Next Steps in Security Reform: Overcoming Disconnects among Acquisitions, Security, and Industry

On March 5, the INSA Security Policy Reform Council’s (SPRC) hosted a sold out symposium entitled, “Next Steps in Security Reform.” Held at the SI Organization in Chantilly, VA, the event received excellent feedback from the panelists and an audience of over 200 attendees.

The Symposium opened with welcome remarks from the Honorable Charlie Allen, INSA SPRC Chairman, and a keynote address from the Honorable Stephanie O’Sullivan, Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence. Ms. O’Sullivan began by acknowledging the significant accomplishments made in security policies such as reducing the number of days for TS clearance from 315 to 95 days, electronic adjudication for Secret clearances and the new Federal Investigative Standards that will address reciprocity issues. She emphasized the important role that data plays in cutting through the “fog of anecdotes” and the teamwork needed to continue the gains made in the past decade. Between government, industry, and INSA, teamwork will be essential in moving forward.


The Honorable Stephanie O’Sullivan

Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence

Ms. O’Sullivan’s address was followed by the day’s first two panels, “Acquisitions Strategies and Plans for Meeting Future Needs” and “Security Challenges in Aligning Acquisitions Processes.” Both panels featured security directors and acquisition executives from the ODNI and IC agencies. Their discussions provided insight into the effects of sequestration and highlighted current initiatives designed to remedy the disconnects between acquisitions and security processes addressed in the SPRC’s first white paper, “Next Steps for Security Reform”. Both panels stressed the need for innovation and continued communication between government and industry to update current processes and develop an IC synergy. 

Moderated by INSA SPRC Vice Chairwoman Kathy Pherson, the purpose of the day’s third panel mirrored the SPRC’s goal of identifying security policy issues and recommendations for meaningful reform. Entitled “Mechanisms for Addressing Disconnects between Acquisitions and Security,” the panel discussed pathways to bridge the gap between acquisitions and security. The panel referred to the recommendations in the 2011 white paper, and challenged the audience to visualize what success looks like in this field, and then work towards it. One suggestion was to scope the issue and create a team of procurement, acquisition, and security experts from government and industry to study a specific case, such as IC ITE, where the costs of current policy can be identified and measured. A concern expressed by attendees from industry was that they are unable to communicate concerns about conflicting security and acquisition requirements to the appropriate members of government. In response to this, Dawn Meyerriecks, ODNI, identified INSA as an effective channel for these concerns given the SPRC’s expertise, independent perspective and involvement in the area of security policy reform. 

Following the morning’s panels, the symposium held five lunch breakout sessions with representatives from ODNI, DSS, NRO, and the CIA that allowed attendees to have an informal discussion on specific issues. Each breakout sessions had significant participation from the event’s attendees and were productive for both the agency representative(s) and the participants.

The fourth and final panel, “Looking to the Future,” featured members of ODNI, U.S. Army, and industry representatives to suggest ways that government and industry can utilize the most cutting edge technologies for security applications. This panel built on the discussions from the third panel to highlight the importance of continuous evaluation and the need to update the security business model. The panelists agreed social media is a new frontier for the IC and the IC should take advantage of this rich source of information.

The Honorable Charlie Allen closed the symposium with a few remarks that reminded the audience that we live in an amazing world of change and we cannot stand still. Mr. Allen echoed the message that teamwork is necessary for the IC to move ahead and better guarantee the security of our nation.

 The SPRC will review the results of the symposium as it finalizes two white papers being developed. The papers, “One Year Later: Next Steps in Security Reform” and “The Future is Now: Addressing the e-Persona,” were given to all symposium attendees for socialization and are open for comments until April 5, 2013. For a copy of either paper, please email Jill Lau ( 

Click here to read the full program agenda. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013
7:30 am: Registration
8:00 am - 3:00 pm: Program

The SI Organization
Stonegate 2
15052 Conference Center Drive
Chantilly, VA 20151


For registration questions 
please contact Toya Forman 
or 703-224-4672.


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