Sen. Says Federal Security Clearance Backlog Finally Cleared

Sen. Says Federal Security Clearance Backlog Finally Cleared

Sen. Says Federal Security Clearance Backlog Finally Cleared

Federal security clearance investigations have finally hit a steady level after efforts to clear a long-running backlog, with investigators clearing out roughly 500,000 cases over the past two years, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, R-NC., said.

In this interview with Daniel Wilson, a senior reporter with Law360, Larry Hanauer, INSA’s vice president of policy, “commended the government's work in reducing the clearance backlog and reducing the time it takes to conduct clearance investigations, but he told Law360 on Thursday that there is still "a lot of work to be done" to implement the changes Evanina highlighted.

The reciprocity process that allows people granted a clearance by one agency to use that clearance to support another agency, for example, is inefficient, and can take up to 10 months, Hanauer said. INSA estimates those delays waste the equivalent of about 1,000 labor years each year, at a cost of about $2 billion to the government from related inefficiencies, he said.

"One large government contractor has told us that at any given time, up to 10% of its cleared workforce is idle, waiting for their clearances to be passed from one agency to another," Hanauer said. "Those kinds of delays not only cost the government money, they prevent the government from getting done what it needs to get done; they prevent industry from supporting government in its missions."

A similar concern stems from the lack of mobility for cleared personnel to move in and out of government to gain experience in, and draw best practices from, the private sector that they can bring back to the government, according to Hanauer.

"Right now, it's too difficult to do that, because anyone who leaves government risks losing their security clearances, which makes it impossible to come back in," he said.

And a government-wide continuous evaluation process is also necessary, allowing security risks to be identified in "near real time" while also reducing the burdens associated with the current periodic reevaluation process, where cleared workers are reassessed every five to 10 years, he said.”

Read the full article on Law360 (requires a login).

Caroline Henry

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