NSA is constantly seeking to improve industry's understanding of NSA's unique requirements. Such discussions foster industry innovation and development of leading edge products, technologies, and services applicable to NSA's requirements and enable NSA to acquire "state of the art" goods and services. Because many of NSA's unique requirements are classified, the most productive discussions can occur only with industry representatives who have been authorized access to such information.
The NSA Directorate of Acquisition and the Associate Directorate for Security and Counterintelligence partnered to create the Provisional Industrial Security Approval (PISA) Sponsorship Program. The PISA Program provides an avenue for companies to receive the necessary personnel clearances to engage in classified discussions with NSA personnel. The ability to participate in these high-level discussions should provide the company with an understanding of current and potential Agency needs, better positioning the company to be a successful Industry partner.
For participating companies, the PISA Program will sponsor clearances for NSA SCI access for a limited number of individuals, including key management personnel (KMPs) and employees. Once the company has met certain requirements of the PISA Program, the company will be issued a PISA Letter, which permits cleared representatives of the company to engage in classified discussions with NSA's personnel to discuss NSA's needs and the company's potential ability to meet those needs. This PISA Letter is not a DoD facility clearance and accesses are not portable outside NSA.
The PISA Program is designed to assist small businesses that offer state of the art capabilities required by NSA and that are not currently contracting with this Agency. To participate in the PISA Program, a company must be registered in both the System for Award Management (SAM) and the NSA's Acquisition Resource Center (ARC). The company must also have attended one of the NSA's Office of Small Business Programs' "Pathway to Success: A Start-up Guide to Working with NSA" briefings no more than one year prior to the submission of the Technical Recommendation. More information on how to register for the ARC and the briefings can be found on the Getting Started page.
In order for a company to be considered for the program, an NSA office with a current or potential need for the unique capability offered by the company must submit a Technical Recommendation to the PISA Program Manager. This recommendation must be written and submitted by an Agency Chief, Deputy Chief, Technical Director, and Program Executive Officer (PEO) or Deputy PEO. After the technical recommendation receives a favorable review and other eligibility criteria are met, the company will be invited to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and formally enter the program.
Additional questions concerning the PISA program should be directed to the PISA Program Office by phone (443) 479-2468 at or by filling out a contact form.