Subcommittee on the Efficiency and Effectiveness of Federal Programs and the Federal Workforce and the Subcommittee on Financial and Contracting Oversight

Safeguarding our Nation’s Secrets: Examining The Security Clearance Process

Date: June 20, 2013
Time: 2:30pm
Location: SD-342, Dirksen Senate Office Building

The purpose of the hearing was to review how the federal government conducts investigations to determine whether federal employees and contractors are eligible for access to classified information.  Since 2005, when the Department of Defense transferred the investigative function of its security clearance investigations to the Office of Personnel Management’s Federal Investigative Services Division, a number of reforms have been implemented to decrease the backlog of clearance requests and to improve the timeliness and quality of investigations. 

However, a number of issues persist that compromise these efforts, including insufficient information-sharing or reciprocity between government agencies, limited information technology capabilities, and a lack of appropriate oversight over the process and those conducting investigations. 

The hearing examined the management and oversight of the federal employees and contractors responsible for planning, conducting, and reviewing investigations and issuing security clearances.  It also examined the efficiency and effectiveness of the security clearance process.


The Honorable

Patrick E.


Inspector General

U.S. Office of Personnel Managment

Stephen F.


Deputy Director, Security Directorate, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Intelligence)

U.S. Department of Defense

Brenda S.


Director, Defense Capabilities and Management

U.S. Government Accountability Office