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The Office of Personnel Management Could Soon Lose One of Its Most Significant Functions

April 10, 2018 The Trump administration has been in the spotlight for its security clearance woes. So it perhaps should not be surprising that, according to multiple sources, the White House is considering a major overhaul of the entire background investigation program. In a meeting last week, Office of Management and Budget Director...

Security Clearance Backlog Has Been a Decade in the Making

December 15, 2017 The government is good at self-reflection. Positive action is a little more difficult. A Government Accountability Office report released earlier this week offers a case in point. The report reviews the Personnel Security Program, the status of the clearance backlog, and changes in the clearance process from 2012 to 2016....

The Agency Conducting Your Background Investigations May Change

November 9, 2017 If you live in Washington there are frequent jokes about things moving at the pace of government. Another adage is that to the extent things do change, there’s a good chance they’re changing back to the way they were done in years prior (government doesn’t so much reinvent itself as...

No, the Government Doesn't Have a Problem With Murderers Getting Security Clearances

September 15, 2017 As someone who has been writing broadly about the defense industry, and specifically about hiring practices for individuals with security clearances, there’s a recurring theme to the challenges—the government struggles to attract and retain individuals in national security careers. Congressional panels have convened to analyze the issue. Legislation has been...

State Department Has No Idea What It Costs to Give Security Clearances

August 17, 2017 The State Department’s inspector general recently released an evaluation of the department’s security clearance process. The verdict? Officials can only loosely estimate the time it takes to process clearances, and they don’t track the costs. State has been reporting its processing times to the Office of the Director of National...

State Department Relied on Bad Data for Considering Clearance Times, Cost

August 16, 2017 The State Department’s inspector general recently released an evaluation of the department’s security clearance process. The verdict? Officials can only loosely estimate the time it takes to process clearances, and they don’t track the costs. State has been reporting its processing times to the Office of the Director of National...

Why Low Unemployment Doesn’t Mean Higher Salaries

August 7, 2017 Month after month, Department of Labor reports continue to indicate lower unemployment figures. But that may not mean higher salaries. Economic growth and consumer spending are still stagnant, and many Americans continue to experience flat or declining wages. A college graduate in 2017 expects to earn the same wages as...

Legal Drug Use And Your Security Clearance

July 31, 2017 A new SF86, the application form used to issue security clearances, is being released this week and will be implemented sometime in August. Many of the changes are procedural and designed to make it easier for individuals to submit complete forms. These changes include updating the options for providing phone...

State Department Student Interns Battle a Frustrating Security Clearance Process

May 24, 2017 Hiring managers recruiting entry-level talent know they don’t just have to sell young people a job, they have to convince them to embark on a hiring process that will push them far outside of their comfort zone. The question isn’t just how can we attract the best talent to government?...

The Government Wants You to Stop the Next Edward Snowden

May 21, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow If you have spent any time in Washington recently, you’re probably quite familiar with the ‘If you see something say something’ slogan promoted by the Homeland Security Department. For security clearance holders, the slogan is now more than a catchphrase. It’s a mandate. Security Executive Agent Directive 3, or SEAD...