Background Investigations: Impediments to Consolidating Investigations and Adjudicative Functions, Report to Congressional Requesters   [open pdf - 955KB]

"It may be feasible to have one central agency conduct all background investigations and adjudicative functions. However, most of the nine key agencies, accounting for more than 95 percent of the security clearances, oppose consolidation; and several concerns and impediments would have to be considered and resolved. Potential consolidation benefits include cost savings, fewer oversight agencies, standardized operating procedures and information systems, and more consistency in the application of standards. However, consolidation also could result in less agency control over the process, potentially reducing the extent to which an individual agency's requirements and priorities are met. For example, some agency officials expressed concern that one central agency could not adequately address their unique missions and needs, especially in terns of adjudicating an individual's suitability for employment or level of access to classified information. In addition, studies by the Heritage Foundation and the Joint Security Commission support consolidating investigative or adjudicative functions for some federal agencies, but not for all. A study by the Defense Personnel Security Research Center opposes consolidating adjudicative functions in the Department of Defense. Also, the consolidation would be inconsistent with the National Performance Review report, and federal statutes, executive orders, and government regulations would have to be revised."

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Government Accountability Office (GAO): http://www.gao.gov/
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