Legislation to revise security clearance processes, authored by Congressman Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, was signed into law by President Donald Trump on Tuesday.
The Securely Expediting Clearances Through Reporting Transparency (SECRET) Act requires that the National Background Investigations Bureau report on the backlog of security clearance investigations, as well as come up with a mitigation plan to remedy excessive wait time.
It would improve classified information protection and ensure the clearance process wouldn’t inhibit individuals from starting their jobs, according to Knight’s office.
Additionally, the president’s office must report on the process used for conducting and adjudicating clearance investigations for staff. The bill also includes provisions to direct the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to report on and provide recommendations to improve government-wide continuous evaluation programs, classified information requests and the overall process for investigating security clearances.
“This is a big win for our district and the country,” Knight said. “Our area is home to a wide array of federal contractors working on the most advanced aerospace, defense, and scientific research projects. However, under the status quo, it often takes many months or even years for a newly hired employee to start working just because they were waiting for their security clearance to get through the massive backlog at OPM.”
Knight said the SECRET Act was formed with input from local business owners and employees.
“I am very thankful for the wide bipartisan support this bill has received in both chambers of Congress and am especially pleased that this is now in black and white law,” he said. “This will go a long way towards creating more stable job opportunities in our area and continuing our region’s leadership in the industries we have always excelled in.”