Security Clearances: FBI Has Enhanced Its Process for State and Local Law Enforcement Officials

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A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The free flow of information among federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies could prove vital to fighting the war on terrorism. State and local law enforcement officials are key stakeholders in the United States' efforts to combat terrorism, and as such, they may require access to classified national security information to help prevent or respond to terrorist attacks. In order to gain access to such information, state and local law enforcement officials generally need federal security clearances. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) grants security ... continued below

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United States. General Accounting Office. April 30, 2004.

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Description

A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The free flow of information among federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies could prove vital to fighting the war on terrorism. State and local law enforcement officials are key stakeholders in the United States' efforts to combat terrorism, and as such, they may require access to classified national security information to help prevent or respond to terrorist attacks. In order to gain access to such information, state and local law enforcement officials generally need federal security clearances. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) grants security clearances and shares classified information with state and local law enforcement officials. Immediately following September 11, 2001, some state and local law enforcement officials expressed frustration with the complexity of the process for obtaining security clearances. Others expressed frustration with the length of time it took to obtain a security clearance. These frustrations exacerbated the general concern among law enforcement stakeholders that the lack of security clearances could impede the flow of critical information from the FBI to the state and local level, from the state and local level to the FBI, and laterally from one state or local agency to another. In turn, this potential lack of access to critical terrorism-related information might place local law enforcement officials at a disadvantage in their efforts to respond to or combat a terrorist threat. The Ranking Minority Member, Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts, Senate Committee on the Judiciary asked us to examine several issues regarding the FBI's process for granting security clearances to state and local law enforcement officials. This report provides information on: (1) the FBI's process for granting security clearances to state and local law enforcement officials, (2) the extent to which the FBI has met its time frame goals for processing security clearance applications for state and local law enforcement officials and factors that could affect the timely processing of security clearance applications, and (3) efforts undertaken by the FBI to enhance its security clearance and information-sharing processes with state and local law enforcement officials."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • April 30, 2004

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. General Accounting Office. Security Clearances: FBI Has Enhanced Its Process for State and Local Law Enforcement Officials, report, April 30, 2004; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc296121/: accessed July 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.