Commentary and information about public safety and security, intelligence and counterintelligence, open government and secrecy, and other issues in northern Idaho and eastern Washington.

Location: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, United States

Raised in Palouse, WA. Graduated from Washington State University. US Army (Counterintelligence). US Secret Service (Technical Security Division) in Fantasyland-on-the-Potomac and Los Angeles. Now living in north Idaho.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Security Clearances

One sometimes hears people try to inflate their own credibility by saying, "I have a Top Secret security clearance," only to learn that the person ignorantly believes the clearance he had thirty years ago in the military is still valid. Other people incorrectly use the terms "background investigation" and "criminal history check" interchangeably.

Full-field background investigations required for the highest security clearances and special access permissions are costly and take as long as a year to complete. The time required for applicant adjudication, particularly among civilian defense contractors, is causing concern in the US government. That concern is expressed in a US Government Accountability Office report to its Congressional requesters. The report is titled DoD Personnel Clearances - Additional OMB Actions Are Needed to Improve the Security Clearance Process. The report was submitted in September 2006.