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Managing DOE: Further Review Needed of Suspensions of Security Clearances for Minority Employees

RCED-95-15 Published: Dec 08, 1994. Publicly Released: Jan 09, 1995.
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of Energy's (DOE) security clearance program, focusing on: (1) whether racial or ethnic disparities existed among those employees who had their security clearances suspended; and (2) actions DOE needs to take to respond to these disparities.


Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Energy The Secretary of Energy should investigate the reasons for the disparities in the number of security clearances suspended for contractor employees in the locations and years identified by the GAO review and take action to correct any problems that this investigation identified in the DOE security clearance procedures.
Closed – Implemented
DOE tasked the Center to review the disparities noted in the report and found that, although the disparities were significant, a cause and effect relationship could not be proved to exist between discrimination and the disparities. DOE considers its response to the recommendation complete.
Department of Energy The Secretary of Energy should require that data on the racial and ethnic background of contractor employees whose clearances are suspended at all locations be compiled, monitored, and reviewed to identify any statistical disparities in the number of clearances suspended for minorities, and investigate and take appropriate corrective action if such disparities occur.
Closed – Implemented
DOE has established a process to obtain data on the racial and ethnic background of all employees whose clearances have been suspended, but has no further plans to determine whether disparities exist or the need for corrective actions.

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Confidential communicationsContractor personnelEmployment discriminationMinoritiesPersonnel managementPersonnel recordsRacial discriminationResearch and development facilitiesSecurity clearancesStatistical data