Senate Hearing On Security Clearance Reform
On September 15, 2009 a hearing was held before a Senate subcommittee responsible for oversight of the Federal government’s security clearance reform process. Testifying before the subcommittee were representatives of OMB, OPM, DOD, ODNI, and GAO. Transcripts of their prepared statements are posted at the Senate subcommittee’s website.
Here are some highlights from the prepared statements:
• 90% of initial clearance investigations by OPM are done in an average of 37 days.
• Average investigation for a Top Secret clearance now takes 79 days.
• Average investigation for a Secret clearance now takes 47 days.
• Security clearance investigation backlog (cases older than 180 days) has been eliminated.
• E-Adjudication of Secret clearances was implemented for DOD industrial cases in September 2009 (originally planned for May 2009). This capability will be extended to the Air Force and Navy adjudication facilities by December 2009.
Here are some of the lowlights:
• 11% of initial clearance eligibility decisions took more than 300 days to complete in FY08.
• Only 260,000 of the estimated 3 million active security clearances are currently in OPM’s Clearance Verification System.
• The new Federal Investigative Standards that were approved in December 2009 (but not yet implement) will be changed.
• The new SF86, originally expected to be approved by January 2009, won’t even be available for public comment until late September 2009 (a lengthy process required before final approval).
• According to GAO, long-term funding requirements for the reformed process still have not been identified.