How many government employees and contractors hold security clearances for access to classified information? Remarkably, it is not possible to answer that question today with any precision. But it should be possible by next February, officials said at a House Intelligence Subcommittee hearing on December 1.
Currently there is no precise tally of the number of cleared persons, and there is no way to produce one, said John Fitzpatrick, Director of the ODNI Special Security Center.
“We can find definitively if any individual has a clearance at any one point in time,” he told Rep. Anna Eshoo, the subcommittee chair. But “to take that point in time and define the number of all the people that do takes a manipulation of data in databases that weren’t intended to do that.”
“To give a precise [answer] requires, I think, due diligence in the way we collect that data and the way that data changes.” And in fact, “we have a special data collection to provide a definitive answer on that in the February 2011 IRTPA report,” referring to an upcoming report required under the 2004 Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act.
In the meantime, Mr. Fitzpatrick said, “To give a ballpark number [of total security clearances] is not difficult.”
Well then, Rep. Eshoo asked, “What would a ballpark figure today be?”
“Oh, I’d like to take that one for the record,” Mr. Fitzpatrick replied. “It’s — you know, I’d give you — I’d like to take that one for the record.”
Based on prior reporting by the Government Accountability Office, the ballpark figure that we use is 2.5 million cleared persons. (“More Than 2.4 Million Hold Security Clearances,” Secrecy News, July 29, 2009).
To empower new voices to start their career in nuclear weapons studies, the Federation of American Scientists launched the New Voices on Nuclear Weapons Fellowship. Here’s what our inaugural cohort accomplished.
Common frameworks for evaluating proposals leave this utility function implicit, often evaluating aspects of risk, uncertainty, and potential value independently and qualitatively.
The FAS Nuclear Notebook is one of the most widely sourced reference materials worldwide for reliable information about the status of nuclear weapons and has been published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists since 1987. The Nuclear Notebook is researched and written by the staff of the Federation of American Scientists’ Nuclear Information Project: Director Hans […]
According to the National Center for Education Statistics’ August 2023 pulse panel, 60% of public schools were utilizing a “community school” or “wraparound services model” at the start of this school year—up from 45% last year.