GAO Report on DOD Security Clearances
On 20 May 2009 the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report (GAO-09-400) on Department of Defense (DoD) security clearances, announcing, “Comprehensive timeliness reporting, complete clearance documentation, and quality measures are needed to further improve the clearance process.”
According to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and DoD, the top 90% of initial security clearances for DoD personnel took an average of 124 days to process in 2008. GAO came up with a number different than OPM and DoD, but they measured processing time in terms of the percentage of cases that took more than 120 days. GAO also found that 87% of Top Secret clearances adjudicated in July 2008 were missing one or more elements required by the national investigative standards.
The report is a follow-up to a 19 December 2008 GAO report (GAO-09-261R), DoD Personnel Clearances: Preliminary Observations about Timeliness and Quality. The new report provides more details regarding GAO’s findings from their earlier report. Interestingly, the new report alludes to the February 2009 annual report required by Title III of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act (IRTPA), but this report has not been made publicly available on the internet.