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Knight's SECRET Act passes the Senate

Bill would increase transparency and expedite security clearance process

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Washington, DC, March 19, 2018 | Chris Jusuf (202-225-1956) | comments
On Thursday, March 15, 2018, the United States Senate passed H.R. 3210 with unanimous consent. Introduced by Representative Steve Knight (R-CA), The Securely Expediting Clearances Through Reporting Transparency (SECRET) Act would assess inefficiencies and shortfalls in the security clearance process to improve classified information protection while also ensuring individuals are to start their job that requires clearance in a reasonable amount of time.

Specifically, the bill requires the Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) 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 staff of the Executive Office of the President.

"This idea was born from a meeting I had with local businesses who were frustrated with many of their hires not being able to start work due to the excessive wait times for security clearances," said Rep. Knight "With so many important defense and aerospace projects happening here in the Antelope Valley and throughout our district, this backlog can hurt our local economy and is a threat to our national security."

"In addition, recent reports of individuals in the Executive Office of the President holding security clearances when they shouldn't have are very concerning. The SECRET Act addresses both of these concerns by improving accountability and encouraging more responsive processing of clearances. I'm very pleased my colleagues in the Senate passed this important piece of legislation and I look forward to pushing it through the final hurdles on its way to becoming law."

Representative Knight is a member of the Armed Services Committee where he also sits on the Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces and the Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces. The SECRET Act passed unanimously in the House of Representatives on July 26, 2017. It now must be passed in the House with minor changes before it is sent to the White House to be signed into law by the President.
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