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FCW : April 15, 2014
Trending 8 April 15, 2014 FCW.COM of federal IT workers now use shared services, according to a recent MeriTalk survey 53% As part of a review conducted in the wake of the Navy Yard shootings in September 2013, the Obama adminis- tration has released recommendations for changing the security clearance process for government employees and contractors. The report identi es sev- eral systemic aws in the background investigation of shooter Aaron Alexis, an IT contractor with a top-secret security clearance. As a result, the government plans to move to a con- tinuous evalua- tion method for cleared person- nel rather than conducting initial investigations with scheduled follow- ups. The continu- ous evaluation model will require new IT systems to store and sift through data. "Currently, there is no government- wide capability, plan or design present in the investigative community to col- lect, store and share relevant informa- tion," the report states. The government s new IT strat- egy for the clearance process would include real-time access to investiga- tion data and electronic access to fed- eral, state and local law enforcement records; a continuous evaluation sys- tem to monitor cleared personnel; a new case management system; and the inclusion of new data in background checks, including social media activity. Continuous evaluation would involve being alerted to potentially adverse information about a cleared individual for events that takes place after the initial clearance but before periodic reinvestigation. Officials remain vague about what they are looking for, but the military program suggests that arrests, nancial troubles, domestic violence and drug abuse are among the issues that could trigger the suspension or revocation of a security clearance. Another goal is making sure there is a pipeline of information from state and local law enforcement to clear- ance investigators. Many jurisdictions, including some metropolitan police departments, routinely refuse to share arrest records and police-report infor- mation with inves- tigators conduct- ing background checks. In the case of Alexis, a 2004 rearms incident reported to the Seattle authorities could have alerted investigators to a history of violence. The Obama administration also wants to reduce the number of indi- viduals holding secret and top-secret security clearances, now at about 5.1 million. This month, the administration is expected to conclude a government- wide review of all jobs to see if access to classi ed material could be curtailed for some positions. Then the govern- ment would issue a new rule de ning what constitutes a "national security position." A separate report released by DOD states that potentially important infor- mation about Alexis, a Navy veteran, was not entered into his Joint Person- nel Adjudication System le. Speci - cally, information about Alexis arrests was not included in JPAS because he did not have access to classi ed infor- mation as part of his duties. "This per- ception is common in the department, as the existing DOD policy is not clear," the report states. DOD also found that Alexis could have been refused a clearance under the existing system and cited "missed opportunities for intervention that, had they been pursued, may have prevent- ed the tragic result at the Washington Navy Yard." --- Adam Mazmanian White House urges changes to clearance rules INK TANK The Navy Yard shootings last year revealed flaws in the security clearance process. AP IMAGES
March 30, 2014
April 30, 2014