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Industry & Trends | Official Reports | Policy - Personnel

US GAO Reports on Security Clearances, April 2008

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Security clearances are a big deal for the US defense industry. Delays of up to 2 years in processing applications has made them a major bottleneck for many defense firms, and led to premiums of $20,000 – $30,000 for employees who do possess one. Congress has taken note of the issue, and its Government Accountability Office recently issued report #GAO-08-580R: “DOD Personnel Clearances: Questions for the Record Related to the Quality and Timeliness of Clearances.” An excerpt from this short report: “Through our reports and testimonies, we have emphasized a need to build more quality and quality monitoring into the clearances process… We find [the current] measure to be problematic… (the clearance process has six phases: the requirements setting, application-submission, investigation, adjudication, appeal, and clearance updating). As noted in our February 13, 2008 report, we are encouraged by some department specific and governmentwide efforts that have improved DOD’s personnel security clearance program… Current and future efforts to reform personnel security clearance processes should consider, among other things, the following four key factors: (1) determining whether clearances are required for a specific position, (2) incorporating quality control steps throughout the clearance processes, (3) establishing metrics for assessing all aspects of clearance […]

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