Information and Personnel Security:

Data on Employees Affected by Federal Security Programs

NSIAD-86-189FS: Published: Sep 29, 1986. Publicly Released: Oct 27, 1986.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO provided information concerning the federal government's policies on polygraph testing and prepublication review procedures.

GAO received responses from 41 agencies and found that: (1) an estimated 2.2 million federal and 1.4 million contractor employees held security clearances at the end of 1985, which was a decrease from 1984; (2) although the President suspended the review provision, employees still have to sign a lifetime prepublication review form before gaining access to sensitive compartmented information (SCI); (3) of the 138,245 current federal employees with SCI access, 125,088 were Department of Defense employees, and 1,332 were contractor employees; (4) while the number of employees involved in non-SCI special access programs declined slightly, the number of contractor employees more than doubled; (5) 10 agencies reported that, in 1984, they gave their employees and applicants for employment 15,428 polygraph examinations, while 8 agencies reported giving 18,213 such examinations in 1985; (6) the majority of the examinations occurred in connection with criminal or specific incident investigations; however, about 32 percent in 1984, and 35 percent in 1985, were for screening purposes only; and (7) 9 agencies reported having 165 unauthorized disclosures of classified information in 1985, 113 of which they did not report to the Department of Justice.

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