Seeking Reciprocity in Security Clearance Policy

07.28.06 | 1 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

Reciprocity in security clearances — meaning the acceptance by one agency of a security clearance granted by another agency, and vice versa — has been an elusive security policy goal for well over a decade. But lately it has become the subject of increased attention.

“The Director [of National Intelligence] has done little to ensure the reciprocal recognition of security clearances within the [Intelligence] Community,” the House Intelligence Committee complained in its new report (pdf).

“It def[ies] common sense… that it takes months to transfer clearances for an individual who will work in the exact same space but transfer from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency to the CIA,” the House report said.

A July 17 memo from the Office of Management and Budget addresses the problem of reciprocity in highly restricted “special access programs,” and provides a checklist of permitted exceptions to reciprocity.

The Department of Defense and Department of Energy have each issued new directives lately on reciprocal recognition of security clearances.