Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO)

The National Industrial Security Program at Defense Security Service (DSS)

Three Industrial Security Programs at DSS

DSS administers three industrial security programs:

  • The National Industrial Security Program (NISP)
  • The Arms, Ammunition and Explosives (AA&E) Program
  • The Critical Infrastructure Program (CIP)

The National Industrial Security Program at DSS

The National Industrial Security Program (NISP) is the largest of the three industrial programs present at DSS. Under the NISP, the Director of the Defense Security Service (DSS) administers the NISP on behalf of the Secretary of Defense and user agencies and is responsible for the administration of the Industrial Security Program for DoD and 23 non-DoD User Departments and Agencies of the Executive Branch, which are signatories to an agreement with DoD.

Currently, DSS has Industrial Security oversight and assistance responsibility for over 12,000 cleared facilities participating in the NISP and estimates that there are around 11 million classified documents in the hands of U.S. industry.

The Defense Security Service (DSS) has implemented a modernization initiative to enhance the effectiveness of the entire security community through standardized data sharing with customers and end users. Some current initiatives include:

  • Facility Verification Request (FVR)
  • The Defense Clearance and Investigations Index (DCII)
  • Joint Personnel Adjudicating System (JPAS)
  • Electronic Questionnaire for Investigations Processing (e-QIP)

for more information visit:

Defense Security Service


Facility Clearances for Industry

The U.S. Government relies upon cleared facilities to administer sound security programs on its behalf. A facility clearance (FCL) is a government decision that a facility is eligible for access to classified information. The granting of an FCL to a contractor marks the start of a partnership between the Government and the contractor.

DSS provides assurance to its customers that:

  • A facility is eligible to receive classified information.
  • Contractors have security systems in place to protect the classified information with which they have been entrusted.
  • Contractors implement and maintain sound security programs in accordance with the National Industrial Security Operating Manual (NISPOM).
  • Contractors have security systems in place to protect the classified information with which they have been entrusted in a manner equivalent to its protection within the executive branch of Government.

Initial Facility Security Clearances Process

This includes:

  • the introduction of contractor management and key personnel to the requirements of the NISP;
  • the adjudication of any elements of Foreign Ownership, Control, or Influence (FOCI); and
  • the initial facility accreditation.

Maintenance of the Facility Security Clearance

This includes all services required to maintain a facility clearance, to include:

  • security reviews
  • advice and assistance
  • administrative inquires
  • AIS accreditations
  • processing contractor clearance actions
  • government agency assistance
  • security briefings.

More information on the Facility Security Clearance (FCL) may be found at


Facility Clearance Life Cycle

  • The facility life cycle begins when the contractor is awarded a contract that involves handling classified information.
  • An initial survey of the contractor starts the FCL process. The end result of the survey is that the facility and the Key Management Personnel are cleared, or that they have been denied a clearance during the process of adjudication.
  • If the contractor has been cleared, then the DSS Industrial Security Representative then begins the cycle of:
  • Educating contractor employees who will be safeguarding classified information;
  • Approving the security containers for storing classified information;
  • Accrediting automated information systems that process classified information;
  • Providing advice and assistance to the security office and contractor employees, as requested;
  • Assisting the contractor in investigating security violations, to include determining if compromise occurred and putting procedures in place to prevent recurrences;
  • Ensuring transfer of classified information between nations (government to government) is done in compliance with appropriate agreements; and
  • Reviewing the contractor's overall security program, on an annual basis, to ensure all information is being safeguarded properly.

Personnel Security Management 
Office for Industry (PSMO-I)

The PSMO-I, located in Hanover, MD, processes, issues and maintains industrial security program facility clearances and industrial security personnel security clearances.

The Security, Education, Training and Awareness Program

Security education, training, professional development support, and counterintelligence awareness is the third major mission area of DSS.

The Defense Security Service Academy

The Defense Security Service Academy plays an integral part of this mission area for DSS. The DSS Academy (DSSA), located in Linthicum, MD, trains almost 10,000 students within the DoD and Defense Industry each year. DSSA offers formal classroom training, computer-based training, correspondence/distance learning and tele-training. More information on DSSA may be found at