Groups want all clearance processing resumed

The Defense Security Service has agreed to continue processing applications for security clearances at the secret level, but that is not enough, according to a coalition of industry groups that has called on Congress to force DSS to resume processing all industry security clearances.

In late April, DSS said it would stop processing clearance applications due to insufficient funding. The subsequent decision to resume work on secret clearances was an encouraging step but not enough, said Doug Wagoner, chairman of the Information Technology Association of America’s Intelligence Reform Subcommittee. He testified today at a House Government Reform Committee hearing.

“DSS may suspend its activity, but our enemies are not suspending theirs,” Wagoner said. “We stand side by side with our government partners to keep this nation safe and are truly worried about the impact of this decision on the many missions we support. For the long term, our nation needs a complete overhaul of the security clearance bureaucracy.”

Wagoner was speaking on behalf of a coalition of nine industry groups, and he urged lawmakers to fully fund the clearance program as soon as possible.

“We're encouraged that DSS is trying to do what it can with limited resources, but this appears to be an inadequate solution triggered by pending oversight hearings," he said, referring to the partial resumption of clearance processing. If necessary, industry could help DSS prioritize applications in other categories, including top secret, he said.

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