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    As of April 24, 2018, GAO has issued 1,571 products with 4,885 open recommendations.

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    Subject Term: "Security clearances"

    4 publications with a total of 16 open recommendations including 3 priority recommendations
    Director: Brenda S. Farrell
    Phone: (202) 512-3604

    6 open recommendations
    Recommendation: The Director of National Intelligence should issue a Security Executive Agent Directive for continuous evaluation to formalize the program, which includes, among other things, an expanded definition of continuous evaluation in advance of the next phase of implementation. (Recommendation 1)

    Agency: Office of the Director of National Intelligence
    Status: Open

    Comments: As of December 2017, when we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Recommendation: The Director of National Intelligence should, in coordination with the Continuous Evaluation Working Group, develop an implementation plan for continuous evaluation across the executive branch that includes a schedule with timeframes and expectations for agencies, such as the requirements (e.g., the size of the enrolled population in continuous evaluation) for future phases of implementation. (Recommendation 2)

    Agency: Office of the Director of National Intelligence
    Status: Open

    Comments: As of December 2017, when we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Recommendation: The Director of National Intelligence should develop a plan for monitoring continuous evaluation performance, to include assessing continuous evaluation at various phases of implementation. (Recommendation 3)

    Agency: Office of the Director of National Intelligence
    Status: Open

    Comments: As of December 2017, when we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Recommendation: The Director of National Intelligence should develop performance measures for continuous evaluation that agencies must track and determine a process and schedule for agencies to regularly report those measures to ODNI. At minimum, these performance measures should be clear, quantifiable, objective, and linked to measurable goals. (Recommendation 4)

    Agency: Office of the Director of National Intelligence
    Status: Open

    Comments: As of December 2017, when we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Recommendation: The Director of National Intelligence should, in coordination with the Deputy Director for Management of the Office of Management and Budget in the capacity as Chair of the Security, Suitability, and Credentialing Performance Accountability Council, conduct an evidence-based review of the timeliness goal of 195 days for completing the fastest 90 percent of periodic reinvestigations and the associated goals for the different phases of periodic reinvestigations, and adjust the goal if appropriate, taking into consideration available resources, the additional workload of continuous evaluation, and the risks associated with individuals retaining access to classified information without determining their continued eligibility. (Recommendation 5)

    Agency: Office of the Director of National Intelligence
    Status: Open

    Comments: As of December 2017, when we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Recommendation: The Director of National Intelligence should, once ODNI has further defined the continuous evaluation program, to include issuing a Security Executive Agent Directive and developing an implementation plan, in coordination with the Deputy Director for Management of the Office of Management and Budget in the capacity as Chair of the Security, Suitability, and Credentialing Performance Accountability Council, assess the potential effects of continuous evaluation on agency resources and develop a plan, in consultation with implementing agencies, to address those effects, such as modifying the scope of periodic reinvestigations, changing the frequency of periodic reinvestigations, or replacing periodic reinvestigations for certain clearance holders. (Recommendation 6)

    Agency: Office of the Director of National Intelligence
    Status: Open

    Comments: As of December 2017, when we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Director: Brenda S. Farrell
    Phone: (202) 512-3604

    7 open recommendations
    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness to collect and monitor deployed civilians' perceptions related to mental health care.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: DOD officials have not responded to requests (made in July 2017 and again in January 2018) for information regarding any actions taken related to this recommendation. As of February 2018, we have been working with WHS to obtain an update.
    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness to leverage recommendations made by the RAND Corporation in its 2014 report on mental health stigma in the military to update and clarify policies as needed to remove stigmatizing provisions, such as career restrictions that may be too limiting for individuals who have received mental health care.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: DOD officials have not responded to requests (made in July 2017 and again in January 2018) for information regarding any actions taken related to this recommendation. As of February 2018, we have been working with WHS to obtain an update.
    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness to establish a clear, consistent definition of those barriers to care generally understood by DOD as "mental health care stigma," to include explanations of its causes or contributing risk factors and ways that stigma is apparent in behaviors and policies.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: DOD officials have not responded to requests (made in July 2017 and again in January 2018) for information regarding any actions taken related to this recommendation. As of February 2018, we have been working with WHS to obtain an update.
    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness to establish goals for efforts to address barriers to care generally understood by DOD as "stigma reduction efforts," and performance measures that link to these goals.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: DOD officials have not responded to requests (made in July 2017 and again in January 2018) for information regarding any actions taken related to this recommendation. As of February 2018, we have been working with WHS to obtain an update.
    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness to develop a method to collect and analyze information on barriers to seeking mental health care, including stigma, so that reliable data may be gathered and used to measure the effectiveness of stigma reduction efforts over time.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: DOD officials have not responded to requests (made in July 2017 and again in January 2018) for information regarding any actions taken related to this recommendation. As of February 2018, we have been working with WHS to obtain an update.
    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness to designate an entity to coordinate efforts to reduce mental health care stigma, among other barriers to care.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: DOD officials have not responded to requests (made in July 2017 and again in January 2018) for information regarding any actions taken related to this recommendation. As of February 2018, we have been working with WHS to obtain an update.
    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence to reissue consolidated guidance, incorporating subsequent updates for the denial or suspension of access to classified information and for assignment to sensitive duties based solely on information about mental health care.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: DOD officials have not responded to requests (made in July 2017 and again in January 2018) for information regarding any actions taken related to this recommendation. As of February 2018, we have been working with WHS to obtain an update.
    Director: Charles Michael Johnson, Jr.
    Phone: (202) 512-7331

    2 open recommendations
    including 2 priority recommendations
    Recommendation: To strengthen State's ability to ensure that U.S. civilian personnel are in compliance with the FACT training requirement, the Secretary of State should take steps to ensure that management personnel responsible for assigning personnel to designated high-threat countries consistently verify that all assigned U.S. civilian personnel under chief-of-mission authority who are required to complete FACT training have completed it before arrival in the designated high-threat countries.

    Agency: Department of State
    Status: Open
    Priority recommendation

    Comments: State agreed with the recommendation, and on July 7, 2014--subsequent to our report issuance and addressing this finding--State issued a memo to all agencies that states that it is the responsibility of each agency to ensure its employees are in compliance with FACT training requirements prior to travel to the relevant posts. The memo also requires employees to provide a FACT completion certificate to posts upon request. In October 2016, State officials reported that State had rolled out a ClassNet SharePoint site, and that they expected that the site would include Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs and Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs posts by January 1, 2017. The SharePoint site allows designated users in Washington, D.C. and at posts to access the Foreign Service Institute's training records database. As of January 2018, GAO continues to monitor State's efforts to fully address the recommendation.
    Recommendation: To strengthen State's ability to ensure that U.S. civilian personnel are in compliance with the FACT training requirement, the Secretary of State should monitor or evaluate overall levels of compliance with the FACT training requirement among U.S. civilian personnel under chief-of-mission authority who are subject to the requirement.

    Agency: Department of State
    Status: Open
    Priority recommendation

    Comments: As of May 2015, State officials said that they are developing a plan to utilize various electronic systems to monitor overall levels of compliance for assigned and short-term TDY personnel. The plan is being developed iteratively and is subject to change based on findings and lessons learned from each stage as well as constraints based on cyber security compliance. As of January 2018, State did not report further progress on this recommendation.
    Director: Farrell, Brenda S
    Phone: (202) 512-3604

    1 open recommendations
    including 1 priority recommendation
    Recommendation: To improve transparency of costs and the efficiency of suitability andpersonnel security clearance background investigation processes thatcould lead to cost savings, the Deputy Director for Management, Office of Management and Budget, in the capacity as Chair of the Performance Accountability Council, should expand and specify reform-related guidance to help ensure that reform stakeholders identify opportunities for cost savings, such as preventing duplication in the development of electronic case-management and adjudication technologies in the suitability determination and personnel security clearance processes.

    Agency: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget: Performance Accountability Council
    Status: Open
    Priority recommendation

    Comments: As of December 2017, OMB has taken some positive steps, but has not expanded and specified reform-related guidance to help ensure that reform stakeholders identify opportunities for cost savings, as GAO recommended in February 2012. In the absence of such guidance, in November 2016 and in December 2017, OMB cited specific actions that it has taken with the other Performance Accountability Council (PAC) agencies to align the current information technology capabilities across the security and suitability processes. For example, the PAC issued two strategic documents for fiscal years 2017-2021. In July 2016, it issued the PAC Strategic Intent, which identifies the PAC's business direction to achieve an entrusted workforce. In October 2016, it issued the PAC Enterprise Information Technology Strategy, which provides technical direction to provide mission-capable and secure security, suitability, and credentialing information technology systems. OMB stated that as of November 2016, the Security, Suitability, and Credentialing Line of Business, which OMB created in April 2015 to implement solutions for personnel security and suitability programs, among other things, was finalizing an implementation plan for these strategic documents. One objective included in the information technology strategy is to develop robust shared services to reduce duplicative investments, foster consistency, and promote best practices within the end-to-end Security, Suitability, and Credentialing Enterprise. In line with this objective, in October 2016, the PAC's Enterprise Investment Board designated six additional executive branch-wide information technology shared service capabilities, for a total of eight. While these shared service capabilities could reduce duplication, it is unclear which agencies are utilizing the shared services at this time. Additionally, OMB stated that the Security, Suitability, and Credentialing Line of Business developed an initial catalog of executive branch security, suitability, and credentialing information technology systems to support agencies' investment planning decisions, and conducted a government-wide security, suitability, and credentialing spending analysis. The steps that OMB has taken help share information related to executive branch information technology capabilities. However, issuing more formal guidance would help ensure that reform stakeholders identify opportunities for preventing duplication.