This bill would aim to improve the process for granting security clearances to Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) employees. It’d amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to require that the designation of the sensitivity level of national security positions be conducted in a consistent manner in all DHS components and offices, consistent with federal guidelines. DHS must use uniform designation tools throughout DHS and provide training to appropriate staff.
DHS would be required to: 1) review all sensitivity level designations of national security positions at DHS; 2) adjust access if it determines that changes in sensitivity levels are warranted; and 3) report on positions requiring access to classified information, no longer requiring access, or requiring a different level of access. It’d also be required to submit an annual report on the denials, suspensions, revocations, and appeals of an individual’s eligibility for access to classified DHS information.
The DHS Inspector General would be required to conduct regular audits of DHS’ compliance with regulations governing security designations.
Finally, this bill would require DHS to develop a plan to achieve greater uniformity regarding the adjudication of an individual’s eligibility for access to classified information and ensure that all information received for such adjudication is protected against misappropriation. DHS’ plan would be required to consider the establishment of an internal appeals panel responsible for final national security clearance denial and revocation determinations.