DOD Personnel Clearances: Preliminary Observations on DOD's Progress on Addressing Timeliness and Quality Issues
GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE WASHINGTON DC
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In light of longstanding problems with delays and backlogs, Congress mandated personnel security clearance reforms through the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 IRTPA, which requires, among other things, that executive agencies meet objectives for the timeliness of the investigative and adjudicative phases of the security clearance process. Since 2005, the Department of Defenses DOD clearance program has been on GAOs high-risk list due to timeliness delays and GAO continued that designation in 2007 and 2009 also due to concerns about quality. Based on prior and ongoing work, this statement addresses DODs progress in 1 reducing the timeliness of initial personnel security clearances at DOD and 2 building quality into the processes used to investigate and adjudicate security clearances. GAO reviewed Performance Accountability Council timeliness data and has begun a preliminary analysis of available DOD data, examined key clearance reform documents, and conducted interviews with DOD and the Performance Accountability Council officials about timeliness and efforts to improve the quality of investigations and adjudications. GAO plans to continue examining the timeliness and quality of personnel security clearances in DOD. This work will help inform the Comptroller Generals high risk update decision in January 2011.
- Government and Political Science
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations