Pentagon to take up federal security checks: report

Pentagon to take up federal security checks: report
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The Pentagon will soon take over security checks for the federal government, according to sources who spoke with The Associated Press.

Defense Department officials said that over the next three years it will be responsible for all background investigations for military and civilian employees and contractors, the AP reported.

A source also told the AP that the White House will also give the Pentagon authority to carry out security checks for almost all government agencies.

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The change aims to fix the dense backlog of people waiting for clearance and the weak points of the security system that were exposed when a Navy contractor killed a dozen people at Washington’s Navy Yard in 2013.

The contractor had kept his security clearance despite concerns about his mental health and an unreviewed arrest.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump supporters at Pa. rally 'upset' after Democrats introduce impeachment articles Trump on removal of protester at rally: 'We don't want to be politically correct' Trump rails against FBI, impeachment during Pennsylvania rally MORE’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - Democrats to release articles of impeachment today On The Money: White House, Dems edge closer to trade deal | GOP worries about Trump concessions | DOJ argues Congress can't sue Trump on emoluments | Former Fed chief Volcker dies White House, Democrats edge closer to deal on trade MORE, recently received his permanent security clearance, 16 months after Trump took office. The delays were linked to the backlog in the new administration and Kushner’s large financial wealth, which required more extensive review.

The plan to transfer responsibility for the checks from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to the Pentagon is currently in the works, according to the AP.

The new program would automatically review workers' records on a regular basis instead of every five or 10 years, as is currently the norm.

The shift of responsibility will give the OPM a chance to get through its backlog of 700,000 workers, about 500,000 of whom are reportedly with the Defense Department. The Defense Department will not take over these cases, as they are already being handled by OPM.

In the first year, the Pentagon will take over security checks for people seeking to renew their security clearance. The next two years, the Pentagon will take on those seeking an initial security clearance and then also employees who want top secret renewals, Garry Reid, director for defense intelligence, told the AP.