U.S. Security Clearances: Reducing the Security Clearance Backlog While Preserving Information Security [open pdf - 2MB]
From the Thesis Abstract: "From 2014-2018, the U.S. federal government security clearance backlog increased from 190,000 investigations to 710,000 investigations, according to a 2018 Government Accountability Office report. The backlog of security clearance investigations has resulted in investigation timelines that range between 134 and 395 days. The organization that handles 90 percent of the caseload for background investigations, the National Background Investigations Bureau (NBIB), has the capability to provide approximately 160,000-180,000 investigations annually. With current staffing structure, the NBIB can handle approximately 25 percent of the security clearance caseload. Changes in policy could be considered to address this critical issue; however, drastic change may be required to adequately address this issue. This thesis recommends a transformational organizational change to the National Background Investigations Bureau to address the backlog of security clearance investigations. A policy change that limits the annual amount of security clearance investigations to the throughput of the NBIB would reduce the backlog of security clearance investigations, increase the quality of investigations, and increase the integrity of national security information without adding to the costs of security clearances."
Naval Postgraduate School, Dudley Knox Library: https://calhoun.nps.edu/