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,Â 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.Â 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.Â Relying on two unproven initiatives hardly seems to qualify as a viable plan. However, kudos for bringing this subject into the mainstream.