AdjudicationSecurity Clearance DenialSecurity Clearance Process

Bill Introduced to Create Transparency in DHS Security Clearance Process

Most of the articles I post have dealt with Department of Defense (DoD) security clearance matters and case studies. That is mainly because other than the Department of Energy, there is not much information forthcoming from other Federal agencies regarding numbers of cases, timelines for processing, decisions, and appeals. That may be about to change if Congress is able to pass a bill that will require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and all its sub-agencies to disclose security clearance program information  on an annual basis.

The “Department of Homeland Security Clearance Management and Administration Act”, otherwise known as “An Act”, was passed by the House of Representatives and sent over to the Senate. If passed and signed into law, it will require DHS to provide annual reports to Congress and make publicly available information on their security clearance processes. Here is the specific information the bill requires from DHS:

“(1) The number of denials, suspensions, revocations, and appeals of the eligibility for access to classified information of an individual throughout the Department.

“(2) The date and status or disposition of each reported action under paragraph (1).

“(3) The identification of the sponsoring entity, whether by a component, office, or headquarters of the Department, of each action under paragraph (1), and description of the grounds for each such action.

“(4) Demographic data, including data relating to race, sex, national origin, and disability, of each individual for whom eligibility for access to classified information was denied, suspended, revoked, or appealed, and the number of years that each such individual was eligible for access to such information.

“(5) In the case of a suspension in excess of 180 days, an explanation for such duration.

The other part to the bill addresses uniformity in their adjudication, suspension, denial, and appeal processes. This will be welcome news to the many posters on this blog site who have experienced the erratic, lengthy, and secretive adjudication process with the various agencies under the DHS umbrella.

Discussion

  1. Some of us are old enough to remember when there was no DHS. Many of the immigration-related functions fell under DOJ and even then there were issues sharing clearance data. Of course Secret Service was under Treasury, and they were legendary for not sharing clearance data. And now we have the Coast Guard in there as well.

    I wonder if there are problems not only with transparency of DHS investigation and clearance data, but just with sharing clearance info among the various elements of DHS itself?