Personnel Security Clearances: Additional Guidance and Oversight Needed at DHS and DOD to Ensure Consistent Application of Revocation Process
GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE WASHINGTON DC
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Why GAO Did This Study. Personnel security clearances allow people access to classified information that, through unauthorized disclosure, can cause exceptionally grave damage to U.S. national security. In light of recent events, having a high-quality process to determine whether an individual s eligibility to access classified information should be revoked has become increasingly important. DOD and DHS grant the most clearances in the executive branch, and the Director of National Intelligence is responsible for, among other things, oversight of clearance eligibility determinations. GAO was asked to evaluate revocation processes at DHS and DOD. GAO evaluated the extent to which the agencies 1 track data on these processes 2 consistently implement government-wide requirements and exercise oversight over these processes and 3 determine outcomes for employees whose clearances were revoked. During this review, GAO identified possible inaccuracies in DOD s data on eligible personnel with access to classified information and is also reporting on that issue. GAO analyzed agency revocation data, reviewed executive orders, agency guidance, and documents, and interviewed officials from ODNI, DHS, DOD, and their components. What GAO Recommends GAO recommends that DHS, DOD, and the DNI take several actions to improve data quality and oversight related to the personnel security revocation process. DHS, DOD, and ODNI generally agreed with GAO s recommendations.
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Defense Systems