What is the “Security Clearance Portability for Departing Servicemembers” Act?
On May 12, 2022 U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R- OH. and two fellow House members, Stephanie Bice, R-Okla., and Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich. introduced a new bill, H.R. 7738, aimed to expand employment opportunities for departing servicemembers transitioning into civilian national security contractor jobs by making it easier to transfer Department of Defense (DoD) clearances. This supposedly would cut down delays getting cleared personnel hired on.
No details on the bill were provided, but Turner’s district includes Wright-Patterson AFB which employs thousands of contractors to work on classified Air Force programs and if passed, would enable departing military members stationed there to walk straight on to a government contractor position. Lindy Kyzer, Director of Content at ClearanceJobs.com reported on this and commented that information gleaned from news outlets indicated some tidbits on how it would work. If passed, the bill would allow servicemembers to keep their clearance for one year after separation from the military and for those using their benefits to go to college first, an option for a three-year extension would be available.
This plays into on-going plans for Trusted Workforce 2.0 in which there will be a mechanism to reestablish trust if there is a break in service from the government workforce or contract. Instead of having to conduct a whole new investigation, there are checks that will be done to ensure there are not derogatory issues of concern in reemploying the individual. One question still up in the air is whether they will keep the current two-year break threshold or move on to completing the reinstatement checks and balances, regardless of how long the break is.