Personnel Security Clearances: An Outcome-Focused Strategy and Comprehensive Reporting of Timeliness and Quality Would Provide Greater Visibility over the Clearance Process

GAO-10-117T Published: Oct 01, 2009. Publicly Released: Oct 01, 2009.
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Highlights

This testimony discusses the key recommendations from the two reports we recently released, which include (1) the need for a fully developed strategic framework for the reform process that includes outcome-focused performance measures to show progress and (2) more transparency in annually reporting to Congress on the timeliness and quality of the clearance process. This testimony is based on our review of the Joint Reform Team's plans, as well as our work on DOD's security clearance process, which includes reviews of clearance-related files and interviews of senior officials at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), DOD, Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), and OPM. In addition, this statement is based on key practices and implementation steps for mergers and organizational transformations. We conducted our work on both reports between March 2008 and May 2009 in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. We believe that the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives.

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