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Press Release
August 17, 2004

 

New Guidelines for Reciprocity of Security Clearances in Industry Issued by ISOO

Washington, D.C. . .On August 6, 2004, the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO), took steps to address reciprocity of security clearances within industry. ISOO formally promulgated and forwarded to the Secretaries of Defense and Energy, the Acting Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for immediate implementation, a "Declaration of Principles" that provides a clear articulation of how agencies must reciprocally honor security clearances granted by other agencies with enough specificity and substance that industry can hold Government agencies accountable for their actions. Bill Leonard, Director of ISOO, asked that these agency heads disseminate the Principles to their cleared contractors and designate an appropriate point of contact for industry to report any instances when these Principles are not being followed.

The National Industrial Security Policy Advisory Committee (NISPPAC), which is comprised of both industry and government representatives and chaired by the Director of ISOO, developed this "Declaration of Principles" concerning reciprocity of security clearances within industry. The Chair, Mr. Leonard, commented that: "While it should provide some relief to the current personal security clearance crises within industry, it is not a silver bullet. However, it should allow contractors who experience failure on the part of a Government program or contract office to honor reciprocally a clearance action by another Government agency to seek immediate redress".

Industry officials supporting the defense and intelligence agencies have repeatedly pointed out that delays in the security clearance process for its employees cause major inefficiency, which eventually leads to higher costs for the taxpayer and ultimately harm national security. The lack of reciprocity between agencies, where one agency refuses to accept the clearance of another agency, has significantly contributed to this problem. In the coming weeks, cleared industry with defense and intelligence related contracts should receive more detailed implementation guidance from their government customers.

Established in 1978, ISOO is responsible to the President for overseeing the government-wide security classification program in both Government and industry, and receives policy and program guidance from the National Security Council. ISOO’s authority is found in two Executive orders, Executive Order 12958 as amended, "Classified National Security Information," and Executive Order 12829, as amended, "National Industrial Security Program." ISOO has been a component of the National Archives and Records Administration since 1995.

A copy of the Declaration of Principles can be found at: http://www.archives.gov/isoo/industry/isoo_industry_main.html.

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For press information, the media should contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-501-5526.

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