The federal government is committing to chipping away at the massive backlog of new hires and job candidates waiting for security clearances. To work in certain government agencies or departments, individuals need security clearances. These clearances allow individuals to work in capacities where they are likely to hear or deal with information that could threaten national security if leaked or disclosed. Government contractors and their employees must often go through the security clearance background check process. The process is allegedly inefficient and has been plagued by colossal backlogs in recent years: according to political news source McClatchy DC, that backlog is currently about 600,000 names
There are numerous problems that have contributed to the backlog. For one thing, the United States has 17 different intelligence agencies that require
The other factor is the inefficiency of the background checks themselves. Many security clearance background check tasks are performed by on-the-ground investigators. These individuals often visit local courts or police departments to check criminal records or stop by universities or colleges to verify a candidate’s education records.
Susan M. Gordon, who serves as principal deputy for the Directorate of National Intelligence, says the government has plans to streamline and standardize across all 17 intelligence agencies. Such a
The immediate goal of these changes is to reduce the amount of work required to vet government employees or contractors for security clearances. Ideally, in the future, it will only take the government about 30 days to process background checks and either approve or deny security clearances. Right now, it takes about 545 days for a security clearance check to process. Faster checks would allow the government to move beyond using “interim security clearances,” which have recently resulted in people wanted for murder or rape getting security clearances, among other issues.
About Michael Klazema The author
Michael Klazema is Chief Marketing Technologist at EY-VODW.com and has over two decades of experience in digital consulting, online product management, and technology innovation. He is the lead author and editor for Dallas-based backgroundchecks.com with a focus on human resource and employment screening developments.