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DoD Personnel Clearances: Funding Challenges and Other Impediments Slow Clearances for Industry Personnel
The Department of Defense (DOD) is responsible for about 2 million active personnel security clearances. About one-third of the clearances are for industry personnel working on contracts for DOD and more than 20 other executive agencies. Delays in determining eligibility for a clearance can heighten the risk that classified information will be disclosed to unauthorized sources and increase contract costs and problems attracting and retaining qualified personnel. On April 28, 2006, DOD announced it had stopped processing security clearance applications for industry personnel because of an overwhelming volume of requests and funding constraints. GAO has reported problems with DOD's security clearance processes since 1981. In January 2005, GAO designated DOD's program a high-risk area because of longstanding delays in completing clearance requests and an inability to accurately estimate and eliminate its clearance backlog. For this statement GAO addresses: (1) key points in the billing dispute between DOD and OPM and (2) some of the major impediments affecting clearances for industry personnel.
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