This is the accessible text file for GAO report number GAO-06-747T 
entitled 'DOD Personnel Clearances: Funding Challenges and Other 
Impediments Slow Clearances for Industry Personnel' which was released 
on May 17, 2006.

This text file was formatted by the U.S. Government Accountability 
Office (GAO) to be accessible to users with visual impairments, as part 
of a longer term project to improve GAO products' accessibility. Every 
attempt has been made to maintain the structural and data integrity of 
the original printed product. Accessibility features, such as text 
descriptions of tables, consecutively numbered footnotes placed at the 
end of the file, and the text of agency comment letters, are provided 
but may not exactly duplicate the presentation or format of the printed 
version. The portable document format (PDF) file is an exact electronic 
replica of the printed version. We welcome your feedback. Please E-mail 
your comments regarding the contents or accessibility features of this 
document to Webmaster@gao.gov.

This is a work of the U.S. government and is not subject to copyright 
protection in the United States. It may be reproduced and distributed 
in its entirety without further permission from GAO. Because this work 
may contain copyrighted images or other material, permission from the 
copyright holder may be necessary if you wish to reproduce this 
material separately. 

United States Government Accountability Office:

GAO:

Statement for the Record to the Committee on Government Reform, House 
of Representatives:

DOD Personnel Clearances:

Funding Challenges and Other Impediments Slow Clearances for Industry 
Personnel:

Statement for the Record by Derek B. Stewart: 
Director: 
Defense Capabilities and Management:

GAO-06-747T:

GAO Highlights: 

Highlights of GAO-06-747T, a statement for the record to the Committee 
on Government Reform, House of Representatives.

Why GAO Did This Study: 

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 
DODís security clearance processes since 1981. In January 2005, GAO 
designated DODís 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. 

What GAO Found: 

The costs underlying a billing dispute between DOD and OPM are 
contributing to further delays in the processing of new security 
clearance requests for industry personnel. The dispute stems from the 
February 2005 transfer of DODís personnel security investigations 
function to OPM and associated costs for which DOD agreed to reimburse 
OPM. Among other things, the two agenciesí memorandum of agreement for 
the transfer allows OPM to charge DOD annual price adjustments plus a 
25 percent premium, in addition to the rates OPM charges to other 
federal government agencies. A January 20, 2006, memorandum from the 
Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence to the Office of Management 
and Budget (OMB) questioned the continued need for the premiums and 
requested mediation from OMB. According to DOD and OPM, OMB has 
directed the two agencies to continue to work together to resolve the 
matter. The inspectors general for both DOD and OPM are expected to 
report on the results of their investigations into the dispute this 
summer. 

Other impediments, if not effectively addressed, could negatively 
affect the timeliness of clearance-eligibility determinations for one 
or more of the following employee groups: industry personnel, 
servicemembers, and civilian government employees. All three groups are 
affected by DODís longstanding inability to accurately estimate the 
size of its security clearance workload. Inaccurate estimates of the 
volume of clearances needed make it difficult to determine clearance-
related budgets and staffing requirements. Similarly, the July 1, 2006, 
expiration of Executive Order 13381, which delegated responsibility for 
improving the clearance process to OMB, could potentially slow 
improvements in personnel security clearance processes DOD-wide as well 
as governmentwide. GAO has been encouraged by OMBís high level of 
commitment to activities such as the development of a government plan 
to improve personnel security clearance processes governmentwide but is 
concerned about whether such progress will continue after the executive 
order expires. In contrast, demand for top secret clearances for 
industry personnel and the lack of reciprocity (the acceptance of a 
clearance and access granted by another department, agency, or military 
service) are impediments that mainly affect industry personnel. A 
previously identified increase in the demand for top secret clearances 
for industry personnel has workload and budgetary implications for DOD 
and OPM if such requests continue to occur. Finally, the lack of 
reciprocity has a negative effect on employees and employers, and 
increases the workload for already overburdened investigative and 
adjudicative staff. Reciprocity problems have occurred despite the 
issuance of governmentwide investigative standards and adjudicative 
guidelines in 1997.

[Hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-06-747T].

To view the full product, including the scope and methodology, click on 
the link above. For more information, contact  Derek B. Stewart at 
(202) 512-5559 or stewartd@gao.gov.

[End of section]

Chairman Davis and Members of the Committee:

Thank you for the opportunity to provide this statement for your 
hearing on the challenges facing the Department of Defense (DOD) and 
the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) in processing requests for 
personnel security clearances in a timely manner. Two years ago, we 
testified before this committee on similar challenges.[Footnote 1] 
Before providing our observations about the challenges, I would like to 
provide some background to (1) give a general context for understanding 
clearances and describe the importance of industry personnel to our 
national security, (2) discuss how clearance problems can negatively 
affect national security, and (3) provide information about several 
recent events affecting the overall status of DOD's personnel security 
clearance program.

Background:

As you know, Mr. Chairman, for over two decades, we have reported on 
problems with DOD's personnel security clearance program as well as the 
financial costs and risks to national security resulting from these 
problems (see Related GAO Reports at the end of this statement). For 
example, at the turn of the century, we documented problems such as 
incomplete investigations, inconsistency in determining eligibility for 
clearances, and a backlog of overdue clearance reinvestigations that 
exceeded 500,000 cases.[Footnote 2] More recently in 2004, we 
identified continuing and new impediments hampering DOD's clearance 
program and made recommendations for increasing the effectiveness and 
efficiency of the program.[Footnote 3] Also in 2004, we testified 
before this committee on clearance-related problems faced by industry 
personnel.[Footnote 4]

A critical step in the federal government's efforts to protect national 
security is to determine whether an individual is eligible for a 
personnel security clearance. Specifically, an individual whose job 
requires access to classified information must undergo a background 
investigation and adjudication (determination of eligibility) in order 
to obtain a clearance. As with federal government workers, the demand 
for personnel security clearances for industry personnel has increased 
during recent years. Additional awareness of threats to our national 
security since September 11, 2001, and efforts to privatize federal 
jobs during the last decade are but two of the reasons for the greater 
number of industry personnel needing clearances today. As of September 
30, 2003, industry personnel held about one-third of the approximately 
2 million DOD-issued clearances. DOD's Office of the Under Secretary of 
Defense for Intelligence has overall responsibility for DOD clearances, 
and its responsibilities also extend beyond DOD. Specifically, that 
office's responsibilities include obtaining background investigations 
and adjudicating clearance eligibility for industry personnel in more 
than 20 other federal agencies,[Footnote 5] as well as the clearances 
of staff in the federal government's legislative branch.

Problems in the clearance program can negatively affect national 
security. For example, delays reviewing security clearances for 
personnel who are already doing classified work can lead to a 
heightened risk of disclosure of classified information. In contrast, 
delays in providing initial security clearances for previously 
noncleared personnel can result in other negative consequences, such as 
additional costs and delays in completing national security-related 
contracts, lost-opportunity costs, and problems retaining the best 
qualified personnel.

Longstanding delays in completing hundreds of thousands of clearance 
requests for servicemembers, federal employees, and industry personnel 
as well as numerous impediments that hinder DOD's ability to accurately 
estimate and eliminate its clearance backlog led us to declare the 
program a high-risk area in January 2005. The 25 areas on our high-risk 
list at that time received their designation because they are major 
programs and operations that need urgent attention and transformation 
in order to ensure that our national government functions in the most 
economical, efficient, and effective manner possible.[Footnote 6]

Shortly after we placed DOD's clearance program on our high-risk list, 
a major change in DOD's program occurred. In February 2005, DOD 
transferred its personnel security investigations functions and about 
1,800 investigative positions to OPM. Now DOD obtains nearly all of its 
clearance investigations from OPM[Footnote 7], which is currently 
responsible for 90 percent of the personnel security clearance 
investigations in the federal government.[Footnote 8] DOD retained 
responsibility for adjudication of military personnel, DOD civilians, 
and industry personnel.

Other recent significant events affecting DOD's clearance program have 
been the passage of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention 
Act of 2004 and the issuance of the June 2005 Executive Order No. 
13381, Strengthening Processes Relating to Determining Eligibility for 
Access to Classified National Security Information. The act included 
milestones for reducing the time to complete clearances, general 
specifications for a database on security clearances, and requirements 
for greater reciprocity of clearances (the acceptance of a clearance 
and access granted by another department, agency, or military service). 
Among other things, the executive order resulted in the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) taking a lead role in preparing a strategic 
plan to improve personnel security clearance processes governmentwide.

Using this context for understanding the interplay between DOD and OPM 
in DOD's personnel security clearance processes, my statement addresses 
two objectives in this statement: (1) key points of a billing dispute 
between DOD and OPM and (2) some of the major impediments affecting 
clearances for industry personnel.

As requested by this committee, we have an ongoing examination of the 
timeliness and completeness of the processes used to determine the 
eligibility of industry personnel to receive top secret clearances. We 
expect to present the results of this work in the fall. My statement 
today, however, is based primarily on our completed work and our 
institutional knowledge from our prior reviews of the steps in the 
clearance processes used by DOD and, to a lesser extent, other 
agencies. In addition, we used information from the Intelligence Reform 
and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004; executive orders; and other 
documents, such as a memorandum of agreement between DOD and OPM. We 
conducted our work in accordance with generally accepted government 
auditing standards in May 2006.

Summary:

The additional costs DOD has incurred for its investigations are 
contributing to further delays in the processing of new security 
clearances for industry personnel. Despite an already sizable backlog 
of security clearance applications, DOD stopped processing applications 
for industry personnel on April 28, 2006. DOD attributed the stoppage 
to a large volume of industry clearance requests and funding 
constraints. The funding constraints may be the result of a broader 
billing dispute that has been taking place between DOD and OPM. As part 
of the agreement that transferred DOD's clearance investigations 
function to OPM, OPM may charge DOD for annual price adjustments plus a 
25 percent premium, in addition to the rates it normally charges other 
federal agencies for investigations. DOD disputes the continued need 
for the premium and has asked OMB to mediate; however, information from 
the two agencies indicates that OMB has directed DOD and OPM to 
continue to work together to resolve the matter. The inspectors general 
for both DOD and OPM are investigating the billing dispute and are 
expected to report on the results of their investigations this summer.

Some impediments, if not effectively addressed, can hinder the timely 
determination of clearance eligibility for servicemembers, civilian 
government employees, and industry personnel; whereas other impediments 
mainly affect industry personnel. One impediment that could affect all 
three employee groups is DOD's longstanding inability to accurately 
estimate its future clearance requests. In fiscal years 2001 through 
2003, the department incorrectly estimated the number of requests by 
90,000 to 150,000 cases per year. This impediment makes it difficult to 
determine clearance-related budgets and staffing requirements. Another 
impediment for all three employee groups pertains to the July 1, 2006, 
expiration of Executive Order 13381, which delegated responsibility for 
improving the clearance process to OMB. We have been encouraged by 
OMB's high level of commitment during the development of a plan to 
improve clearance processes governmentwide. Because there has been no 
indication that the executive order will be extended, we are concerned 
about whether such progress will continue. In contrast, greater demand 
for top secret clearances for industry personnel and the lack of 
reciprocity would primarily affect industry personnel. Between fiscal 
years 1995 and 2003, the proportion of security clearance requests for 
industry personnel who required top secret investigations and 
adjudications increased from 17 to 27 percent of the workload. A rise 
in the demand for top secret clearances has negative side effects that 
include the need to renew clearances more often (than secret or 
confidential clearances), requirements for more information about 
applicants, and much higher costs. A second impediment that might 
affect industry personnel more than other employee groups is the 
absence of reciprocity. In addition to slowing how quickly contractors 
can use newly hired employees, this impediment increases the workload 
for already overburdened investigative and adjudicative staff. 
Reciprocity problems have occurred despite the issuance of 
governmentwide investigative standards and adjudicative guidelines in 
1997.

Unexpected Volume of Clearance Requests and Funding Constraints Delay 
Security Clearances for Industry Personnel Further:

DOD stopped processing applications for clearance investigations for 
industry personnel on April 28, 2006, despite an already sizeable 
backlog. DOD attributed its actions to an overwhelming volume of 
requests for industry personnel security investigations and funding 
constraints. We will address the issue of workload projections later 
when we discuss impediments that affect industry personnel as well as 
servicemembers and federal employees, but first we would like to talk 
about the issue of funding.

An important consideration in understanding the funding constraints 
that contributed to the stoppage is a DOD-OPM billing dispute, which 
has resulted in the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence 
requesting OMB mediation. The dispute stems from the February 2005 
transfer of DOD's personnel security investigations function to OPM.

The memorandum of agreement signed by the OPM Director and the DOD 
Deputy Secretary prior to the transfer lists many types of costs that 
DOD may incur for up to 3 years after the transfer of the 
investigations function to OPM. One cost, an adjustment to the rates 
charged to agencies for clearance investigations, provides that "OPM 
may charge DOD for investigations at DOD's current rates plus annual 
price adjustments plus a 25 percent premium to offset potential 
operating losses. OPM will be able to adjust, at any point of time 
during the first three year period after the start of transfer, the 
premium as necessary to cover estimated future costs or operating 
losses, if any, or offset gains, if any."

The Under Secretary's memorandum says that OPM has collected 
approximately $50 million in premiums in addition to approximately $144 
million for other costs associated with the transfer. The OPM Associate 
Director subsequently listed costs that OPM has incurred. To help 
resolve this billing matter, DOD requested mediation from OMB, in 
accordance with the memorandum of agreement between DOD and OPM. 
Information from the two agencies indicates that in response to DOD's 
request, OMB has directed them to continue to work together to resolve 
the matter. The DOD and OPM offices of inspector general are currently 
investigating all of the issues raised in the Under Secretary's and 
Associate Director's correspondences and have indicated that they 
intend to issue reports on their reviews this summer.

If Not Effectively Addressed, Impediments Could Continue to Hinder 
Efforts to Provide Timely Clearances:

Some impediments, if not effectively addressed, could hinder the timely 
determination of clearance eligibility for servicemembers, civilian 
government employees, and industry personnel; whereas other impediments 
would mainly affect industry personnel. The inability to accurately 
estimate the number of future clearance requests and the expiration of 
the previously mentioned executive order that resulted in high-level 
involvement by OMB could adversely affect the timeliness of eligibility 
determinations for all types of employee groups. In contrast, an 
increased demand for top secret clearances for industry personnel and 
the lack of reciprocity would primarily affect industry personnel.

An Existing and a Potential New Impediment Could Lead to Continuing 
Problems for All Types of Employees Seeking Clearances:

A major impediment to providing timely clearances is the inaccurate 
projections of the number of requests for security clearances DOD-wide 
and for industry personnel specifically. As we noted in our May 2004 
testimony before this committee, DOD's longstanding inability to 
accurately project its security clearance workload makes it difficult 
to determine clearance-related budgets and staffing requirements. In 
fiscal year 2001, DOD received 18 percent (about 150,000) fewer 
requests than it expected, and in fiscal years 2002 and 2003, it 
received 19 and 13 percent (about 135,000 and 90,000) more requests 
than projected, respectively. In 2005, DOD was again uncertain about 
the number and level of clearances that it required, but the department 
reported plans and efforts to identify clearance requirements for 
servicemembers, civilian employees, and contractors. For example, in 
response to our May 2004 recommendation to improve the projection of 
clearance requests for industry personnel, DOD indicated that it was 
developing a plan and computer software that would enable the 
government's contracting officers to (1) authorize a certain number of 
industry personnel clearance investigations for any given contract, 
depending on the number of clearances required to perform the 
classified work on that contract, and (2) link the clearance 
investigations to the contract number.

Another potential impediment that could slow improvements in personnel 
security clearance processes in DOD--as well as governmentwide--is the 
July 1, 2006, expiration of Executive Order No. 13381. Among other 
things, this executive order delegated responsibility for improving the 
clearance process to the Director of OMB for about 1 year. We have been 
encouraged by the high level of commitment that OMB has demonstrated in 
the development of a governmentwide plan to address clearance-related 
problems. Also, the OMB Deputy Director met with GAO officials to 
discuss OMB's general strategy for addressing the problems that led to 
our high-risk designation for DOD's clearance program. Demonstrating 
strong management commitment and top leadership support to address a 
known risk is one of the requirements for removing DOD's clearance 
program from GAO's high-risk list. Because there has been no indication 
that the executive order will be extended, we are concerned about 
whether such progress will continue without OMB's high-level management 
involvement. While OPM has provided some leadership in assisting OMB 
with the development of the governmentwide plan, OPM may not be in a 
position to assume additional high-level commitment for a variety of 
reasons. These reasons include (1) the governmentwide plan lists many 
management challenges facing OPM and the Associate Director of its 
investigations unit, such as establishing a presence to conduct 
overseas investigations and adjusting its investigative workforce to 
the increasing demand for clearances; (2) adjudication of personnel 
security clearances and determination of which organizational positions 
require such clearances are outside the current emphases for OPM; and 
(3) agencies' disputes with OPM--such as the current one regarding 
billing--may require a high-level third party to mediate a resolution 
that is perceived to be impartial.

Increased Demand for High-level Clearances and the Lack of Reciprocity 
Are Previously Identified Problems for Industry Personnel:

As we have previously identified, an increase in the demand for top 
secret clearances could have workload and budgetary implications for 
DOD and OPM if such requests continue to occur. In our 2004 report, we 
noted that the proportion of requests for top secret clearances for 
industry personnel increased from 17 to 27 percent from fiscal years 
1995 through 2003. This increase has workload implications because top 
secret clearances (1) must be renewed every 5 years, compared to every 
10 years for secret clearances, and (2) require more information about 
the applicant than secret clearances do. Our 2004 analyses further 
showed that the 10-year cost to the government was 13 times higher for 
a person with a top secret clearance ($4,231) relative to a person with 
a secret clearance ($328). Thus, if clearance requirements for 
organizational positions are set higher than needed, the government's 
capacity to decrease the clearance backlog is reduced while the cost of 
the clearance program is increased.

When the reciprocity of clearances or access is not fully utilized, 
industry personnel are prevented from working. In addition to having a 
negative effect on the employee and the employer, the lack of 
reciprocity has adverse effects for the government, including an 
increased workload for the already overburdened staff who investigate 
and adjudicate security clearances. Problems with reciprocity of 
clearances or access, particularly for industry personnel, have 
continued to occur despite the establishment in 1997 of governmentwide 
investigative standards and adjudicative guidelines.[Footnote 9] The 
Reciprocity Working Group, which helped to prepare information for the 
governmentwide plan to improve the security clearance process, noted 
that "a lack of reciprocity often arises due to reluctance of the 
gaining activity to inherit accountability for what may be an 
unacceptable risk due to poor quality investigations and/or 
adjudications." Congress enacted reciprocity requirements in the 
Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of December 
2004,[Footnote 10] and OMB promulgated criteria in December 2005 for 
federal agencies to follow in determining whether to accept security 
clearances from other government agencies. Because of how recently 
these changes were made, their impact is unknown.

Concluding Observations:

We will continue to assess and monitor DOD's personnel security 
clearance program at your request. We are conducting work on the 
timeliness and completeness of investigations and adjudications for top 
secret clearances for industry personnel and we will report that 
information to this committee this fall. Also, our standard steps of 
monitoring programs on our high-risk list require that we evaluate the 
progress that agencies make toward being removed from the 
list.[Footnote 11] Lastly, we monitor our recommendations to agencies 
to determine whether steps are being taken to overcome program 
deficiencies.

Staff Contact and Acknowledgments:

For further information regarding this testimony, please contact me at 
(202)512-5559 or stewartd@gao.gov. Individuals making key contributions 
to this testimony include Jack E. Edwards, Assistant Director; Jerome 
Brown; Kurt A. Burgeson; Susan C. Ditto; David Epstein; Sara Hackley; 
James Klein; and Kenneth E. Patton.

[End of section]

Related GAO Products:

Managing Sensitive Information: Departments of Energy and Defense 
Policies and Oversight Could Be Improved. GAO-06-369. Washington, D.C.: 
March 7, 2006.

Managing Sensitive Information: DOE and DOD Could Improve Their 
Policies and Oversight. GAO-06-531T. Washington, D.C.: March 14, 2006.

GAO's High-Risk Program. GAO-06-497T. Washington, D.C.: March 15, 2006.

Questions for the Record Related to DOD's Personnel Security Clearance 
Program and the Government Plan for Improving the Clearance Process. 
GAO-06-323R. Washington, D.C.: January 17, 2006.

DOD Personnel Clearances: Government Plan Addresses Some Long-standing 
Problems with DOD's Program, But Concerns Remain. GAO-06-233T. 
Washington, D.C.: November 9, 2005.

Defense Management: Better Review Needed of Program Protection Issues 
Associated with Manufacturing Presidential Helicopters. GAO-06-71SU. 
Washington, D.C.: November 4, 2005.

DOD's High-Risk Areas: High-Level Commitment and Oversight Needed for 
DOD Supply Chain Plan to Succeed. GAO-06-113T. Washington, D.C.: 
October 6, 2005.

Questions for the Record Related to DOD's Personnel Security Clearance 
Program. GAO-05-988R. Washington, D.C.: August 19, 2005.

Industrial Security: DOD Cannot Ensure Its Oversight of Contractors 
under Foreign Influence Is Sufficient. GAO-05-681. Washington, D.C.: 
July 15, 2005.

DOD Personnel Clearances: Some Progress Has Been Made but Hurdles 
Remain to Overcome the Challenges That Led to GAO's High-Risk 
Designation. GAO-05-842T. Washington, D.C.: June 28, 2005.

Defense Management: Key Elements Needed to Successfully Transform DOD 
Business Operations. GAO-05-629T. Washington, D.C.: April 28, 2005.

Maritime Security: New Structures Have Improved Information Sharing, 
but Security Clearance Processing Requires Further Attention. GAO-05- 
394. Washington, D.C.: April 15, 2005.

DOD's High-Risk Areas: Successful Business Transformation Requires 
Sound Strategic Planning and Sustained Leadership. GAO-05-520T. 
Washington, D.C.: April 13, 2005.

GAO's 2005 High-Risk Update. GAO-05-350T. Washington, D.C.: February 
17, 2005.

High-Risk Series: An Update. GAO-05-207. Washington, D.C.: January 2005.

Intelligence Reform: Human Capital Considerations Critical to 9/11 
Commission's Proposed Reforms. GAO-04-1084T. Washington, D.C.: 
September 14, 2004.

DOD Personnel Clearances: Additional Steps Can Be Taken to Reduce 
Backlogs and Delays in Determining Security Clearance Eligibility for 
Industry Personnel. GAO-04-632. Washington, D.C.: May 26, 2004.

DOD Personnel Clearances: Preliminary Observations Related to Backlogs 
and Delays in Determining Security Clearance Eligibility for Industry 
Personnel. GAO-04-202T. Washington, D.C.: May 6, 2004.

Security Clearances: FBI Has Enhanced Its Process for State and Local 
Law Enforcement Officials. GAO-04-596. Washington, D.C.: April 30, 2004.

Industrial Security: DOD Cannot Provide Adequate Assurances That Its 
Oversight Ensures the Protection of Classified Information. GAO-04-332. 
Washington, D.C.: March 3, 2004.

DOD Personnel Clearances: DOD Needs to Overcome Impediments to 
Eliminating Backlog and Determining Its Size. GAO-04-344. Washington, 
D.C.: February 9, 2004.

Aviation Security: Federal Air Marshal Service Is Addressing Challenges 
of Its Expanded Mission and Workforce, but Additional Actions Needed. 
GAO-04-242. Washington, D.C.: November 19, 2003.

Results-Oriented Cultures: Creating a Clear Linkage between Individual 
Performance and Organizational Success. GAO-03-488. Washington, D.C.: 
March 14, 2003.

Defense Acquisitions: Steps Needed to Ensure Interoperability of 
Systems That Process Intelligence Data. GAO-03-329. Washington D.C.: 
March 31, 2003.

Managing for Results: Agency Progress in Linking Performance Plans With 
Budgets and Financial Statements. GAO-02-236. Washington D.C.: January 
4, 2002.

Central Intelligence Agency: Observations on GAO Access to Information 
on CIA Programs and Activities. GAO-01-975T. Washington, D.C.: July 18, 
2001.

Determining Performance and Accountability Challenges and High Risks. 
GAO-01-159SP. Washington, D.C.: November 2000.

DOD Personnel: More Consistency Needed in Determining Eligibility for 
Top Secret Clearances. GAO-01-465. Washington, D.C.: April 18, 2001.

DOD Personnel: More Accurate Estimate of Overdue Security Clearance 
Reinvestigations Is Needed. GAO/T-NSIAD-00-246. Washington, D.C.: 
September 20, 2000.

DOD Personnel: More Actions Needed to Address Backlog of Security 
Clearance Reinvestigations. GAO/NSIAD-00-215. Washington, D.C.: August 
24, 2000.

Security Protection: Standardization Issues Regarding Protection of 
Executive Branch Officials. GAO/T-GGD/OSI-00-177. Washington, D.C.: 
July 27, 2000.

Security Protection: Standardization Issues Regarding Protection of 
Executive Branch Officials. GAO/GGD/OSI-00-139. Washington, D.C.: July 
11, 2000.

Computer Security: FAA Is Addressing Personnel Weaknesses, But Further 
Action Is Required. GAO/AIMD-00-169. Washington, D.C.: May 31, 2000.

DOD Personnel: Weaknesses in Security Investigation Program Are Being 
Addressed. GAO/T-NSIAD-00-148. Washington, D.C.: April 6, 2000.

DOD Personnel: Inadequate Personnel Security Investigations Pose 
National Security Risks. GAO/T-NSIAD-00-65. Washington, D.C.: February 
16, 2000.

DOD Personnel: Inadequate Personnel Security Investigations Pose 
National Security Risks. GAO/NSIAD-00-12. Washington, D.C.: October 27, 
1999.

Background Investigations: Program Deficiencies May Lead DEA to 
Relinquish Its Authority to OPM. GAO/GGD-99-173. Washington, D.C.: 
September 7, 1999.

Department of Energy: Key Factors Underlying Security Problems at DOE 
Facilities. GAO/T-RCED-99-159. Washington, D.C.: April 20, 1999.

Performance Budgeting: Initial Experiences Under the Results Act in 
Linking Plans With Budgets. GAO/AIMD/GGD-99-67. Washington, D.C.: April 
12, 1999.

Military Recruiting: New Initiatives Could Improve Criminal History 
Screening. GAO/NSIAD-99-53. Washington, D.C.: February 23, 1999.

Executive Office of the President: Procedures for Acquiring Access to 
and Safeguarding Intelligence Information. GAO/NSIAD-98-245. 
Washington, D.C.: September 30, 1998.

Inspectors General: Joint Investigation of Personnel Actions Regarding 
a Former Defense Employee. GAO/AIMD/OSI-97-81R. Washington, D.C.: July 
10, 1997.

Privatization of OPM's Investigations Service. GAO/GGD-96-97R. 
Washington, D.C.: August 22, 1996.

Cost Analysis: Privatizing OPM Investigations. GAO/GGD-96-121R. 
Washington, D.C.: July 5, 1996.

Personnel Security: Pass and Security Clearance Data for the Executive 
Office of the President. GAO/NSIAD-96-20. Washington, D.C.: October 19, 
1995.

Privatizing OPM Investigations: Implementation Issues. GAO/T-GGD-95- 
186. Washington, D.C.: June 15, 1995.

Privatizing OPM Investigations: Perspectives on OPM's Role in 
Background Investigations. GAO/T-GGD-95-185. Washington, D.C.: June 14, 
1995.

Security Clearances: Consideration of Sexual Orientation in the 
Clearance Process. GAO/NSIAD-95-21. Washington, D.C.: March 24, 1995.

Background Investigations: Impediments to Consolidating Investigations 
and Adjudicative Functions. GAO/NSIAD-95-101. Washington, D.C.: March 
24, 1995.

Managing DOE: Further Review Needed of Suspensions of Security 
Clearances for Minority Employees. GAO/RCED-95-15. Washington, D.C.: 
December 8, 1994.

Personnel Security Investigations. GAO/NSIAD-94-135R. Washington, D.C.: 
March 4, 1994.

Classified Information: Costs of Protection Are Integrated With Other 
Security Costs. GAO/NSIAD-94-55. Washington, D.C.: October 20, 1993.

Nuclear Security: DOE's Progress on Reducing Its Security Clearance 
Work Load. GAO/RCED-93-183. Washington, D.C.: August 12, 1993.

Personnel Security: Efforts by DOD and DOE to Eliminate Duplicative 
Background Investigations. GAO/RCED-93-23. Washington, D.C.: May 10, 
1993.

Administrative Due Process: Denials and Revocations of Security 
Clearances and Access to Special Programs. GAO/T-NSIAD-93-14. 
Washington, D.C.: May 5, 1993.

DOD Special Access Programs: Administrative Due Process Not Provided 
When Access Is Denied or Revoked. GAO/NSIAD-93-162. Washington, D.C.: 
May 5, 1993.

Security Clearances: Due Process for Denials and Revocations by 
Defense, Energy, and State. GAO/NSIAD-92-99. Washington, D.C.: May 6, 
1992.

Due Process: Procedures for Unfavorable Suitability and Security 
Clearance Actions. GAO/NSIAD-90-97FS. Washington, D.C.: April 23, 1990.

Weaknesses in NRC's Security Clearance Program. GAO/T-RCED-89-14. 
Washington, D.C.: March 15, 1989.

Nuclear Regulation: NRC's Security Clearance Program Can Be 
Strengthened. GAO/RCED-89-41. Washington, D.C.: December 20, 1988.

Nuclear Security: DOE Actions to Improve the Personnel Clearance 
Program. GAO/RCED-89-34. Washington, D.C.: November 9, 1988.

Nuclear Security: DOE Needs a More Accurate and Efficient Security 
Clearance Program. GAO/RCED-88-28. Washington, D.C.: December 29, 1987.

National Security: DOD Clearance Reduction and Related Issues. GAO/ 
NSIAD-87-170BR. Washington, D.C.: September 18, 1987.

Oil Reserves: Proposed DOE Legislation for Firearm and Arrest Authority 
Has Merit. GAO/RCED-87-178. Washington, D.C.: August 11, 1987.

Embassy Blueprints: Controlling Blueprints and Selecting Contractors 
for Construction Abroad. GAO/NSIAD-87-83. Washington, D.C.: April 14, 
1987.

Security Clearance Reinvestigations of Employees Has Not Been Timely at 
the Department of Energy. GAO/T-RCED-87-14. Washington, D.C.: April 9, 
1987.

Improvements Needed in the Government's Personnel Security Clearance 
Program. Washington, D.C.: April 16, 1985.

Need for Central Adjudication Facility for Security Clearances for Navy 
Personnel. GAO/GGD-83-66. Washington, D.C.: May 18, 1983.

Effect of National Security Decision Directive 84, Safeguarding 
National Security Information. GAO/NSIAD-84-26. Washington, D.C.: 
October 18, 1983.

Faster Processing of DOD Personnel Security Clearances Could Avoid 
Millions in Losses. GAO/GGD-81-105. Washington, D.C.: September 15, 
1981. 

(350865):

[End of section]

GAO's Mission:

The Government Accountability Office, the audit, evaluation and 
investigative arm of Congress, exists to support Congress in meeting 
its constitutional responsibilities and to help improve the performance 
and accountability of the federal government for the American people. 
GAO examines the use of public funds; evaluates federal programs and 
policies; and provides analyses, recommendations, and other assistance 
to help Congress make informed oversight, policy, and funding 
decisions. GAO's commitment to good government is reflected in its core 
values of accountability, integrity, and reliability.

Obtaining Copies of GAO Reports and Testimony:

The fastest and easiest way to obtain copies of GAO documents at no 
cost is through GAO's Web site (www.gao.gov). Each weekday, GAO posts 
newly released reports, testimony, and correspondence on its Web site. 
To have GAO e-mail you a list of newly posted products every afternoon, 
go to www.gao.gov and select "Subscribe to Updates."

Order by Mail or Phone:

The first copy of each printed report is free. Additional copies are $2 
each. A check or money order should be made out to the Superintendent 
of Documents. GAO also accepts VISA and Mastercard. Orders for 100 or 
more copies mailed to a single address are discounted 25 percent. 
Orders should be sent to:

U.S. Government Accountability Office 441 G Street NW, Room LM 
Washington, D.C. 20548:

To order by Phone: Voice: (202) 512-6000 TDD: (202) 512-2537 Fax: (202) 
512-6061:

To Report Fraud, Waste, and Abuse in Federal Programs:

Contact:

Web site: www.gao.gov/fraudnet/fraudnet.htm E-mail: fraudnet@gao.gov 
Automated answering system: (800) 424-5454 or (202) 512-7470:

Congressional Relations:

Gloria Jarmon, Managing Director, JarmonG@gao.gov (202) 512-4400 U.S. 
Government Accountability Office, 441 G Street NW, Room 7125 
Washington, D.C. 20548:

Public Affairs:

Paul Anderson, Managing Director, AndersonP1@gao.gov (202) 512-4800 
U.S. Government Accountability Office, 441 G Street NW, Room 7149 
Washington, D.C. 20548:

We identified 22 other agencies in GAO-04-632. Exec. Order No. 10865, 
Safeguarding Classified Information Within Industry, February 20, 1960, 
which was amended by Exec. Order No. 12829, National Industrial 
Security Program, January 6, 1993, authorizes DOD to reach agreement 
with other federal departments and agencies to extend its regulations 
concerning authorizations for access to classified information by 
industry. The agencies that have entered into agreements with DOD for 
security services under the National Industrial Security Program are 
the (1) National Aeronautics and Space Administration, (2) Department 
of Commerce, (3) General Services Administration, (4) Department of 
State, (5) Small Business Administration, (6) National Science 
Foundation, (7) Department of the Treasury, (8) Department of 
Transportation, (9) Department of the Interior, (10) Department of 
Agriculture, (11) Department of Labor, (12) Environmental Protection 
Agency, (13) Department of Justice, (14) Federal Reserve System, (15) 
U.S. Government Accountability Office (formerly U.S. General Accounting 
Office), (16) U.S. Trade Representative, (17) U.S. International Trade 
Commission, (18) U.S. Agency for International Development, (19) 
Nuclear Regulatory Commission, (20) Department of Health and Human 
Services, (21) Department of Homeland Security, and (22) Department of 
Education. The Department of Energy and the Central Intelligence Agency 
are signatories of the National Industrial Security Program Operating 
Manual and thus have reciprocity with DOD under provisions of the 
manual. Three federal agencies (the Department of Energy, the Central 
Intelligence Agency, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission) also may 
grant security clearances to industry personnel who work on national 
security-related programs.

FOOTNOTES

[1] GAO, DOD Personnel Clearances: Preliminary Observations Related to 
Backlogs and Delays in Determining Security Clearance Eligibility for 
Industry Personnel, GAO-04-202T (Washington, D.C.: May 6, 2004).

[2] GAO, DOD Personnel: More Consistency Needed in Determining 
Eligibility for Top Secret Security Clearances, GAO-01-465 (Washington, 
D.C.: Apr. 18, 2001); DOD Personnel: More Actions Needed to Address 
Backlog of Security Clearance Reinvestigations, GAO/NSIAD-00-215 
(Washington, D.C.: Aug. 24, 2000); and DOD Personnel: Inadequate 
Personnel Security Investigations Pose National Security Risks, GAO/ 
NSIAD-00-12 (Washington, D.C.: Oct. 27, 1999).

[3] GAO, DOD Personnel Clearances: Additional Steps Can Be Taken to 
Reduce Backlogs and Delays in Determining Security Clearance 
Eligibility for Industry Personnel, GAO-04-632 (Washington, D.C.: May 
26, 2004); and GAO, DOD Personnel Clearances: DOD Needs to Overcome 
Impediments to Eliminating Backlog and Determining Its Size, GAO-04-344 
(Washington, D.C.: Feb. 9, 2004).

[4] GAO-04-202T.

[5] GAO, High-Risk Series: An Update, GAO-05-207 (Washington, D.C.: 
January 2005).

[6] Currently, the National Security Agency, Defense Intelligence 
Agency, and National Reconnaissance Office each have a waiver that 
allows them to contract for their own personnel security clearance 
investigations.

[7] In GAO, DOD Personnel Clearances: Some Progress Has Been Made but 
Hurdles Remain to Overcome the Challenges That Led to GAO's High-Risk 
Designation, GAO-05-842T (Washington, D.C.: June 28, 2005), we listed 
the departments/agencies having statutory or delegated authority to 
conduct background investigations, as identified by the then Deputy 
Associate Director of OPM's Center for Investigations Services. Those 
departments/agencies are the Central Intelligence Agency; Department of 
State; Department of the Treasury; Internal Revenue Service; Bureau of 
Engraving and Printing; Federal Bureau of Investigation; National 
Security Agency; U.S. Agency for International Development; Department 
of Homeland Security; Bureau of Customs and Border Protection; U.S. 
Secret Service; Small Business Administration; Broadcasting Board of 
Governors; Department of Justice--Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, 
and Explosives; U.S. Postal Service; Tennessee Valley Authority; 
National Reconnaissance Office; and Peace Corps. Even though these 
agencies have authority to conduct their own investigations, some of 
them request that OPM conduct all or part of their investigations.

[8] Reciprocity, as is required by Executive Order No. 12968, is a 
policy that requires background investigations and eligibility 
determinations conducted under the order be mutually and reciprocally 
accepted by all agencies, expect when an agency has substantial 
information indicating that an employee may not satisfy the standards 
under this order. Reciprocity also involves the ability to transfer (1) 
an individual's existing, valid security clearance and (2) access from 
one department, agency, or military service to another or from the 
federal government to the private sector (and vice versa) when the 
individual changes jobs without having to grant another clearance or 
access.

[9] Pub. L. No. 108-548, ß 3001 (d), Reciprocity of Security Clearance 
and Access Determinations.

[10] The general steps required to remove DOD's personal security 
clearance program from the high-risk list are summarized in GAO, DOD 
Personnel Clearances: Government Plan Addresses Some Longstanding 
Problems with DOD's Program, But Concerns Remain, GAO-06-233T 
(Washington, D.C.: Nov. 9, 2005).

[11]