Electronic Fingerprint Capture Options for Industry

1.0 Introduction

By memorandum dated July 29, 2010, the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence
issued a requirement for Department of Defense (DoD) components to transition to electronic capture and submission of fingerprint images in support of all background investigations by December 31, 2013 (e-Fingerprint memo). In an effort to comply with this mandate the Defense Security Service (DSS) is providing guidance to assist companies participating in the National Industrial Security Program (NISP) to transition to electronic fingerprinting.  Additionally, this transition will support goals established by the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 and the implementation of Homeland Security Presidential Directive-12.

2.0 Purpose

The purpose of this document is to outline the options available for cleared companies listed in the Industrial Security Facilities Database to submit electronic fingerprint files to the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) for National Industrial Security Program (NISP) applicants.  DMDC provides the Secure Web Fingerprint Transmission (SWFT) system enabling industry users to upload electronic fingerprints and demographic information for applicants requiring a background investigation for a personnel security clearance.  The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) receives the hardcopy fingerprints and scans the fingerprints to an Electronic Fingerprint Transmission Specification (EFTS) file to forward to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).  Paper-based capture, submission and processing of fingerprints are prone to errors and are time consuming as they are mailed to OPM.   The SWFT system eliminates the manual paper process (hardcopy fingerprints), expedites the clearance process, and provides end-to-end accountability for Personally Identifiable Information (PII) data.

3.0 Deployment Options

The following options offer alternatives for Industry to submit fingerprints electronically to initiate the background investigation.  Industry may implement one or more options based on funding, mission needs and geographic locations.  Companies may acquire electronic fingerprint capture/hardcopy scan devices or leverage fingerprint service providers. All fingerprint capture/hardcopy scanners must be FBI certified in order to generate compliant electronic fingerprint records.
The FBI-certified product list is located on the following website: FBI-Product List.
Procedures on how to register for SWFT are located on the DMDC website, under Personnel Security/Assurance, SWFT: DMDC-SWFT Homepage. The fingerprint service provider must be vetted through the SWFT/OPM registration process prior to the submission of a subject’s prints.


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