Background InvestigationsObtaining Security Clearance

Army Plans to Fast-Track Security Clearance Procedure

A January 14, 2008 article in the Ashbury Park Press quoted Rep. Frank J. Pallone Jr. (D-NJ) saying that the plan does not “pass the laugh test” and Rep. Rush D. Holt (D-NJ) calling it “wishful thinking.”

Since only about 30% of the employees of Fort Monmouth, NJ will move to the Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) in Maryland, the Army wants security clearances for new hires at APG to be completely processed within one month, as part of its plan to close Fort Monmouth by September 2011.

A December 2007 report to Congress included details on how the Army plans to put security clearances on a fast track.

Here’s the plan:

Security Clearances. Virtually all CECOM LCMC positions, require a Secret or Top Secret security clearance. In view of the large amount of hiring, CECOM LCMC will look to two initiatives to resolve this issue: (1) OPM pilot with Army Central Security Clearance Facility to reduce processing and delivery time to less than one month; and (2) DoD, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and Director of National Intelligence (DNI) implementation of a defined industry solution. If insufficient to handle the large volume, which will be required, CECOM LCMC expects to obtain authority for special case handling through DA to OPM/OMB.

Despite recent improvements at OPM, at least 20% of the investigations for Secret clearances and all of the investigations for Top Secret clearances will probably take much more than a month, even if conducted as “priority” cases and/or under some “pilot” project.  Full implementation of the DoD-OMB-DNI reinvention of the security clearance process, which as not yet been tested, probably won’t occur for two years.  Relying on two unproven initiatives hardly seems to qualify as a viable plan. However, kudos for bringing this subject into the mainstream.

Comment Archive

  1. Avatar

    That’s insane. It will take a major overhaul to pull that off. I’ll have to see it to believe it.

  2. Avatar

    It might sound insane but it is close to what the National Intelligence Directive (NID) and the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (IRTPA) state needs to take place by 12/2009. 90% of all applications for personnel security clearances must be processed by the authorizing agency with in 60 days. 40 days for the investigation and 20 days for the adjudication.

  3. Avatar

    I have several years of experience in processing all types of security clearances with Lockheed Martin. How do I get a job as a civilian with the Army?

  4. Avatar

    I 4 years of experience in adjudicating all types of security clearances with the Defense Office of Hearing and Appeals DOHA. How do I get a job as a civilian with the Army?

  5. Avatar

    I have 4 years of experience in adjudicating all types of security clearances with the Defense Office of Hearing and Appeals DOHA. I have 7 1/2 years active army service, 1 year Army Reserve and 1 year Ohio Army Nat’l Guard. How do I get a job as a civilian with the Army? I have been out of work for seven months now and my area is not looking good….

  6. Avatar

    This Fast tracking is dangerous. I’ve been in the Army 20 years. A few months ago I found out that a young soldier, who was not deployed with his unit, requested a top secret security clearance. This young man was kept back because he had an accident on a motorcycle he wasn’t licensed to drive -while he was intoxicated. This data was reported because the military police were involved. Because of his accident he was being medically discharged from the army, since he had completely crushed some bones. Somehow he requested a security clearance, and was granted it less than 6 months later. After it was granted, I asked if anyone had done a background check first. Found out that everyone thought someone else had done it.. and now this kid who is getting out of the army due to his own stupidity. And we want to fast track investigations? For people who may not really care that the material we see, read, and analyze can get people killed when in the wrong hands? Maybe I’m just being pessimistic…but I wonder.

  7. Avatar

    Several experienced contract investigators were unlawfully suspended for security concerns that were never proven, did not exist, which included a process to defame their characters; disrupting livelihoods; and were judged as a Federal Employees, which they were not.

    A contract investigator fighting an unjust claim of being unsuitable by OPM FISD, after working for some time in the industry commited suicide.

    The suspensions were conducted by Kathy Dillaman of OPM FISD, her staff to include those of USIS who were contracted by Dillaman to review the work of contract investigators.

    Contracting Companies conducting backgrounds for OPM FISD and other agencies for years QUIT the OPM FISD contract (MSM & Omnisec) which caused a loss of over 4 thousand contract investigators and knowledgeable staff, because of OPM FISD abuse of power…

    Those wrongfully accused of unproven criminal acts, made every effort to obtain proper due process, but OPM Officials failed in every sense of the word to provide fair and impartial justice, and purposely disregarded all responses and correspondence. The offices included: Director of OPM; OPM Inspector General; OPM FISD and the OPM General Counsel.

    Dillaman, Director of OPM FISD purposely delays all inquiries against her, and her office, by ignoring all requests and appeals, which in it self is the route to the delays of security backgrounds. All those of OPM FISD had deliberately ignored our Constitutional and Federal Laws, Regulations and OPM Notices. Even the OPM General Counsel’s Office to include the OPM IG ignored all responses for a request of due process.

    OPM FISD continuous deception and delays, is an endless road. The lack of fair and impartial justice not given and abuse of power, by those within OPM is the real reason for the backlog. Those great man and woman, with extensive experience, that have been conducting security backgrounds for years, under contract, are leaving the business, because of Dillaman and her staff’s unethical practices of abuse and injustice..

    There are people in the business that can correct the backlog of security backgrounds in months, but because of the reputation of injustice and abuse of power, to include deception of OPM FISD, it will never be corrected.

    This country depends on our soldiers and agents in the field, to protect us. Since the 80’s those soldiers and agents continued after retirement, as contract investigators, conducting Security Background Investigations for little money and got the job done, out of patriotism, and loyalty, but now we have those that are greedy, incompetent running our country’s security, like OPM FISD who has over 90% of the Security Background Investigative duties and can’t get it done – we deserve everything we get, if this country and those in our government don’t wakeup NOW.

  8. Avatar

    I had never heard of an individual requesting a top secret clearance or any other type of clerance for themselves. I thought only a federal agency can request a security clearance investigaiton if the federal agency needs an individual, whether federal employee or contractor, for a position which requires a clearance.
    Someone dropped the ball there.