In 2018 the Defense Security Service (what is now the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency) replaced the eFCL Web site for facility security clearances (FCLs) with the NISS application within the NCAISS Web site. eFCL was a functional, reliable, relatively easy to use Web site. For the first two years of its life, NISS was buggy and unreliable. Finally, in 2020 the DCSA finally got it working fairly well.

Customers used to sponsor organizations for facility security clearances by emailing the required documentation to the DCSA. Now they have to submit such FCL sponsorship requests via NISS. And I’ve found that the security personnel (both in government and industry) usually don’t know how to do this. This has held up the issuance of facility security clearances; because until a sponsorship is properly submitted in NISS, the organization waiting for a facility security clearance will continue waiting.

NISS does provide some additional functionality to industry users to maintain their facility security clearances that eFCL did not. But NISS can still be a bit difficult or intimidating for new users.

So it has now become a part of my consulting practice to use NISS on the behalf of sponsored clients. And I have also had to coach the customers’ security personnel on how to even submit the facility security clearance (FCL) sponsorship properly in NISS.

~ Michael Bush, President and Principal Consultant of Secure Defense Consulting, Inc.