Hostile intelligence collection by foreign powers can cause strategic damage to US plans, programs, capabilities, and future opportunities.

Despite global events of the past year and the easing of East-West tensions, the United States still has secrets that must be protected, secrets that would be beneficial to some foreign powers, secrets that, if lost, would be detrimental to national interests.

In the wake of these global changes, the defense budget is shrinking. By 1995, defense spending will be at its lowest level since before World War II. Reductions in the Defense Investigative Service (DIS) budget mean reductions in personnel, leading to fewer industrial security representatives and special agents to do the job.

When working with limited resources, we must use them wisely. President Bush stated in his recent address to the Veterans of Foreign Wars that as military forces are reduced over the next five years, the American military must become a "leaner, meaner fighting machine." Likewise, DIS must become a leaner security team and learn to maintain a strong and viable Defense Industrial Security Program (DISP), even as our resources are reduced.

To reduce the time required to conduct inspections and ensure meaningful results, DIS now conducts security inspections programmatically. That is, the industrial security representative selects a program or contract and reviews the implementation of that security program as it relates to that contract. In addition, the representative contacts government program managers to help focus the inspection and ensure that he or she is aware of the security requirements and any unusual situations before entering a facility.

Since I assumed the position of director of DIS, one of my goals has been to eliminate the adversarial relationship between DIS and contractors. It has taken awhile, but I definitely see a positive change in the way we are perceived by industry, particularly with regard to what industry now expects during a DIS inspection. In addition, during fiscal year 1990 (FY90), which runs through July 31, DIS conducted 12,866 on-site assistance visits and provided assistance by telephone on 76,130 occasions.

We continue to encourage the electronic processing of personnel security questionnaires. As of September 1990 more than 500 contractors were participating in the program. We continue to process all requests for personnel security clearances on an interim basis. During FY90, DIS issued 50,438 interim secret clearances. This processing time reduction has saved industry more than $118 million so far this year.

DIS is drastically reducing staff size at the cognizant security office. We will transfer some functions from staff specialists to field office personnel and centralize others at headquarters. During this past year, DIS initiated a pilot program to contract out some of our personnel security investigations and industrial security work.

We plan to train a sufficient number of our investigators to assume certain industrial security duties, such as inspecting Category D and access elsewhere facilities, participating in team inspection of larger facilities, and conducting inspections in areas where industrial security offices do not have access to investigate resources.

These initiatives mitigate the impact of our reduction in resources. As further cuts are levied, we'll have to make other changes and tougher choices. Certainly at some point the demands for our services will be reduced as defense spending is reduced. We will maintain a competent and balanced work force until the situation stabilizes.

DIS also recognizes that drastic changes in trade policies with foreign governments eventually drive changes in industrial security policies and programs. We need to prepare industry adequately to deal with these situations and review current policies to ensure they are compatible with new trade policies.

Many contractors with overseas operations would like to use and would greatly benefit from having a STU-III secure telephone unit in their overseas offices. We hear you! We are working with the Office of the Secretary of Defense to finalize policy.

I am also pleased to note that the cooperative effort between the National Security Agency and DIS to loan approximately 6,000 of the newest STU-III models to industry on a long-term, noncontract-specific basis is on track. Contractors interested in the program were notified in October 1990 that they would receive at least one terminal. Deliveries of terminals began in November and will continue through the third quarter of FY91.

In August, Craig Alderman announced the formation of the Defense Contractor Inspection Readiness Program. This program, which calls for active DIS participation, is designed to prepare contractors for treaty-related Soviet visits by identifying and funding needed countermeasures.

The new DIS image is not simply a public relations effort. It's a real reflection of a change in the way we do business in this era of global changes and lessening resources. Please note: I am happy to announce that the new deputy director for industrial security is Greg Gwash. He recently served as director of industrial security for DIS in the Pacific region, and he has been employed in DISP since 1972.

John F. Donnelly is director of the Defense Investigate Service.
COPYRIGHT 1991 American Society for Industrial Security
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Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Defense Investigative Service
Author:Donnelly, John F.
Publication:Security Management
Date:Jan 1, 1991
Previous Article:25 steps to success.
Next Article:Public vs. private security: what's the difference?

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