ODNI has published its annual security clearance determinations report that shows that eligibility fell by 4 percent in 2016.
The annual report is submitted to Congress as a requirement of the Intelligence Authorization Act. The report includes the number of government employees who held security clearance at each level as of Oct. 1 in the preceding fiscal year and the number who were approved the previous year. It also contains the same data about government contractors.
The 4 percent decrease applies to security clearances that are both “in access” and “not in access.” It seems to reflect continued efforts to review and validate whether employees and contractors still requires access to classified information.
The report found that looking ahead there may be a number of factors that impact the government-cleared population. These include agency efforts to comply with DNI and congressional guidance to validate the necessity for access to classified information for employees and contractors.
The report also pointed out that IC agencies are still facing a significant backlog for periodic reinvestigation, partly caused by the limited number of background investigators available. The IC also faces timeliness challenges in clearing individuals with unique or critical skills, who often have foreign associations that take time to investigate and adjudicate.