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GAO: Defense security clearance delays decreased

By Joe Davidson
Anne Bartlett

The Defense Department has made significant progress in reducing delays in processing personnel security clearances, according to a Government Accountability Office report released Tuesday.

In 2007, it took nearly a year, an average of 325 days, to complete a security clearance for DOD industry personnel, GAO said. In 2008, the fastest 80 percent of clearances averaged 87 days to complete, the report added.

GAO released the report to the Senate Homeland Security subcommittee on oversight of government management, the federal workforce and the District of Columbia, which scheduled a Tuesday hearing on the issue.

About 900,000 security clearances are processed annually by the government, with the vast majority for Defense related positions.

"The recent unauthorized leak this past year of about 500,000 pages of classified documents posted to the Internet related to the ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq is an example of the inherent risks involved when granting an individual a security clearance," the report said, a reference to documents released by the Wikileaks Web site.

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By Joe Davidson  | November 16, 2010; 9:39 AM ET
Categories:  Congress, Oversight  
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