Cleared Congressional Round-Up: The week’s latest from Congress on legislation, hearings and oversight affecting those in the cleared world.

Clearance Reforms Advance in Senate

Tuesday the Senate Intelligence Committee approved the FY 2014 Intelligence Authorization Act.  In addition to funding intelligence activities the bill addresses whistleblowers, intelligence IT systems and reforms to the security clearance process.

Title V of bill adds several measures to the clearance process:

  • requiring a cost-benefit analysis and subsequent report to Congress on implementing technology to streamline background investigations, including a continuous monitoring system of cleared individuals;
  • mandating an annual report to Congress on agency reciprocity of clearances; and
  • ordering the Director of National Intelligence to provide Congress a strategic plan for improving the process of periodic reinvestigations.

Military Leaders Chart 2014 Sequestration

Top military officials testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee Thursday on designs to mitigate the impact of sequestration on readiness, acquisitions, modernization and workforce.

“The abruptness and inflexibility of sequestration will force us to mortgage the condition of our equipment and could erode our readiness to dangerous levels,” said Gen. James Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps.

Fiscal year 2013 cuts – implemented only in the last half of the year – totaled $37 billion.  They are estimated at $52 billion for FY2014.

Senators Streamline Federal IT

A bipartisan bill to consolidate the federal IT infrastructure advanced in the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee this week.

The Federal Data Center Consolidation Act of 2013 (S. 1611) would require participating federal agencies to submit complete data center inventories and a consolidation strategy, as well as a timeline for implementation and cost-savings estimates.  Participating agencies must also submit annual updates on their progress for the next five years.

The estimated savings of the strategy could reach several billion.

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