SECURITY POLICY ADVISORY BOARD MEETING
10 SEPTEMBER 1997
1. On 10 September 1997 a meeting of the Security Policy Advisory Board (SPAB) was held at
the Holiday Inn in Boston, Massachusetts. General Larry Welch, USAF (Ret.), presided with
Board members Ms. Nina Stewart and Rear Admiral Thomas Brooks, USN (Ret.), also present.
Numerous members of the public also attended and participated.
HOLIDAY INN, BOSTON, MA
2. Mr. Terry Thompson, the Responsible Federal Officer, opened the meeting at 0930 hours and
introduced General Welch who provided some history and perspective on the formulation of the
Security Policy Advisory Board.
3. General Welch then discussed the Advisory Board's recent annual
report which has been presented to the Security Policy Board and is enroute to the President.
In it, the SPAB emphasizes that reciprocity, based on common standards, is a must. While much
progress has been made in this area much remains to be accomplished. Research based data needs
to be developed to strengthen the underpinnings of reciprocity and hasten full implementation.
Progress on the development of a common database has been slow. OPM and DIS are currently
working to link their databases and provide the community with one common source for clearance
and investigative data. This effort should be considered a top priority. General Welch indicated
that the unrestrained demand for investigative services threatens to overwhelm the existing
capability. In order to manage this issue, the SPAB has recommended to the President that a fee
for service format be established. The Advisory Board recognizes the inherent limitations and
obstacles associated with fee for service but nevertheless feels a worthwhile economy of demand
can be achieved via this mechanism. Another priority included in the Advisory Board's report to
the President is the need to establish some uniformity of standards in administering Special Access
Programs (SAPs). SAPs, while vital to a solid security program, are often redundant and add
much consequent cost. Uniformity of standards will enhance reciprocity in the SAP arena and
achieve considerable cost savings. Lastly, General Welch indicated the entire SPB process needs
to be revitalized. The Board has recommended that a manageable number of objectives be
attacked during the coming year and those be pursued with an increased sense of urgency. He
concluded by stating the Security Policy Board Staff has performed well in an unwieldy process
and must continue to press on.
4. Mr. Thompson then began a discussion of Financial Disclosure. He began by reviewing the
history of the issue from its inception with the Counterintelligence and Security Enhancement Act
of 1995 to the current timeframe. Executive Order 12968 mandated a financial disclosure form
for five categories of cleared employees and much effort on the part of the SPBS has been
invested in developing a form. At a conference in Glynco, GA, a panel of financial experts were
convened and crafted a form which was subsequently presented to the Security Policy Forum.
Upon reviewing the form, the Forum directed the Financial Disclosure Working Group to develop
an investigative module with additional financial emphasis. To that end, the working group is
proposing an expanded effort to include:
A) Additional questions on an SF 86 to include queries on income, assets and liabilities. It is
hoped this will fulfill the presidential mandate for a form.
5. This module has been presented to the Security Policy Forum and approved in principle. Mr.
Thompson noted that CIA has its own financial disclosure form and program which was
authorized by the DCI and is currently in place. PERSEREC is currently developing a screening
tool which will utilize commercial databases to verify data provided on a financial disclosure form.
This tool is slated for completion in June 1998.
B) Additional questions having to do with unusual increases in income and unusual expenses
incurred to be asked of both a subject and a source during a background investigation.
C) Expanded use of commercial financial databases as an investigative aid.
D) Increased training in management of financial data for investigators and adjudicators.
6. Mr. Joseph Reynolds of Lockheed Martin Sanders indicated his company strenuously objects
to financial disclosure on the grounds of invasiveness. He also indicated such a requirement
diminishes the attractiveness of government contracts in general and might make attracting good
employees associated with these contracts more difficult.
7. The Board believes that adding an intrusive financial disclosure form will have only negative
effects. Should the requirement nevertheless go forward, there should be only a single approach
used by all agencies rather than a profusion of different forms. The Board strongly recommends
that a single form, agreed to by all agencies, be adopted. Furthermore, they requested the precise
wording of the proposed questions on the SF 86 be presented for review. It was also noted that
whatever utility might result from income description would be of less value in the private sector--
as compared to the government domain where salary scales are a matter of record. Lastly, it was
opined that the financial disclosure requirement engenders much ill will and consequently could
contribute to future employee disgruntlement-- a common underlying cause in espionage cases.
8. Ms. Kathy Dillamen, OPM, was then introduced and indicated the linkage of the OPM and
DOD security databases is approaching the test stage. She stated the two databases use different
computer languages and consequently one of the primary obstacles to linkage has been a technical
one. That particular problem has been surmounted and a Beta test successfully run on 2
September. NSA has recently certified the system as secure-- another longstanding obstacle. The
Personnel Security Committee has levied a requirement for a SECRET clearance for anyone with
access to the database and both OPM and DOD have concurred. Ms. Dillamen indicated that the
database will contain clearance and investigative data and that this data must be input into the
system by the participating agencies. This loading of information is now ongoing. Ms. Dillamen
summarized, stating the system should be deployed sometime between 14 October and 1 January.
9. The Board strongly endorses this innovation and is pleased with the progress to date. They
encourage all agencies which conduct investigations to download their clearance and investigative
data into the system as soon as is practicable.
10. Ms. Laura Kimberly, Information Security Oversight Office, then addressed the issue of
classification and declassification of information. Ms. Kimberly stated the Secrecy Commission
recommended a statute be adopted to govern the management of classified data and a legislative
working group is currently assigned to review any proposed statute. Their product will move
forward to the White House through OMB. Ms. Kimberly indicated EO 12958 has had a very
positive effect in reducing the volume of older classified material in that it assumes
declassification, absent intervention to retain classification, after twenty-five years. Ms. Kimberly
then reviewed some figures which illustrated the trend toward classifying less information and
declassifying existing information. This trend began in the early nineties and, with the anomaly of
1996, continues to date. Turning to the NISP, Ms. Kimberly indicated the NISP is firmly
supported by industry but the perception persists that implementation is slow-- or perhaps non-existent. While ISOO has policy oversight of the NISP, it currently lacks the resources to carry
out this responsibility as fully and effectively as it would like. The speaker stated that, in order to
be effective, the NISP must be supported by the upper echelon of government management.
11. Mr. Joseph Reynolds then volunteered that DIS has been most accommodating in adopting
and implementing the NISP. General Welch echoed that sentiment based on his own experience
as a CEO in the defense industry.
12. The Advisory Board enthusiastically endorses this effort and noted that the community needs
to change the mindset from a predisposition to classify to a predisposition not to classify.
13. At this point the presentation of agenda items was completed and no further input from the
public was forthcoming. Mr. Thompson closed the meeting at 1145 hours.