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Suitability and Security Processes Review

Via FAS, Report to the President, February 2014. This work was carried out by the Suitability and Security Clearance Performance Accountability Council (PAC).

“Government vetting processes generally involve two distinct activities: investigation activities which include application and information collection; and adjudication activities which include information assessment and decision making. A security investigation is defined as any investigation required for eligibility to hold a sensitive national security position or access to
classified information by military, civilian, or government contractor personnel performing work for, or on behalf of, the government. The Review also addressed background investigations that support hiring, credentialing, suitability, and fitness decisions. OPM conducts approximately 95 percent of the total background investigations government-wide. There are 21 other agencies, many within the Intelligence Community authorized to conduct their own background investigations, which accounts for the remaining 5 percent…This Report presents a set of recommendations that establish new priorities for reform, while accelerating efforts already underway. These priorities include improving access to relevant information, especially state and local law enforcement records, and accelerating the shift to a continuous evaluation model across government; improving risk management approaches to reduce vulnerabilities in our current processes, including reduction of the total number of clearance holders and the backlog of periodic reinvestigations; and improving enterprise operations, to include strengthening oversight and government-wide implementation efforts while effectively managing limited resources. As part of its ongoing responsibilities, the PAC will be accountable for driving these changes and holding agencies accountable for implementing approved recommendations.”

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