15 December 1995, 1000-1200 Hours
The eighth meeting of the Security Policy Forum (SPF) was convened at 1000 hours on 15 December 1995 by Mr. Keith Hall, Executive Director for Intelligence Community Affairs and SPF Cochair. Mr. Hall introduced and welcomed Ms. Joan Dempsey, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Intelligence and Security), as the new Forum Cochair. Mr. Hall spoke briefly of Ms. Dempsey's previous assignments, with the most recent as Director, National Military Intelligence Production Center. Ms. Dempsey's biography was included in the Forum packet.
All SPF member departments and agencies were represented with the exception of the National Security Council (NSC), Office of Management and Budget, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Observers included Defense Investigative Service (DIS), Department of Agriculture and the industry Forum focal point.
Mr. Hall welcomed all the attendees and then turned the meeting over to Mr. Saderholm. Mr. Saderholm called for acceptance or changes to the minutes of the 17 November l99S SPF meeting. The Forum members approved the minutes without correction.
The Forum examined the question, noting the following:
- OPM data for FY 94 show that written inquiries are half again as productive as NACs alone.
- NACIs identify twice as many cases in the "serious" category (meaning those containing unambiguously disqualifying information) as NACs alone, however, these cases account for less than one percent of those run. NACs currently require approximately 30 days to complete: NACIs require an average of 42 days.
- OPM charges $14.00 to do written inquiries; agencies that elect to follow up leads provided by the NACI incur additional costs to do so.
The productivity of the written inquiry was discussed and there was some confusion over the numbers. Several comments follow regarding the Forum discussion:
- Mr. Hall asked the Personnel Security Committee (PSC) to evaluate the value added of conducting written inquiries for security clearance determinations. A part of this tasking is to provide a Terms of Reference (TOR).
- Ms. Dempsey, Cochair, also asked that the evaluation include cost, time, and seriousness of the derogatory information discovered.
- Mr. Winneberger, DIA, asked if we have looked at the productivity of the derogatory leads. The statistics would not come close to supporting its use as a tool, especially in comparison to other tools. He proposed that the evaluation include a review of the productivity of TOP SECRET coverage.
- Dr. Carney, PERSEREC, said that the evaluation could be conducted, although, given the data available, it would be unlikely to provide conclusive evidence to support including or excluding written inquiries. He also suggested any evaluation should not be limited to revocations or denials.
- Ms. Munson related the additional costs to the Defense Investigative Service, in following up on written inquiries, went beyond the $14.00 for the written inquiry. Mr. Harris added that the additional costs were a trade off of cost versus discovery of unfavorable information.
- Mr. Hall stated that most written inquiries are run for suitability-to-hire decisions, not security determinations. He also asked what is the exact productivity gained using a written inquiry.
- Mr. Harris further explained that E.O. 10450 requires written inquiries for suitability for civilian employment with the government, with or without classified access. The PSC believes it would be a good idea to include the written inquiry for security determinations as well. Mr. Brown, Navy, stated the E.O. 10450 is an old document and requires review and revision.
- Dr. Wells asked if anyone had a sense of the differences in number of SECRET versus CONFIDENTIAL clearances. Members of the Forum indicated the number of CONFIDENTIAL clearances is relatively low.
- The 15O,OOO strong contractor population requiring SECRET or CONFIDENTIAL clearances was discussed, at which point Dr. Wells stated this then has a great impact on the Department of Defense, and the $14.00 plus other costs becomes nontrivial.
- Mr. Borsi, NASA, reiterated that $14.00 is not cheap, and that time is not cheap. He further stated that written inquiries are a "mail and stamp" process, and time and money are often wasted because schools and former employers do not always respond to the written inquiry. He concluded that mandating written inquiries would cause major fiscal impact on smaller agencies.
- Mr. Davidson cautioned that we shouldn't confuse suitability for employment versus suitability for access.
- Mr. Garmon, Commerce, stated that the Adjudicative Guideline allowed a great deal of discretion and pondered that the Investigative Standards could adopt that flexibility.
- Mr. Saderholm pointed out that the fundamental issue is in reciprocity of investigations across the government. If we agree not to require written inquiries, those agencies who must nonetheless conduct them to comply with E.O. 10450 could not be permitted to refuse recognition of SECRET clearances based on an investigation not including written inquiries.
There was some discussion about the notion of a military equivalent to the written inquiries in the form of the recruiting process and continuous evaluation during basic training.
- Mr. Gwash, DIS, related that written inquiries would impact the military services in recruiting soldier, sailors, and airmen, if a recruiter had to wait 55 days for response on written inquiries. Today, an enlister receives an ENTNAC, which then becomes the basis for a SECRET clearance after boot camp.
- Dr. Wells explained that the military members received closer personal evaluations, especially in boot camp. Also, commanders are involved and make final determinations regarding a mulitary person's clearance and/or accesses.
- Mr. Hall asked if it would be possible to exempt the military from the investigative standard when people are acquired through the recruiting process.
- Mr. Stout, Army, asked if we carve out the military and carve out contractors, are we doing what's right, or just replicating what we've done in the past?
- Mr McCallum, DOE, stated that many agencies have dove-tailed suitability and security issues in personnel hiring practices.
- Mr. Seidman, USCG, stated that the standard needed to be set for security, not for suitability, across the government. We need to define what the requirement is for security.
- Mr. Rubino, DoJ, related that his organization conducts Full Field Investigations (FFI ) for their employees. And, that other organizations such as CIA, NSA, FBI have used the FFI. He further stated that their investigative standards-- for example for prison guards-- required more than just a NAC and that the more you do at the front end of investigation the greater a deterrent you create.
- Mr. Lamoureux noted the problems with using written inquiries in the industrial world, which center on privacy issues and the legal liabilities of companies providing unfavorable information on former employees. These concerns played a role in choosing the NAC plus Credit Check as the NISPOM SECRET standard.
Mr. Hall concluded that he could go either way on this issue. He then called for a straw vote to pulse the Forum membership. It then became evident that a decision could not be obtained. The Forum tasked the Personnel Security Commuttee to provide some additional data, specifically relating to the use of NACIs and NACICs in making security determinations, and to bring a refined proposal to the next Forum meeting. Mr. Hall requested the Forum to reconvene January 18, 1995. (NOTE: this meeting has subsequently been rescheduled to 1000 on Friday, 19 January 1996).
The Committee has recommended that the ten year scope be retained in four areas; employment, references, former spouses, and Local Agency Checks. Less than ten years of data was adequate for other areas or investigation. To help reach its decision, the Committee commissioned the Personnel Security Research Center to examine which leads provided adjudicatable information and how many issues required a scope of greater than seven years to develop. The Committee used the study results in tailoring the elements included in their proposal and in settling on a length of coverage for each. A minority of the Committee (OASD C3I and Alr Force, with Army subsequently joining) interpreted the study results as supporting no coverage of greater than seven years in any area.
The ten year scope for NATO TOP SECRET was briefly discussed. The general belief was that we shouldn't determine our standards based on NATO standards.
Mr. Harris pointed out that the OMB Standard Form 86 (SF-86) currently collects seven years worth of data and any change to that form would require complete vetting through the Paperwork Reduction Act. Any information collected from the public has to be justified; the government must show why collecting the information is necessary. It will not be a trivial act to change the SF-86. Mr. Harris also stated that the SF-86 will be in use January 1996.
There was some discussion about which takes precedence; the NSD 63 or the SF-86 in so far as the SF-86 has the Paperwork Reduction Act behind it. This issue remains for legal resolution.
Mr. McCallum stated that a seven year scope would have a major impact at the DOE Laboratories.
Mr. Hall polled the membership and realized there was no consensus going into the discussion.
The Cochairs asked the Personnel Security Committee to recast the existing issue paper, with additional inputs from any Forum member agency choosing to provide them, into two position papers: one making the strongest possible argument for seven years and a second for ten years. Mr. Hall requested that both matters of agreement and controversy be explained. These two papers will be provided the Forum membership before its next meeting. At that meeting, the Forum will vote.
The Personnel Security Committee has developed a proposal for minimum investigative standards for granting temporary access. E.O. 12968 requires the Security Policy Board to prepare such standards. In Committee, there were no controversial issues. Mr. Sagalkin pointed out that paragraph 9 of the draft, which concerns granting limited temporary access to a person with no investigation of any kind, may exceed the language and intent of the E.O.
The Cochairs requested the staff to obtain clarification.
Mr. Saderholm spoke briefly about his testimony to the Commission on Protecting and Reducing Government Secrecy. A copy of his statement was provided to the Forum membership.
Mr. Saderholm provided the 1996 Forum schedule. Please note that since the Forum meeting, two dates have been changed. The Forum will meet on the 19th and 26th of January, no meeting in February, and on the 1st and 29th of March. The revised schedule is at Attachment.
Mr. Saderholm advised the Forum that he attended the first meeting of the Interagency Security Committee which was held on 12 December l995. He pointed out that the Interagency Security Committee is establishing at least five standing committees with which the Forum should/could interface: a) Security Standards; b) Oversight Implementation: c) Sharing Intelligence and a Central Data Base; d} Technical Data and Information Systems; and e) Construction Issues.
SUMMARY OF ACTIONS
The following are the actions resulting from the meeting:
1. The Forum tasked the Personnel Security Committee to provide some additional data, specifically relating to the use of NACIs and NACICs in making security determinations, and to bring a refined proposal to the next Forum meeting.
2. The Cochairs asked the Personnel Security Committee to recast the existing issue paper concerning the scope of security investigations with additional inputs from any Forum member agency choosing to provide then. Two position papers should be prepared: one making the strongest possible argument for seven years and a second for ten years. Mr. Hall requested that both matters of agreement and controversy be explained in both papers.
3. A Legal review of NSD 63 and SF-86 is needed as it relates to which requirement for investigative scope should be followed.
4. SPB Staff obtain clarification concerning granting limited temporary access to a person with no investigation of any kind becauae it may exceed the language and intent of the E.o. 12968.
The next meeting is scheduled for l9 January 1996 from 1000-1130 hours at the Mitre Corporation, Hayes Conference Center. Actions as stated above will be the agenda items.
The Forum is also scheduled to meet on 26 January 1996, same time and place. The primary agenda item will focus on the Financial Disclosure Form.
The meeting was adjourned at 1200 hours.