ABSTRACT

DoD Personnel: More Consistency Needed in Determining Eligibility for Top Secret Security Clearances, Report to the Ranking Member, Committee on Armed Services, House of Representatives   [open pdf - 2MB]

"GAO's analysis showed that DOD adjudicators have not consistently documented all significant adverse security conditions present in investigative case files when determining individuals' eligibility for top secret security clearances. On the basis of findings projected to the study population, GAO estimated that DOD adjudicators did not document all significant adverse conditions in about one-third of the population of 3,800 cases. As a result, DOD has been unable to demonstrate that it fully considered all significant adverse conditions that might call into question an individual's ability to adequately safeguard classified information in. granting eligibility for top secret clearances. Conditions often not documented included financial matters, especially unexplained affluence (i.e., wealth that appears to exceed an individual's income), personal conduct, and foreign influence-conditions that federal guidelines say represent security concerns that should be carefully considered in the security clearance decision-making process. Moreover, GAO estimated that in about one-sixth of the study population, adjudicators decided the individuals were eligible for top secret clearances in the absence of mitigating information that might lessen the government's risk. The differences in documenting significant adverse conditions among the adjudicators in the various adjudication facilities and between the adjudicators and GAO's analysts suggests that the adjudicators may not be consistently applying the adjudicative guidelines. Although DOD regulations require adjudicators to document their rationale for clearance determinations when significant adverse information is uncovered, officials in the adjudication facilities have differed widely in the information and records they have kept. The lack of detailed documentation requirements prevents DOD from demonstrating that it has considered all relevant information."

Report Number:
GAO-01-465
Publisher:
Date:
2001-04
Copyright:
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Government Accountability Office (GAO): http://www.gao.gov/
Format:
pdf
Media Type:
application/pdf
URL:
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