Senator Jeff Flake Suggests Federal Review for Security Clearance Backlog


Republican Senator Jeff Flake suggested that the security clearance backlog for federal employees should be the subject of a federal review, on Sunday.  “There are signs it does need to be reviewed,” Flake said during an interview.  “I think we’re going to have to talk about that with the Judiciary Committee, certainly in the Senate.”

More than 700,000 people are waiting to have security clearances granted from the government, according the U.S. Comptroller Gene Dodaro.  The Government Accountability Office added the clearance process to its high-risk list of “federal areas in need of either broad-based transformation or specific reforms to prevent waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement” late last month.

The issue is a problem for the federal government as whole and for the Trump White House more specifically, as it is estimated that thirty to forty individuals working at the White House as well as other agencies in the federal government, still have not been fully cleared in terms of security.  The list of Trump officials still waiting for clearance one year into the administration includes the President’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

“To have so many, dozens of people who are on an interim clearance over an extended period of time that are certainly viewing and considering classified material is a problem,” Flake said.  “This current situation shouldn’t continue.”