Reciprocity remains as key clearance issue

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Published: March 14, 2023

In 2018, Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), chairman of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, got involved in the minutiae of security clearance policy because the backlog of open cases had reached “crisis” levels.

“I’ve gotten kind of into the nitty gritty because this is really important, again, for the overall security of our government,” Warner told FCW. “But it’s also really important in terms of, particularly in the [Washington, D.C, area], we’ve got so many government contractors that have to have clearances as well.”

The backlog, which spiked at around 725,000 cases, is now down to around 184,000, which is considered below “steady state” levels, according to a spokesperson for the The Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency. The DSCA conducts the majority, but not all, background investigations.

Warner said that there is more to be done on reciprocity for clearances within and among agencies.

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