Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Clearance Logjam Broken

It wasn’t that long ago that it could take up to a year for a private contractor to get a security clearance. It wasn’t that much faster for potential Department of Defense hires either. This resulted in a significant backlog in staffing and in some cases caused potential employees to seek work elsewhere instead of waiting. According to this story by Lisa Rein in The Washington Post after September 11th the “need for clearances for civilians, contractors and service members grew, but the Defense Department was ill-equipped to handle the surge, and it persisted for years.”

‘The clearance wait grew so long by 2005 - to an average of 200 days for Defense Department applicants and 325 days for contractors - that the Government Accountability Office put the program on its high-risk list, a scarlet letter for federal agencies that raised concerns about mismanagement and a big need for change. Congress stepped in, passing legislation that set targets to clean up the problem and requiring the agencies responsible for it to work together.”

Apparently that worked. The wait has now been reduced to an average of 63 days for private contractors. Now if Congress could just pass the Defense budget... 
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