NEWS RELEASE ISSUED BY THE OFFICE OF U.S. SENATOR CLAIRE MCCASKILL (MO.)
Following Senate Passage, McCaskill Urges U.S. House to Take up Bipartisan Security Clearance Bill
In aftermath of Snowden, Alexis incidents, bill would increase oversight of security clearances
WASHINGTON – After the legislation recently received unanimous support in the U.S. Senate, Claire McCaskill today urged her colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives to take up her bipartisan bill that increases oversight over how the government conducts background investigations and awards security clearances.
McCaskill’s bill—cosponsored by Senator Jon Tester of Montana—improves oversight of the security clearance process by empowering the Office of Personnel Management to use resources from its Revolving Fund to audit and investigate contractors that conduct background checks.
“The ability to conduct a basic audit is a good first step toward reforming the security clearance process, and making sure that we can trust those with access to our country’s secrets and secure facilities,” said McCaskill, a former State Auditor and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Financial & Contracting Oversight. “We now need the U.S. House to take up this commonsense measure, and I'm confident that it can find bipartisan support in the House, as it did in the Senate.”
The bipartisan bill is a product of a recent joint Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing led by McCaskill and Tester that revealed that the contractor who conducted Snowden’s background check is under investigation. At the June hearing, witnesses testified that a lack of oversight and information sharing threatened the security of classified information.
McCaskill also sent a bipartisan letter to Government Accountability Office Comptroller General Gene Dodaro requesting that the watchdog examine the security clearance process and report how various federal agencies can streamline and improve clearance investigations.