Security and Suitability Process Reform
On 30 April 2008 the Joint Security and Suitability Reform Team (JSSRT) issued its Initial Report in response to the President’s 5 February 2008 memorandum on Security Clearances. The membership of the JSSRT is basically the same as the group that has been working since spring 2007 to completely reinvent the federal security clearance process. The President’s memo directed that the group present a proposal to not only modernize the security clearance process, but to also integrate the clearance processes for national security, employment suitability, and access to federally controlled facilities.
Although the Initial Report presented a reform proposal as directed; it provided little information on what has been accomplished since spring 2007. With the exception of eAdjudication and Automated Records Checks (ARC), which were both developed by the Defense Personnel Security Research Center before spring 2007 as the Automated Decision Support”ADS and the Automated Continuing Evaluation System ACES, the report merely outlined reform concepts and strategies.
It is possible that more concrete information about the progress being made on clearance reform can be found at the report’s technical appendix, but it has not been made available to the public. On Thursday, 22 May, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee will have a hearing to look at progress in improving the security clearance process. Perhaps more concrete information about the status of the reform initiative will be presented then. Is this finally the action needed, or just more talk?