A bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation aimed at security clearance reforms in the aftermath of disclosures of secret U.S. surveillance programs by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.
The bill would require the Office of Personnel Management to fire or suspend investigators and contractors who falsify background reports for security clearances.
Since 2007, 18 individuals have been convicted of falsifying investigations - 11 were government employees and seven were contractors. The OPM inspector general currently has 11 active investigations related to suspected falsification and 36 pending until it receives more resources.
The bill would also require the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to publish within 180 days guidance to help government agencies determine whether a position requires a security clearance.
The bill is sponsored by Democratic Senators Jon Tester and Claire McCaskill and Republican Senators Rob Portman and Ron Johnson.
"This bill gives investigators the tools they need to hold folks accountable and protect our national security," Tester said in a statement.