DOD Special Access Programs:

Administrative Due Process Not Provided When Access Is Denied or Revoked

NSIAD-93-162: Published: May 5, 1993. Publicly Released: May 5, 1993.

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Pursuant to congressional requests, GAO reviewed the due process procedures and practices for individuals whose access to special access programs (SAP) and sensitive compartmented information (SCI) in the Army, Navy, and Air Force is denied or revoked.

GAO found that: (1) although the Department of Defense's (DOD) personnel security program regulation requires that administrative due process be given to DOD personnel whose access to SAP is denied, the Navy and Air Force did not provide due process in SAP; (2) the Army provides due process to personnel whose access to SAP is denied; (3) the DOD regulation applies to contractor personnel except for the unfavorable administrative action procedures; (4) in randomly selected cases, DOD and contractor personnel involved with SAP do not receive administrative due process from the Navy and Air Force; (5) DOD support for SCI-type procedures in the National Industrial Security Program may by the first step in its efforts to continue denying contractor and DOD employees administrative due process; (6) under SCI procedures, the official who denies or revokes an SCI access also determines if the reasons for the action will be provided upon request and if the individual will be allowed to appeal the denial; and (7) the services provide administrative due process to government and contractor personnel whose access to SCI is initially denied or revoked.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Air Force and the Navy have revised their regulations to reflect the recommended changes.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretaries of the Navy and the Air Force to comply with the due process requirements of the DOD personnel security program regulation with respect to military and civilian personnel for whom access to a SAP is denied or revoked.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD has incorporated these changes in its personnel security regulations, and is awaiting the changes to the Director of Central Intelligence Direction (DCID) 1/14 for its changes as well. DCID 1/14 governs SCI access and the adjudication for SCI access.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should require that the services designate officials for appeal purposes from commands that are independent from those officials who make unfavorable SAP/SCI access determinations.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD has established this change in its draft regulation responding to GAO's recommendation, and has instructed all DOD officials to implement these changes.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should establish oversight procedures to ensure compliance by the services and components with the SAP/SCI due process requirements for DOD and contractor personnel.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD has proposed this change in the draft NISPOM out for agency comment as well as DOD regulations.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should propose that the National Industrial Security Program establish SAP due process procedures for contractor employees that are similar to DOD procedures for its military and civilian personnel.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

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