DOD halts security clearance checks

Two key information technology groups want the Defense Department to reverse its decision to halt the processing of security clearances for contractors because of fiscal constraints.

The Pentagon made the announcement late last week.

The Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) said it is calling on Congress to pass legislation requiring DOD to resume processing security clearance applications.

The ITAA says the Pentagon must devote sufficient resources to overcome a glut in the system that is threatening to halt key national security initiatives.

“It is unrealistic to expect this problem to solve itself. Until serious resources are devoted to this issue, our national security could be at stake,” said ITAA Executive Vice President Olga Grkavac, in a statement. "Companies working on national security projects will not be able to finish the job without the ability to sustain the cleared personnel on the job and to bring in more when needed.”

The Professional Services Council also expressed its "deep concern," saying the decision will, in effect, close down the contractor security clearance process for almost all DOD components.

In a letter to Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Stephen Cambone, PSC President Stan Soloway said the moratorium would “have a significant impact on mission performance, exacerbate the already lengthy backlog of requirements and inflate program costs.”

Soloway also said that the marketplace premium for professionals already having clearances would rise substantially.

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

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