The Defense Department will implement a new screening system that will subject people to FBI background checks every time they enter a military base.
The new system will mark a first for the Defense Department, which previously screened people – currently enlisted troops, veterans, relatives, and others – against its own database only. Beginning this Friday, August 8, identification cards handed out by the department will be automatically linked to the FBI’s criminal database, and any time a background check brings up violations lie arrests or felonies, the individual in question will be taken aside and questioned.
According to website NextGov.com, DOD have been working on this feature for some time now, but decided to fast-track implementation after the shooting at the Washington Navy Yard in 2013.
"This all comes back to the Washington Navy Yard process, which was a big deal -- but the real change that happened was the physical security community and the IT guys talked to each other and said, ‘You know what, it’s not a physical security problem; it’s an identity problem,"Michael Butler, deputy director for identity services at the Defense Manpower Data Center, said to NextGov. "When you look at it that way, it completely changes the game."
The screening system – known as IMESA – be implemented at all DOD locations in order to protect against similar attacks going forward. The Navy Yard shooter was able to gain access to restricted areas with his ID card even though he had been arrested previously and had other violations on his record, said NextGov.
In its report, the review panel found that current security methods at military bases are lacking and need to be improved.
“The systems and processes for admitting cleared and uncleared personnel through the gates to DOD facilities are insufficient to ensure on-base security,”the report stated. “Currently, each service is implementing its own automated system for its own facilities . . . We recommend the joint approach of the Identity Management Enterprise Services Architecture effort.”
In addition to connecting ID cards to the FBI database, the DOD is also planning on adding records from state and local law enforcement agencies in the future, NextGov reports.