Defense Department restarts some clearance investigations

The Defense Security Service has come up with funding to resume immediately processing initial secret-level security clearances for industry, the Defense Department agency said in a statement today.

Companies will not have to resubmit material for cases that the Defense Industrial Security Clearance Office has held since the Pentagon halted processing April 28, the notice said. The office will begin working initial top-secret requests and periodic reinvestigation requests for both secret and top-secret clearances when more funding is received, the notice said.

One industry organization said the news was "an encouraging but insufficient step." The Information Technology Association of America, which represents IT companies that do business with the federal government, said the action appeared to be motivated by pending oversight hearings.

The House Government Reform Committee will hold a hearing on the security clearance crisis tomorrow to determine why the Defense Security Service lacked funds to precede with the investigation requests and why it established a moratorium on processing requests.

The Defense Security Service stopped processing priority security clearances in April because of the lack of funds and the high volume of applications. In early May, it stopped processing industry requests for new personnel security investigations and periodic reinvestigations.

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