In February 2010 the U.S. House of Representatives passed their version (HR 2701) of the Intelligence Authorization Act for fiscal year 2010. The Senate passed their version (S.1494) in September 2009. Hopefully the two versions will be reconciled, passed by Congress, and sent to the President.
The House version creates an Ombudsman for Intelligence Community (IC) security clearances in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and requires each IC agency to provide contact information for the ombudsman to all clearance applicants.
The House version also requires the President to submit to Congress within 180 days of enactment a report that includes the feasibility, counterintelligence risk, and cost effectiveness of –
- by not later than January 1, 2012, requiring the investigation and adjudication of security clearances to be conducted by not more than two Federal agencies; and
- by not later than January 1, 2015, requiring the investigation and adjudication of security clearance to be conducted by not more than one Federal agency.
Both the creation of an ombudsman for IC clearances and a formal study on reducing the number of investigative and adjudicative agencies seem like excellent ideas. Both could result in improving clearance reciprocity. The last time an Intelligence Authorization Act became law was in December 2004. The ones since then have either died in Congress or been successfully vetoed. So, this may not be the best vehicle to further these two ideas.