(a) ReviewsNot later than 180 days after December 20, 2019, the Security Executive Agent, in coordination with the members of the Council, shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees and make available to appropriate industry partners a report that includes the following:
A review of whether the information requested on the Questionnaire for National Security Positions (Standard Form 86) and by the Federal Investigative Standards prescribed by the Suitability and Credentialing Executive Agent and the Security Executive Agent appropriately supports the adjudicative guidelines under Security Executive Agent Directive 4 (known as the “National Security Adjudicative Guidelines”). Such review shall include identification of whether any such information currently collected is unnecessary to support the adjudicative guidelines.
An assessment of whether such Questionnaire, Standards, and guidelines should be revised to account for the prospect of a holder of a security clearance becoming an insider threat.
(3) Recommendations to improve the background investigation process by—
simplifying the Questionnaire for National Security Positions (Standard Form 86) and increasing customer support to applicants completing such Questionnaire;
using remote techniques and centralized locations to support or replace field investigation work;
replacing periodic reinvestigations with continuous vetting techniques in all appropriate circumstances.
(b) Policy, strategy, and implementationNot later than 180 days after December 20, 2019, the Security Executive Agent shall, in coordination with the members of the Council, establish the following:
(2) A policy and implementation plan to ensure contractors are treated consistently in the security clearance process across agencies and departments of the United States as compared to employees of such agencies and departments. Such policy shall address—
prioritization of processing security clearances based on the mission the contractors will be performing;
standardization in the forms that agencies issue to initiate the process for a security clearance;
the application of the adjudicative guidelines under Security Executive Agent Directive 4 (known as the “National Security Adjudicative Guidelines”);
reciprocal recognition of clearances across agencies and departments of the United States, regardless of status of periodic reinvestigation;
tracking of clearance files as individuals move from employment with an agency or department of the United States to employment in the private sector;
reporting on security incidents and job performance, consistent with section 552a of title 5 (commonly known as the “Privacy Act of 1974”), that may affect the ability to hold a security clearance;
any recommended changes to the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) necessary to ensure that information affecting contractor clearances or suitability is appropriately and expeditiously shared between and among agencies and contractors; and
(3) A strategy and implementation plan that—
provides for periodic reinvestigations as part of a security clearance determination only on an as-needed, risk-based basis;
includes actions to assess the extent to which automated records checks and other continuous vetting methods may be used to expedite or focus reinvestigations; and
(C) provides an exception to the requirement under subparagraph (A) for certain populations if the Security Executive Agent—
provides written justification to the appropriate congressional committees for any such determination.
A policy and implementation plan for agencies and departments of the United States, as a part of the security clearance process, to accept automated records checks generated pursuant to a security clearance applicant’s employment with a prior employer.
A policy for the use of certain background information on individuals collected by the private sector for background investigation purposes.
Uniform standards for agency continuous vetting programs to ensure quality and reciprocity in accepting enrollment in a continuous vetting program as a substitute for a periodic investigation for continued access to classified information.
(Pub. L. 116–92, div. E, title LXVI, § 6603, Dec. 20, 2019, 133 Stat. 2211.)