The transfer of the federal civilian government’s background vetting service from the Office of Personnel Management to the Defense Department has been completed in line with congressional and presidential directives, DoD said on Monday.

The transfer of the National Background Investigations Bureau to the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DSCA) is meant to create efficiencies and help the government overcome a long-standing and enormous backload in vetting federal employees and contractors.

The transfer was directed in the fiscal year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act and by President Trump in an executive order earlier this year.

“Implementing that legislative mandate while retaining the benefit of economies of scale in addressing the Federal Government’s background investigations workload, avoiding unnecessary risk, promoting ongoing alignment of efforts with respect to vetting Federal employees and contractors, and facilitating needed reforms in this critical area requires the primary responsibility for conducting background investigations Government-wide be transferred from the Office of Personnel Management to the Department of Defense,” says the April 24 executive order.

The Defense Department was already responsible for vetting its employees and contractors while OPM had responsibility for the federal civilian workforce.

“Merging the components into one organization will allow us to execute our two core missions: personnel vetting and critical technology protection, underpinned by counterintelligence and training,” Charles Phalen, acting director of DSCA, said in a statement.

DSCA is within the chain of command of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and oversees federal security officers and cleared contractor facilities to ensure the protection of U.S. and foreign classified information. Other roles of the agency include help with the transfer of classified shipments between the U.S. and foreign countries, and providing security education and training to DoD security professionals.

“The merged organization will secure the cleared national industrial base against attack and compromise; conduct security and suitability background investigations and adjudications; serve as the premiere provider of security education, training, certification, and professionalization for the federal government, industry, and allied partners; and identify and neutralize foreign intelligence threats to the federal government’s trusted workforce and critical technologies,” DoD’s statement said.