Administration EO Relocating Security Clearance Process to Pentagon Forthcoming

According to an exclusive story from Federal News Radio’s Nicole Ogrysko, “multiple sources say the Trump administration is preparing an executive order to authorize and implement the transfer of the governmentwide security clearance program from the Office of Personnel Management and National Background Investigations Bureau (NBIB) to the Pentagon.”

The decision would continue the administration’s announced efforts to reorganize the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. In addition to the reportedly pending move of the security clearance function, the administration previously announced that it would also move OPM’s HR Solutions division to the General Services Administration (GSA). GSA would also reportedly take on OPM’s health care and retirement functions and would reportedly be renamed the “Government Services Agency,” according to the initial reorganization proposal from the White House.

Ogrysko reports that the order is likely to be released no later than November. She notes that the executive order “would begin the complex task of addressing one of government’s biggest  frustrations with the stroke of the president’s pen,” noting the current backlog “of more than 700,000 investigatory matters and wait times that span, on average, between 200-and-400 days.”

Multiple Congressional hearings have been held seeking information and solutions to the security clearance process inefficiencies, and the Government Accountability Office “placed the security clearance program back on its High-Risk List in January,” going so far as to break with its traditional practice of releasing a High-Risk update every two years in order to call specific attention to its concerns surrounding security clearances.

The security clearance function represents one of OPM’s primary sources of revenue, along with HR Solutions. With both functions potentially moving out of OPM, the agency faces serious budgetary questions.

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