Magazine article Security Management

DIS Procedures Adapt for the Future

Magazine article Security Management

DIS Procedures Adapt for the Future

Article excerpt

During the Cold War era, the Defense Industrial Security Program (DISP) had a specific mission for protection of national security information and a definabl threat against which to measure success. Policies and procedures developed by industry and government were codified into the Industrial Security Manual for Safeguarding Classified Information, and the role of the Defense Investigative Service (DIS) was primarily compliance oriented. Security programs were, therefore, evaluated on the basis of their ability to meet the specific requirements set forth by the manual.

The money available in the defense budget and the buildup of military forces during the 1980s made this a successful security strategy. That luxury no longe exists. In order to adapt to a new environment, DIS is taking several steps to modernize its objectives and procedures.

The major consideration is the relevance of security costs in today's environment. The current administration is expected to reduce the Department of Defense budget 41 percent by 1997. This emphasizes the need for cost-effective security programs in the defense industry. The objectives of preserving economi security and defense capabilities also encourage cost-effectiveness in industrial security strategy.

The DIS is already adapting to its new environment. Several years ago, DIS bega emphasizing advice and assistance to private industry as an essential service i a comprehensive industrial security program. This approach emphasizes cooperation between government and private industry to prevent the loss or compromise of classified information.

Many successful initiatives have been developed by industry representatives and DIS field personnel. Open forums held in all of the DIS regions have prompted frank discussions of industrial security policy and practices, interaction between DIS and industry security professionals, and identification and solutio of security problems.

Industrial security councils have been established to foster awareness among participants, reduce costs, and increase the effectiveness of such programs in industry. Threat information is passed to industry through these programs, allowing those responsible for industrial security to focus their attention on areas where countermeasures are needed most.

The forums and councils, developed by personnel in the DIS field program and by their counterparts in private industry, respond to a need for threat information. Because of their firsthand knowledge of how security programs operate, these industrial security councils provide input to DIS on reengineering industrial security programs.

The industrial security directorate has held meetings at the national and regional levels to establish a direction for redesigning the way DIS administer the industrial security program. The reorganization effort has the following four objectives:

* Cut red tape. The DIS plans to shift from systems that require people to follow rules to systems where people are accountable for achieving results.

* Improve customer service. The government will put customers first and measure success by their satisfaction.

* Endorse empowerment. By motivating employees, the DIS hopes to make processes more efficient.

* Streamline management control. Internal regulations and management position will be reduced, allowing a clearer line of authority.

Recommendations garnered during the visits to the field are being examined and implemented. …

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