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Personnel Security Clearances: Opportunities Exist to Improve Quality Throughout the Process

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Congressional testimony

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Several agencies in the executive branch have key roles and responsibilities in the federal governments personnel security clearance process. In a 2008 memorandum, the President called for a reform of the security clearance and suitability determination processes and subsequently issued Executive Order 13467, which designates the Director of National Intelligence DNI as the Security Executive Agent. As such, the DNI is responsible for developing policies and procedures to help ensure the effective, efficient, and timely completion of background investigations and adjudications relating to determinations of eligibility for access to classified information and eligibility to hold a sensitive position. Positions designated as sensitive are any positions within a department or agency where the occupant could bring about, by virtue of the nature of the position, a material adverse effect on national security. Further, Executive Order 13467 established a Suitability and Security Clearance Performance Accountability Council, commonly called the Performance Accountability Council, that is accountable to the President for achieving the goals of the reform effort, which include an efficient, practical, reciprocal, and aligned system for investigating and determining eligibility for access to classified information. Under the executive order, this council is responsible for driving implementation of the reform effort, including ensuring the alignment of security and suitability processes, holding agencies accountable for implementation, and establishing goals and metrics for progress. The order also appointed the Deputy Director for Management at the Office of Management and Budget OMB as the chair of the council.

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  • Government and Political Science

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