DOD Personnel Clearances

DOD Personnel Clearances

Comprehensive Timeliness Reporting, Complete Clearance Documentation, and Quality Measures Are Needed to Further Improve the Clearance Process : Report to Congressional Committees

Website or Online Data - 2009
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The Department of Defense (DOD) personnel security clearance program has been on GAO's high-risk list since 2005, due to delays in the process and incomplete documentation. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) conducts most of DOD's clearance investigations, which DOD adjudicators use to make clearance decisions. The Deputy Director for Management at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) chairs a Performance Accountability Council that is responsible for reforming the clearance process. Conducted under the authority of the Comptroller General, GAO's report addresses the (1) reporting on timeliness for DOD clearances, (2) documentation completeness for making initial top-secret clearance decisions for DOD personnel, and (3) reporting on the quality of the clearance process. To assess these issues, GAO analyzed data on most DOD clearances granted in fiscal year 2008, randomly sampled and analyzed 100 OPM investigative reports and DOD adjudicative files for clearances granted in July 2008, and analyzed 2006-09 executive branch annual clearance reports. GAO recommends that, in annual reports to Congress, OMB provide Congress with more information on timeliness and quality and that OPM and DOD address documentation completeness issues.

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