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(WASHINGTON, DC) – Yesterday, legislation introduced by Representative Steve Knight (CA-25) the Securely Expediting Clearances through Reporting Transparency (SECRET) Act, H.R. 3210, passed the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

The SECRET Act requires a quarterly report on the size of the security clearance investigation process backlog and the average length of time it takes to carry out security clearance investigations. The information provided on the average time for investigations is to be separated by clearance level and whether or not it is a new or periodic investigation.

“Bureaucratic processes are hindering government agencies and employees from doing critical work on behalf of our national defense because of these investigation backlogs,” Said Rep. Steve Knight. “This bill brings more government transparency and represents a critical step in Congress holding those accountable for this unacceptable backlog."

This Act was introduced directly as a result from conversations of defense employers and employees in the 25th district. It passed Committee with bipartisan support, with original cosponsor and Democratic co-lead Rep. Gerald Connolly (VA-11) in the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

“The National Background Investigations Bureau was created to streamline and enhance the security clearance and investigation process,” said Congressman Gerald E. Connolly (VA-11), member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. “In order to ensure that the new Bureau can successfully distinguish itself from OPM’s past failures, it must work to reduce the backlog of background investigations and the length of time it takes to complete each investigation,” said Congressman Gerry Connolly.  “This bill provides the transparency needed for Congress to hold NBIB accountable and ensure that important background investigations are being conducted in a timely manner.”

“A main effort of this Congress is to restore our military and address the growing threats around the world; this bill brings to light how to address backlogs and ensure government accountability in order to ultimately keep our communities safe,” said Rep. Knight. “We must proactively address challenges that could hinder our modernization and security as a nation.”