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DCSA Offers Update on Security Clearance Processing Times, Adjudications

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The Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA) has seen the number of security clearance investigations rise to approximately 205,000, but the figure is still within DCSA’s “steady state” target of between 200,000 and 225,000 in active investigations, Federal News Network reported Thursday.

“The inventory has slightly increased over the past few weeks, mostly due to the COVID-related impacts,” Heather Green, director of DCSA’s Vetting Risk Operations Center, said Wednesday at a meeting of the National Industrial Security Program Policy Advisory Committee. “We have seen a steady state of submissions for industry, but we do have an increase of cases on hold due to the inability to collect some records for the investigations to close.”

The report said DCSA has 74,100 pending adjudications to date, compared with 160K adjudications in its mid-2019 inventory. DCSA data also shows a gradual decline in security clearance processing times.

The processing of the majority of secret clearances took 89 days to complete during the third quarter of this year, down from an average of 163 days in 2019. The top secret clearance processing times recorded an average of 135 days, down from the 305-day average from the previous year.

To date, the Department of Defense (DoD) has approximately 2.2 million clearance holders enrolled in its continuous evaluation program, up from 1.4 million CE enrollees in November 2019. DCSA said 455,000 of the current enrollees are industry clearance holders.