National Security:

DOD Clearance Reduction and Related Issues

NSIAD-87-170BR: Published: Sep 18, 1987. Publicly Released: Sep 18, 1987.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the status of the Department of Defense's (DOD) security clearance reduction program and its plan to reduce the backlog of periodic reinvestigations.

GAO found that: (1) the number of security investigations DOD conducted annually increased about 50 percent after 1975, which resulted in unnecessary delays in completion of investigations and reinvestigations; (2) over a 2-year period, the number of DOD and contractor employees to be reinvestigated declined from about 579,000 to about 356,000; and (3) although DOD strived to meet a 25-percent reduction in cases to be reinvestigated, as Congress required, it had not reinvestigated an estimated 300,000 individuals with top security clearances. GAO also found that: (1) of the $25 million allotted for the program, DOD spent about $14.1 million to reduce the backlog of reinvestigations, and the remainder on vehicles and program reductions; (2) the commission established by the Secretary of Defense to review DOD security policies and practices made 63 recommendations to improve security deficiencies; and (3) although 51 of the recommendations had been approved, DOD did not release an estimated $22 million needed to implement the recommendations.

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