Personnel Security Clearances: Overall Progress has Been Made to Reform the Governmentwide Security Clearance Process
GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE WASHINGTON DC
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Personnel security clearances allow government and industry personnel to gain access to classified information that, through unauthorized disclosure, can in some cases cause exceptionally grave damage to U.S. national security. The July 2010 and subsequent October 2010 recent unauthorized leak of almost 500,000 classified documents posted to the Internet related to the ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq provides a cogent example of the inherent risks involved when granting an individual a security clearance. To ameliorate these risks, government agencies rely on a multiphased personnel security clearance process. However, with the increase in demand over the past decade for personnel with security clearances, we and others have identified problems with the security clearance process with respect to delays and incomplete documentation. As a result, we have designated the Department of Defenses DOD clearance program-which represents a vast majority of the initial security clearances adjudicated by the federal government-as a high-risk area since 2005.
- Information Science
- Government and Political Science