By John V. Berry, www.berrylegal.com
Congress appears to be currently be considering changes to the security clearance process for federal employees and government contractors. There have been news accounts over the last few days which seems to indicate bi-partisan movement towards reforming the security clearance process as it currently exists. This, in response to the Snowden and Navy Yard incidents, along with the recent allegations regarding reforms needed in the clearance investigations process by contractors.
One area of potential bi-partisan agreement regarding changes to the security clearance process involves the possibility of continuous monitoring (if that is currently possible) of those holding security clearances. This, as opposed to the 5 and 10-year renewal process that currently exists (and the voluntary disclosure system currently in place). There is also some consideration being given to shortening the period of time between clearance checks. There remains a potential partisan battle as to who will conduct clearance investigations, with Republicans wanting to generally retain private contractors to perform these duties and Democrats believing that clearance investigations should be conducted in house.
It appears that it is just a matter of time before the security clearance process undergoes changes. It is too soon to tell what final form these changes will take, but it appears that there is a move to tighten the clearance process. The end result may be a shortening of the time between clearance checks or perhaps a modified monitoring system depending on current technological abilities. Our law firm represents federal employees and government contractors in security clearance matters and can be contacted at (703) 668-0070 or at www.berrylegal.com for legal advice and/or representation.