Congressional Hearing on Security Clearance Reform
On November 16, 2010 the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), the Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and representatives from the Department of Defense (DOD), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) provided updated information on security clearance reform at a hearing before a Senate subcommittee,
The DNI stated that during the 4th quarter of FY 2010 the government-wide average processing time for the fastest 90% of initial security clearances was 53 days (42 days for investigations and 11 days for adjudication). It is anticipated that the new Federal Investigative Standards (originally approved in December 2008, but never implemented) will be expanded from a 3-tier to a 5-tier structure. A date was not given for when the revised standards would be finalized.
DOD, which issues nearly 90% of all initial security clearances, reported average completion times for the fastest 90% of initial DOD security clearances of 47 days for investigations and 9 days for adjudications during the 4th quarter of FY 2010.
OPM, which conducts 90% of all clearance investigations and services DOD and 11 other federal agencies, reported that its Federal Investigative Services Division currently has a combined federal and contractor staff of 9,100 investigators and support personnel. A new revised Questionnaire for National Security Positions (SF86), which was approved by OMB in March 2010, is scheduled to be implemented in December 2010. Currently 98% of SF86 submissions are received via the Electronic Questionnaires for Investigations Processing (e-QIP). OPM provided the following data for initial security clearance investigations:
|FY 2007||FY 2008||FY 2009||FY 2010||IRTPA Goal 12/2009|
Average time For 90%
|115 days||64 days||41 days||39 days||40 days|
Average Time for All
|153 days||81 days||49 days||47 days|
Note: Apparently not included in DNI, DOD, or OPM data, is the 14 days allocated for “initiation time”—the time in days from the date of SF86 submission by the applicant to the receipt date of all information/forms required to conduct an investigation by the investigative service provider.