The SECRET Act of 2017
Another bill is making its way through Congress and is aimed getting the security clearance process fixed. California Senator Stephen Knight proposed the bill last July and it was passed by the House that same month. H.R. 3210, also known as the Securely Expediting Clearances Through Reporting Transparency (SECRET) Act of 2017, would require the National Background Investigations Bureau (NBIB) to submit reports within 90 days on three areas: security clearance investigations backlog status with statistical data, as well as a backlog mitigation plan; the security clearance investigation and adjudication process for those working in the Executive Office of the President; and identifying duplicative costs associated with the Defense Security Service should they take over investigations for DoD.
If passed, the bill also requires the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) to submit a report within 120 days on the status of government-wide implementation of continuous evaluation programs and provide details on how various agencies have implemented reciprocity of clearances. Another section of the bill asks ODNI to provide recommendations on simplifying the SF-86 and using it across other types of investigations in order to be able to crossover clearance applicants faster. The last section of the bill addresses position designation requirements and responsibilities across the entire U.S. Government for Federal employees and contractors.
This bill was amended by the House back in July and sent to the Senate in late November. Despite all the hubris about clearance investigation process reforms and DSS and NBIB squaring off against each other, there appears to be no hurry or consensus on how to fix the backlog issue and overall security clearance process. Applicants continue to wait an interminable amount of time for access eligibility.