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“Modernizing the Trusted Workforce for the 21st Century Act”

This bill modernizes a security clearance process that has not changed since 1947 to take
advantage of more readily available data, advances in information technology, and
methods for detecting suspicious behavior. It helps assess the trustworthiness of the
government and contract workforce so they can perform important national security
missions. This bill also holds the executive branch accountable for improvements and
provides transparency to Congress, industry, and the public.

Key Provisions

HOLDING THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH ACCOUNTABLE FOR REFORMS
 Reduces the Backlog: requires the OMB-led interagency Performance Accountability
Council (PAC) to provide plans to reduce the background investigation inventory to a
steady-state by the end of 2019 (today it’s over 600,000),
 Facilitates Consolidation: directs a plan with milestones for consolidation the National
Background Investigation Bureau at the Department of Defense.
 Provides Transparency in Costs. Requires the President’s budget request to include
data on the costs of background investigations to reduce inefficiencies and ensure
agencies are providing adequate funding for this activity.
 Promotes Reciprocity inside Agencies. Requires agencies to report on the number of
individuals for whom it takes more than 2 weeks to cross over their clearances when they
are moving jobs or contracts within the same agency or department.

IMPLEMENTING REFORMS
 Rethink the Current Process: Requires the DNI as the government’s Security
Executive Agent to reexamine the SF-86 questionnaire and the adjudicative standards; to
expand innovative technique for investigative interviews; and employ continuous
evaluation to displace the need for time-based periodic reinvestigations; and
 Adopt Modern Policies: Requires policies on interim clearances; consistent treatment
between government and contract employees; and use of automated records checks from
previous employers.
 Meet Reasonable Timelines: Requires the PAC to reform the process so that:
o 90 percent of SECRET clearances can be processed within 30 days,
o 90 percent of TOP SECRET can clearances be processed within 90 days,
o 90 percent of determinations regarding reciprocity made within 2 weeks, and
o 90 percent of clearance holders not need reinvestigations on a preset periodicity
(e.g., 5-years).

STRENGTHENING OVERSIGHT: Codifies the DNI as Security Executive Agent (SecEA) to ensure
an independent arbiter of standards across the government to enhance reciprocal recognition of
who is a trusted employee.

SPAWNING INNOVATION
 A Design for the Future: Requires a report on the desired future of the clearance process
to reflect current threats, the mobile workforce, and modern technologies.

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 Reduction in Complexity. Directs the DNI and OPM report on the advisability and
implications of reducing the number of “tiers” of clearances from five (5) to three (3).
 “Clearance in Person.” Directs the DNI provide a report on the concept of a clearance
resting with the person, not the agency, enabling personnel mobility across agency,
company, contract.
 Sharing of Derogatory Information. Creates an information sharing program between
and among agencies and industry so personnel with security risks aren’t inadvertently
passed around. Directs a pilot for two-way information sharing between government and
industry partners.
 Positions Needing a Clearance. Requires a report on IC positions that can be performed
without a clearance to appropriately reduce the size of the cleared population.

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