The House of Representative voted by unanimous consent to approve the final version of H.R. 3210.
The Securely Expediting Clearances Through Reporting Transparency (SECRET) Act will assess inefficiencies and shortfalls in the security clearance process to improve classified information protection while also ensuring individuals are able to start their jobs that require clearances in a reasonable amount of time, according to a statement from Knight’s office.
The bill requires the Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) National Background Investigations Bureau (NBIB) to report on a number of details pertaining to the backlog of security clearance investigations and provide a backlog mitigation plan that shows the cause and remedy for the backlog. It also requires NBIB to report on the process required to grant security clearances to staff of the Executive Office of the President.
Rep. Steve Knight, who sponsored the bill, said: “Throughout the entire legislative process for this bill, we’ve received widespread bipartisan support in both the House and Senate. More importantly, however, is the positive feedback we’ve heard from employers and workers in the district who have wanted this transparency for a long time. Our region is home to a wide array of businesses that are working on some of the most advance aeronautics, defense, and space projects in the world. By improving the transparency and speed of the clearance process, we can better ensure a stable labor market to keep these vitally important projects running on time and maximize the efficiency of taxpayer dollars.”
The SECRET Act first passed the House of Representatives unanimously on July 26, 2017. It was later passed by unanimous consent with minor changes in the Senate on March 15, 2018. It now awaits a signature by Speaker Ryan and President Trump to be codified into law.