Some major defense contractors feel that no significant improvement has been made this year in security clearance processing times.

“Despite the expected need next year for more IT workers with high-level security clearances, human resources executives agree the government logjam of clearing new hires hasn’t improved much this year; nor is it likely to get much better in 2008.”

However, another reported OPM’s claim that the end of the federal government’s security clearance logjam is finally in sight.

“Kathy Dillaman, associate director for OPM’s Federal Investigative Services, said that 80 percent of OPM’s initial investigations of applicants are being finished in less than 70 days. That’s down from 80 percent in 121 days in fiscal 2006, and on its way to reaching the congressionally mandated goal of finishing 90 percent in 40 days or less.”

Significant discrepancies continue to exist between the clearance investigation processing time improvements claimed by OPM and the results experienced by defense contractors.  Is it time for a new comprehensive study of the problem by GAO?

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William H. Henderson is a former Army Counterintelligence Agent and a retired federal clearance investigator. In 2007 he began helping clearance applicants from the pre-application stage through representation at hearings and appeals. Since 2012, he’s been the Principal Consultant at the Federal Clearance Assistance Service (FEDCAS). His first two books on security clearances have been used at five universities and colleges. He recently published the 2nd Edition of Issue Mitigation Handbook. He’s contributed scores of articles to, and he’s been retained as an expert witness in several state and federal lawsuits.