SECURITY CLEARANCES: Tax Debts Owed by DOD Employees and Contractors, GAO-14-686R: Published: Jul 28, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 28, 2014.
“In summary, GAO found that about 83,000 Department of Defense (DOD) employees and contractors who held or were determined eligible for secret, top secret, or sensitive compartmented information (SCI) clearances, or related interim clearances, had unpaid federal tax debt totaling more than $730 million as of June 30, 2012. DOD reported to GAO that about 3.2 million civilian and military employees and contractorsheld or were approved for similar clearances from January 1, 2006, to December 31, 2011, which was the time frame for GAO’s analysis. According to data from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), about 34,000 of these 83,000 individuals (about 40 percent) with tax debt had a repayment plan with the IRS to pay back their debt as of June 30, 2012. GAO’s analysis cannot be generalized to individuals that were granted eligibility for security clearances and were non-DOD employees of the executive branch, employees of the legislative branch, or employees of the intelligence community. As part of this work, GAO also identified individuals with unpaid tax debts who also had access to classified information. DOD officials stated that individualshaving access to classified information pose a greater risk because they have more opportunity toactually compromise classified information than a person who is only eligible to access classified information. GAO found that about 26,000 of the 83,000 DOD employees and contractors with eligibilities who owed taxes (about 31 percent) had access to classified information, and they owed about $229 million in federal taxes as of June 2012.”