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Sen. Mark Warner: US Govt Needs to Address Security Clearance Backlog, Establish Cyber Guidelines

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Mark Warner

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., has said he considers the security clearance backlog and the lack of a cyber doctrine as national security crises, Federal News Radio reported Monday.

The Senate Intelligence Committee’s vice chairman said Friday at a Northern Virginia Technology Council event that the security clearance process takes 540 days to complete and the government has a clearance backlog of approximately 740,000.

He introduced amendments to the proposed National Defense Authorization Act that would speed up secret clearance investigations within a month and top secret investigations within three months.

Warner, a 2018 Wash100 recipient, has also advanced measures that would direct agencies to disclose the costs of clearances; permit interviews through Skype; and provide access to criminal and college records.

“I’ve had a commitment that we are going to get rid of over 100k backlogged clearances before the end of the year,” he said.

Warner cited the need for the U.S. to have a set of guidelines for cyber warfare and its response as well as the country’s concerns of a potential cyber escalation with near peer adversaries such as Russia and China.

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