Background InvestigationsObtaining Security Clearance

A Review of Executive Order 13467

On 30 June 2008 President Bush issued Executive Order 13467 (Reforming Processes Related to Suitability for Government Employment, Fitness for Contractor Employees, and Eligibility for Access to Classified National Security Information).

Some may view E.O. 13467 as just another well-intentioned but mundane bureaucratic pronouncement that enables but fails to command much needed change.  It has the potential of being the most significant executive order regarding the federal government’s personnel security program in over a decade. Much will depend on the extent to which the Director of National Intelligence uses the broad new authority granted to him to create a logical monolithic process out of the current morass of incongruent policies and practices.

For highlights and possible implications of the new executive order, see the article, A Review of Executive Order 13467.

Comment Archive

  1. Avatar

    Does anyone know when the new electronic version of the security questionnaire will be available? Will it be the same for all government and contractor personnel requiring clearances? Do you think it will be like the SF-86 or something different? Should we expect any major changes to the questions? What will happen to personnel who are already in process for an initial clearance or an update when the changes come into effect? Will they need to restart with the new process? Thank you for at least taking a stab at these questions even though I know the answers are probably uncertain at this point, and thank you, too, for your excellent blog.

  2. Avatar

    Daddy Mac:
    The people developing the new clearance application form probably don’t know when it will be ready. The new application form will only be one component of the new clearance processing system, so it will not be available until the entire system is working. Some federal agencies will probably implement the system quickly once it is available; others make take a year. Government forms used by the public must go through a lengthy review process under the federal “Paperwork Reduction Act.” This review can take six months or more, so don’t expect it to be available for about a year. The current SF86 has been in review at OMB for more than a year and a half. The proposed changes may be obsolete before any action is taken.
    The new application will be significantly different in the way it is organized and the level of detail required for issue-related information. The intent is to capture as much detail about unfavorable information as possible at the very beginning of the investigation, so that the investigation can be more focused. The basic questions will probably remain the same with only a few new additions. This is because the questions are based on the Adjudicative Guidelines. The basic questions will branch to more specific questions when a response indicates the possible presence of issue-related info.
    I doubt that any application submitted under the older system would have to be resubmitted under the new system.