Security Clearance Process Undergoing Review, Be Aware Opportunities Will Be Coming

Rick Antonucci_65x85By Rick Antonucci, Analyst

Due to the tragic Navy Yard Shooting in September, as well as the leaks by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, the DOD has been reviewing the process by which security clearances are awarded. More recently, a GAO report  revealed that thousands of government employees and contractors with delinquent tax debt hold security clearances. Over half are federal employees and owe approximately $85M in unpaid taxes. Consequently, a new program currently under development which allows for continuous checks of cleared personnel. The concept demo will run from April to December 2014 and will scan about 100,000 currently cleared personnel. IT vendors focusing on data analytics, databases, and identity and access management tools will have a play in the upcoming system.  

The GAO reported that part of the problem with the current process is inconsistent quality metrics throughout the clearance process and this has allowed people, such as Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis, to slip through the cracks. The GAO estimates that 87% of about 3,500 investigative reports that DOD adjudicators used to make clearance eligibility decisions were missing information. Right now there isn’t an automated, routine, way to identify anomalies in a clearance record.

Monitor closely the pilot effort that will be running next year and make sure to speak with the actual users of the clearance process, as well as those who are heading up the program, to make sure that you can raise awareness of your solution at both ends. And lastly, though it has been said before, don’t ask what the pain points are; know what they are and come prepared with a solution that will demonstrate your solution’s value. This is still a nebulous program in its beginning stages but be aware that there will be opportunities coming down the pike to support this overhaul of the security clearance process.

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