The Office of the Director of National Intelligence still has yet to disclose an official count of personnel and contractors holding top-secret security clearances, according to a Federal Times report.
However, the agency says it will do so in a forthcoming report.
In December, the head of the intelligence agency’s Special Security Center, John Fitzpatrick, told the House Intelligence Committee that ODNI would provide a “definitive answer” as to the number of clearance-holders in a report to be released in February.
The report was obtained via Freedom of Information Act request by the Federation of American Scientists, which covers the intelligence community on its Secrecy News blog.
However, it did not contain an official count.
“It seems that compiling an accurate and complete figure for all security clearances is more challenging and time-consuming than had been anticipated,” Secrecy News’ Steven Aftergood wrote. An ODNI spokesman said the official number would still be released but under the auspices of the 2010 Intelligence Authorization Act, which specifically mandates disclosure of the number of clearance-holders.
The number of top-secret clearance holders has been an issue of contention since at least last summer when The Washington Post, in a series of articles drawing attention to the growing presence of national-security contractors, claimed more than 850,000 people held top-secret security clearances.