GAO’s reports and testimonies give Congress, federal agencies, and the public timely, fact-based, non-partisan information that can improve government operations and save taxpayers billions of dollars.
Individuals working for the private industry are playing a larger role in national security work conducted by Department of Defense (DOD) and other federal agencies. As of May 2006, industry personnel held about 34 percent of DOD-maintained personnel security clearances.
On November 9, 2005, GAO testified before Congress at a hearing on "Access Delayed: Fixing the Security Clearance Process, Part II." This letter responds to three questions for the record posed by Congress.
The Department of Defense (DOD) is responsible for about 2 million active personnel security clearances. About one-third of the clearances are for industry personnel working on contracts for DOD and more than 20 other executive agencies.
Federal agencies have increasingly relied on contact centers--centers handling inquiries via multiple channels such as telephone, Web page, e-mail, and postal mail--as a key means of communicating with the public. Many of these centers are contractor-operated.
Unauthorized disclosure of classified information can cause up to exceptionally grave damage to national security. The Department of Defense (DOD) is responsible for about 2 million personnel with clearances that allow them access to classified information.
The Department of Defense (DOD) is the largest user of other federal agencies' contracting services. The availability of these contracting services has enabled DOD and other departments to save time by paying other agencies to award and administer contracts for goods and services on their behalf.
The Secretary of the Treasury, in coordination with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), is required to annually prepare and submit audited financial statements of the U.S. government to the President and the Congress.
Since the Iraq conflict began in March 2003, the Departments of Defense (DOD) and State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and other federal agencies have issued contracts to perform reconstruction activities in Iraq.
In fiscal year 2004 federal spending on service contracts grew to over $189 billion governmentwide. This growth, along with cuts in the acquisition workforce and increases in high-dollar procurement actions, creates a challenging environment.
Reliable information is critical to informed decision making and to oversight of the procurement system. The Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS) has been the federal government's central database of information on federal procurement actions since 1978.