The government often fails to follow-up on allegations of misconduct against Independent contractors with top-secret security clearances, a new report alleges.
A just-released Department of Defense Inspector’s General report criticizes the personnel security process, citing lack of policy, records-keeping, and methods for ensuring cleared personnel under investigation are identified. The report is the latest in a wave of recommendations for security clearance process and procedures, including calls for continuous monitoring of cleared personnel and the insourcing of investigation responsibilities.
The recommendations of the IG report focus on ensuring personnel security clearance adjudicative due process continue even if the individual no longer has access to classified information. The report urged the directors of major intelligence agencies, including the NSA and DIA, to report IG investigations against contractors to the DoD Consolidated Adjudication Facility.
security clearance revocation and suspension
The IG found in an earlier study that among 131 case studies reviewed for misconduct, contractors were not subject to suspension or revocation of a contractor’s security clearance, despite the fact that a large number warranted such reconsideration.
Outdated personnel security policies were given some of the blame, as well as improper utilization of an inter-agency system created to maintain records of contractor infractions.
The report continues to shine the spotlight on the contract security workforce, as the intelligence community looks to recover from the damage caused by Edward Snowden. The report notes the need to ensure better records are kept of both individual misconduct, as well as company misconduct.
“Suspension and debarment and personnel security adjudication are closely linked, because both deal with suitability,” the report stated. “Suspension and debarment relates to the government conducting business only with responsible contractors, while personnel security adjudication relates to suitability for access to classified information.”