Security Clearance Process

Deadline Looms for Agencies to Enroll Clearance Holders into Continuous Vetting

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued requirements for all Government agencies to enroll their security clearance holders into an initial continuous vetting program by September 30, 2021. This initial phase is designed to comply with future Trusted Workforce 2.0 implementation and will lead to enrollment into and compliance with a more advanced vetting process by September 2022. According to the DoD they have enrolled about three quarters (678,000) of their industrial security contractor population into its own continuous vetting program and expect to meet the deadline.

However, there is a concern with all the other Federal agencies who have a cleared population. They were given the option to develop and run their own program or sign up with DoD or ODNI to run their continuous vetting process. Interagency coordination and IT integration must be done and that takes time, funds, and labor resources, not to mention a buy-in from senior leadership. Then, once enrolled, CE alerts have to be reviewed and processed by an adjudicator within that agency and with the high number of alerts coming in daily, it is now a full-time job just keeping up. Some smaller agencies with limited personnel security staff are having a hard time trying to process background investigations, adjudicate cases, and then review CE alerts on top of all that. These are the challenges that still must be addressed before the entire Federal Government can fully embrace reciprocal acceptance of security clearances.