Administration Releases Suitability & Security Report

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the Administration released the Suitability and Security Report – including the findings and recommendations of the review ordered by President Obama following the Navy Yard Shootings last fall. The report identifies 13 recommendations to improve how the government performs suitability determinations and security clearances to ensure the safety of Federal workers and the protection of our nation’s most sensitive information. The review was led by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and conducted jointly with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the Department of Defense (DoD), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO), and the National Security Council (NSC). The review complements and builds upon DOD’s Navy Yard Reviews also released today, as well as ongoing work by OPM, ODNI, and other agencies.

To help drive reforms across agencies, the Administration has established a central implementation team that will coordinate efforts across the Federal Government to improve suitability determinations and security clearances. Work by this team is already underway and is accountable to a centralized interagency council – the Performance Accountability Council, chaired by OMB – which will oversee implementation.

“The Administration is committed to implementing these recommendations in a responsible and timely manner,” said OMB Deputy Director for Management and Performance Accountability Council Chair Beth Cobert. “Ensuring the safety and security of our Federal workers and our nation’s most sensitive information is a priority, and we will work to make these improvements and find ways to further strengthen our systems.”

"The Administration's review of the suitability and security clearance programs addresses a number of concerns about the screening processes used to grant individuals access to trusted positions and Federal facilities,” said OPM Director Katherine Archuleta. The recommendations will strengthen the personnel vetting programs, building on existing reform efforts, and further ensure that we meet the highest standards of quality and integrity. I am encouraged by the collaboration among our agency partners to arrive at this point and the shared commitment going forward. As the Executive Suitability Agent, I look forward to our continuing efforts to improve the overall suitability and security clearance process."

“It is critical that we work to close the information gap, making sure Federal investigators have the information they need to keep Federal employees and our nation’s information safe,” said Department of Justice Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole. “We are committed to working with State and local entities to ensure that criminal records are available and accessible, a step that will make government background checks more complete.”

“The ODNI is an active participant and supporter of the 120 Day Suitability and Security Processes Review,” said Frank Montoya, the National Counterintelligence Executive at ODNI. “In concert with stated recommendations and in close collaboration with our Federal partners, we are leading the development of a Government-wide Continuous Evaluation (CE) program to address information gaps that exist in our current security clearance process. CE will leverage technology to incorporate information available in government, commercial, and public databases. This will enable Federal agencies to make timely and informed eligibility decisions as adjudicatively relevant information comes to light. We look forward to continuing our work with OMB and our federal partners on CE and other critical suitability and security reform initiatives