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Senate Panel Advances Bill to Address Security Clearance Backlog

The Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee advanced a bill Wednesday that seeks to reduce the current backlog of more than 700,000 government security clearance applications, Nextgov reported Friday.

The SECRET Act would mandate the National Background Investigations Bureau to report pending background investigations for executive branch personnel on a quarterly basis and require the White House to inform Congress of its security authorization process.

Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri), Jon Tester (D-Montana) and Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) also proposed an amendment that would standardize the federal government’s background check process as well as update clearance requirements for various federal jobs.

Alan Chvotkin, executive vice president and counsel of the Professional Services Council, said he believes the current pace of the security clearance process affects federal agencies’ efforts to address mission challenges.

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