The Role of the Facility Security Officer
“The contractor shall appoint a U.S. citizen employee, who is cleared
as part of the facility clearance, to be the FSO.”
NISPOM para. 1-201
The role of the Facility Security Officer (FSO) is an important one. The FSO is responsible for implementing and maintaining the facility's industrial security program. Duties vary from preparing security clearance forms for employees who require a security clearance to educating employees on the handling of classified information. Most FSOs are not full time in the position and have assumed this job in addition to their regular duties. In lies the challenge many FSOs face each day.
The dynamics of a industrial security program can differ at times dependent upon a number of factors. Consideration is given to the number of classified contracts at the facility, personnel cleared, number of classified documents and hardware on site, and other conditions. Through direction and guidance provided by the DSS Industrial Security Representative (ISR), the FSO builds a program that is rational, cost-effective, and threat appropriate. Another function of the ISR is to ensure that the FSO is adequately trained to fulfill these important responsibilities.
An effective industrial security program requires a team effort on behalf of the company and the government. Only then can the successful protection of national security information succeed.
National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual (NISPOM) Paragraph 3-102, FSO Training:
3-102. FSO Training.The Department of Defense has mandated that the following three courses constitute the required training. The first two (DS 2123 & DS 2124) are correspondence courses; the last is an on-line or in residence course.
Contractors shall be responsible for ensuring that the FSO, and others performing security duties, complete security training deemed appropriate by the CSA. Training requirements shall be based on the facility's involvement with classified information and may include an FSO orientation course and for FSOs at facilities with safeguarding capability, an FSO Program Management Course. Training, if required, should be completed within 1 year of appointment to the position of FSO.
1. ESSENTIALS OF INDUSTRIAL SECURITY MANAGEMENT (DS 2123)
Designed for Facility Security Officers and security staff members of ALL cleared facilities within the National Industrial Security Program (NISP). Course content includes an overview of the NISP and NISPOM, the facility security clearance, personnel security clearance, procedures for visitors, security education briefings, and reviews. Course is a prerequisite for DSS trainees, interns, and others attending the resident Industrial Security Specialist course. It will take approximately 15 hours to complete. Access to National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual is required.For facilities that will possess classified information the following additional courses are mandatory:
2. PROTECTING SECRET AND CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENTS (DS 2124)
A follow-on to Essentials, this independent study course is designed for Facility Security Officers and security staff members of facilities within the National Industrial Security Program who are authorized to safeguard classified information. Course content includes storage, receipt, generation, reproduction, transmission, disposition, and other security topics. It will take approximately 25 hours to complete. This course is a prerequisite for DSS trainees, interns, and others attending the resident Industrial Security Specialist course.3. FACILITY SECURITY OFFICER PROGRAM MANAGEMENT COURSE 5220.4
This course, in residence, is required for FSOs who have been appointed since 7/1/87 and whose facilities are approved to store classified information. The course is designed to provide contractor personnel with a general understanding of the NISP, the requirements, and administrative procedures in safeguarding classified material. These courses are held, in residence, periodically in Southern California. There are no registration or tuition fees.
The first two courses, Essentials of Industrial Security Management (DS 2123) and Protecting Secret and Confidential Documents (DS 2124), must be registered for online at Army Institute for Professional Development's (AIPD) website:
http://www.atsc.army.mil/accp/aipd.htmThe final course, Facility Security Officer Program Management Course 5220.4, must be register for through the local Education and Training Specialist at (562) 435-0713.
Send questions or comments to: ISAC-GreaterLA
Last Updated: April 30, 2007