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National Security Space Association Calls for Better Security Clearance Collaboration

A white paper pushing for continued security clearance process reform was recently published by the National Security Space Association (NSSA). Not to be confused with the National Security Agency, the NSSA is a newly formed group of government and private entities that represent the interests of U.S. defense and intelligence contractors working in the space industry. Much like other calls for action from the defense industry, the NSSA calls out the inconsistencies among various agencies in application of reciprocity, lack of communication and collaboration, and lack of general information sharing.

One of the more poignant issues identified was non-compliance by many agencies across the federal government when it comes to applying reciprocity. Some agencies don’t have access to the databases used by DoD or the Intelligence Community and vice versa. As well, specific criteria mandated by some agencies results in the applicant having to fill out additional security questionnaires or forms, causing additional delays in getting access.

The NSSA outlined some recommendations that would help alleviate the cumbersome security clearance process. Here are the highlights:

  • Establish an interagency security governance to enable execution of national security space missions
  • Modify DoD security governance to incorporate the new space management structure
  • Review and update security policies, centralize policy formulation and oversight, and decentralize security services execution
  • Promulgate overarching security classification policy that enables proper classification and consistent program execution
  • Reestablish layered security architectures to enhance program protection
  • Establish reciprocity for accesses and security between the DoD and IC
  • Realign and empower program office security services

To take a deeper dive on what all of the above means go here: “Establish Governance and Align Security Policies and Programs to Enable U.S. National Space Missions”.