Industry concerns over new security clearance organization

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David Berteau, president & CEO of the Professional Services Council, details how the government is moving background checks to the Defense Department and why industry is worried.


As part of the Trump administration’s government reorganization efforts, the government’s security clearance program is moving from the Office of Personnel Management to the Department of Defense. While a provision in last year’s Defense Authorization Act only required part of the office to be moved to the Pentagon, the president is expected to sign an order moving the rest of the operation soon. David Berteau, president & CEO of the Professional Services Council, says that industry sees a few risks in this interagency shuffle.

 

“[An] element is reciprocity, you have been cleared in one instance but it doesn’t necessarily transfer to another agency or contract. That will still be a dispersed problem across the federal government. DoD could make it worse, but they can’t actually fix that problem.” Berteau said. “Background investigations are very routine and almost haven’t changed that much in decades. DoD expects to bring continuous evaluation, monitor in real time all the data that’s available so you can see problems before they arrive. Industry is a little concerned about the implementation of this. The benefits over the long run of speed and grid security are enormous, but in the meantime, there may be hiccups as well.”