DOD revises security clearance guidance

The Pentagon has cleared the way for defense industrial workers who are facing delays in renewing their security clearances to remain on the job, according to Rep. Rob Simmons (R-Conn.).

The change 'benefits workers whose recertification [is] delayed,' Simmons said in a news release. 'I'm pleased that the Pentagon has clarified its policy, and that our defense workers can get to work where and when national security requirements ' not bureaucracy ' call.'

Simmons, chairman of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing and Terrorism Assessment, released a copy of a letter from Robert Andrews, deputy undersecretary of Defense, stating that some Navy installations were denying access to workers based on a misinterpretation of an internal Navy policy.

'The Navy has published guidance to correct this misinterpretation,' Andrews wrote in the July 31 letter.

Budget constraints prompted the Defense Department in April to halt processing of industry clearances for several weeks. As a result, many re-investigations are overdue.

The Defense Security Service obtained $28 million in May to resume processing initial requests for secret-level security clearances. In July, the agency resumed full operations for its portion of the processing of classified, secret and top-secret requests.

Simmons successfully offered an amendment in May to the defense authorization bill that would make it illegal for the Defense Department to expire security clearances because of government delays in recertification. The House and Senate have not yet completed reconciled their versions of the bill.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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