By Spring, US Government Aims to Halve 600,000 Security Clearance Backlog
When somebody holds the same job for 30 years before applying for a security clearance, the government agents working on their security clearance verification will likely require a significantly shorter time than somebody agents working on a case for an individual who has worked for a long list of companies. Today, candidates for security clearance are more likely to have worked at several companies than in earlier years. This seemingly innocuous fact of the American labor force is but one of the broader, perhaps unexpected, trends driving the massive backlog in security clearance processing where antiquated systems also play a major role. Now, the government is pouring resources into a cutting this backlog, something that can have significant repercussions for agencies and contractors, both the individuals and the effectiveness of the organizations themselves. “This constant problem had literally got to a crisis state,” said Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman. “When we’re talking about backlogs that are 740,000-plus and we’re thinking about young agents potentially joining the CIA waiting two years before they’re cleared or folks in the private sector waiting in limbo for huge periods of time simply moving from one contract to another within DHS for example, we got a problem.” The backlog reached a peak in April at over 725,000 individuals. This backlog has been reduced to around 600,000, with plans to cut it to 300,000 by spring 2019.