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Personnel Security Underreporting: Establishing Rates and Estimating the Problem

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Technical Report

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Defense Personnel and Security Research Center Seaside United States

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Prior Defense Personnel and Security Research Center PERSEREC research underscores why DoD personnel do not report security-concerning events see Nelson et al., 2019, but the extent of the problem is unknown. The purpose of this initiative was to determine whether underreporting rates can be computed and to establish these rates, if possible. To this end, PERSEREC isolated all security-reporting requirements elsewhere collected in Defense Manpower Data Center data sources e.g., sexual assault data are captured in a centralized repository for annual reporting. These and other reportable issues reflect events that should be in DoDs system of record for personnel security tracking and access. Ultimately, PERSEREC focused on five operational data sources and matched these reportable events to corresponding security incidents. These events included sexual assaults Defense Sexual Assault Incident Database criminal investigations Defense Central Index of Investigations positive drug tests Military Drug Test File continuous evaluation alert arrests, warrants, and protection orders Mirador and alcoholism, drug, or criminal misconduct Service separations Active Duty Personnel Transaction File. Results demonstrated that operational data can be matched to security incidents to establish underreporting rates. Indeed, these rates ranged from a low of 65 65 in 100 not reported to a high of 99 99 in 100 not reported across all examined data sources. Although underreporting is a known issue, these rates were higher than expected given the objective and serious nature of the events examined. Results are discussed in light of data limitations and recommendations are provided for using these underreporting rates to inform process and policy modifications.

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  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations

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