DoD

June 29, 2012

Reforms Improve DOD’s Security Clearance Process, Official Says

by Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Reforms in the personnel security clearance process have improved the speed and efficiency of background investigations and adjudications with a direct, positive impact on the Defense Department’s ability to carry out its mission, a senior defense official told Congress June 21.

Streamlined policy and processes have cut duplication and waste, Elizabeth A. McGrath, the Pentagon’s deputy chief management officer, told a subcommittee of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

Reforms also have reduced the time required to adjudicate clearances even lower than the 20-day goal Congress set in the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, to as little as seven days, she reported.

McGrath attributed this success in large part to a new electronic adjudication capability developed by the Army and now deployed across DOD. The Case Adjudication Tracking System enabled the department to adjudicate 110,000 cases or 24 percent of its secret clearance applications — electronically last year, she said. This, in turn, freed up adjudicators to concentrate on other, more complex cases.

Other federal agencies have expressed interest in this technology, McGrath told the panel. So far, the Department of Energy has adopted the new system, and the Social Security Administration plans to do the same next year, she said.

In addition, DOD also has initiated a “robust” adjudicator certification program that ensures all adjudicators receive comprehensive, standardized training, McGrath reported.

“The results are clear,” she said of the reform initiatives. “We have a higher-quality security clearance program today.”
One of the tangible measures of that progress was the Government Accountability Office’s removal of the DOD personnel security clearance process form its “High-Risk list” last year, she noted. The list, provided to Congress every two years, identifies federal programs at high risk for waste, fraud, abuse mismanagement or in need of broad reform.

DOD’s improved personnel security clearance process has a sweeping impact on the Defense Department, McGrath said. “It improves our ability to safeguard classified material, place qualified individuals in jobs faster, effectively use our contractor workforce, and reduce the burdens and inconveniences on both the federal workforce and our military members,” she reported.

Joining officials from the Government Accountability Office, Office of Management and Budget, Office of Personnel Management and Office of the Director of National intelligence at today’s hearing, McGrath credited the Joint Reform Team founded five years ago with paving the way for these strides.

One of the big outcomes, she said, was the establishment of the Performance Accountability Council that bridges agency divides and keeps each agency on track toward even greater efficiencies.

The work isn’t yet done, McGrath said, emphasizing the importance of continued collaboration in reaching toward greater efficiencies and cost-effectiveness in background investigations and adjudications.

“Our results represent the progress possible when agencies commit to joint goals informed by government-wide priorities and establish proper controls to ensure results,” she said.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
(Official U.S. Air Force photo)

Knowing the facts: National American Indian Heritage Month

(Official U.S. Air Force photo) Maj. Gen. Clarence L. Tinker was the highest ranking officer of Native-American ancestry and the first general lost in action during World War II. November is National American Indian Heritage Mo...
 
 

VA implements second phase of Choice Card Program

Washington, DC – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced that it began mailing Veterans Choice Cards on Nov. 17 to Veterans currently waiting more than 30-days from their preferred date or the date that is medically determined by their physician for an appointment at a VA facility. “VA continues to focus on implementation...
 
 

Red Cross shares top safety tips for Thanksgiving

Millions of people will travel to spend their Thanksgiving holiday with loved ones and the American Red Cross has steps they can follow to help make sure they have a safe trip. The holiday is also a time when cooks spend a lot of time in the kitchen and there are tips they can use...
 

 

Officials Highlight Health, Wellness Resources for Military Families

WASHINGTON – As efforts continue to strengthen service members and their families, Pentagon officials held a Bloggers Roundtable to highlight the myriad resources available to tackle the unique military and transitional challenges those who serve may face. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy Rosemary Freitas Williams, Marine Corps Sgt. Maj....
 
 
HBI

Tips for getting enough healthy protein in your diet

At a time when over a third of American adults are obese and childhood obesity rates are rising exponentially, more Americans are looking for meat alternatives in their dining choices. In fact, close to 16 million Americans are...
 
 

AF closes FY14 force management programs

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Airmen who met the service’s reduction in force board were notified of the board’s results Nov. 19, bringing the fiscal year 2014 force management programs to an end. The RIF board selected 354 captains and majors across the Air Force for non-retention, half of the number the service previously projected it would...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin