Signal file photo: Congressman Steve Knight answers questions from constituents during a town hall at Canyon High School on Thursday, June 1, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

Knight’s SECRET Act passes House

The House of Representatives approved the final version of legislation by Congressman Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, which assesses the effectiveness of workforce security clearance processes.

The Securely Expediting Clearances Through Reporting Transparency (SECRET) Act would improve classified information protection and ensure the clearance process wouldn’t inhibit individuals from starting their jobs. It has already passed through the House once and been approved by the Senate.

The bill requires the National Background Investigations Bureau (NBIB) to report on a number of details pertaining to the backlog of security clearance investigations and provide a backlog mitigation plan that shows the cause and remedy for the backlog. It also requires NBIB to report on the process required to grant security clearances to the president’s staff.

Knight said the bill has received bipartisan support and positive feedback from employers and workers in his district.

“Our region is home to a wide array of businesses that are working on some of the most advance aeronautics, defense, and space projects in the world,” Knight said. “By improving the transparency and speed of the clearance process, we can better ensure a stable labor market to keep these vitally important projects running on time and maximize the efficiency of taxpayer dollars.”

Knight also said the bill addresses reports of improperly held security clearances in the president’s office.

The legislation now awaits a signature by Speaker Paul Ryan and President Donald Trump to be passed into law.

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