Security clearance delays still a problem

Security clearance delays are the same, if not worse, than a year ago, before lawmakers made changes designed to help clear the backlog, Information Technology Association of America officials said in a survey report released Aug. 31.

Harris Miller, ITAA’s president, said newly enacted reciprocity rules have made no dent in a problem that is creating mounting costs for high-tech companies. Those rules permit agencies to accept clearances initiated by other agencies.

ITAA officials said 27 member companies that responded to a survey are coping with the backlog by hiring cleared employees from one another, sometimes paying premiums of up to 25 percent.

Responding to a Web-based survey, 81 percent, or 21 companies, said they had encountered delays of 270 or more days in getting top-secret clearances for employees. Last year, when ITAA conducted a similar survey, 70 percent reported equally lengthy delays.

The longest waits occurred in seeking clearances for employees to work at the CIA and the Defense Department.

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