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September 08, 2014

Security Clearance Revocation Process Needs Improvement

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the below statement in response to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on the security clearance revocation process within the Federal government. In the report, entitled "Personnel Security Clearances – Additional Guidance and Oversight Needed at DHS and DOD to Ensure Consistent Application of Revocation Process" (GAO-14-640), the GAO identifies areas of concern that executive branch agencies must address promptly to insure that proper oversight and data quality are effectively maintained.

Congressman Thompson released the following statement on the report: "It is imperative for agencies to understand that a fair and appropriate revocation process is as important as the initial investigation and adjudication processes for security clearances. Considering this, I authored the CORRECT Act (H.R. 5240) which sets forth specific reforms in the process for security clearance revocations at the Department of Homeland Security – which today's GAO report highlights are needed. Given the significance of security clearances to the federal government, contractors, and clearance holders, it is my hope that the CORRECT Act and the recommendations in this new report will foster change in the process."

In the report, the GAO also states:

  • The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Defense (DOD) cannot provide data regarding the number of individuals who received proposals for revocation. This number is unknown.
  • Inconsistent implementation of the requirements in the governing executive orders has resulted in some employees experiencing different protections and processes than other employees.
  • Employees whose clearances were revoked may not have consistent employment outcomes, such as reassignment or termination.

Link to Report

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Media Contact: Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978