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H.R. 5482 (113th): Enhanced Security Clearance Act of 2014

The text of the bill below is as of Sep 16, 2014 (Introduced).


I

113th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 5482

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

September 16, 2014

introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Select Committee on Intelligence (Permanent Select), and in addition to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

A BILL

To enhance the Office of Personnel Management background check system for the granting, denial, or revocation of security clearances or access to classified information of employees and contractors of the Federal Government.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Enhanced Security Clearance Act of 2014 .

2.

Enhancing government personnel security programs

(a)

Definitions

In this section—

(1)

the term covered individual means an individual who has been determined eligible for access to classified information or eligible to hold a sensitive position; and

(2)

the term periodic reinvestigations means investigations conducted for the purpose of updating a previously completed background investigation—

(A)

every 5 years in the case of—

(i)

eligibility for access to top secret information or access to a highly sensitive program; or

(ii)

eligibility to hold a special sensitive or critical sensitive position;

(B)

every 10 years in the case of—

(i)

eligibility for access to secret information; or

(ii)

eligibility to hold a noncritical sensitive position; or

(C)

every 15 years in the case of eligibility for access to confidential information.

(b)

Resolution of backlog of overdue periodic reinvestigations

(1)

In general

The Director of National Intelligence shall develop and implement a plan to eliminate the backlog of overdue periodic reinvestigations of covered individuals.

(2)

Requirements

The plan developed under paragraph (1) shall—

(A)

use a risk-based approach to—

(i)

identify high-risk populations; and

(ii)

prioritize reinvestigations that are due or overdue to be conducted; and

(B)

use random automated record checks (consistent with the requirements of paragraph (3)) of covered individuals that shall include all covered individuals in the pool of individuals subject to a one-time check.

(3)

Automated record checks

An automated record check with respect to a covered individual shall use and examine comprehensive sources of information, including—

(A)

publicly available online electronic information regarding such individual, including blogs, microblogs, forums, news Web sites, and picture and video sharing Web sites;

(B)

publicly available social media data regarding such individual, including pictures, videos, posts, or comments;

(C)

information relating to criminal or civil legal proceedings applicable to such individual;

(D)

public news article, press reports, or media clippings which detail relevant security or counterintelligence information; and

(E)

financial information relating to the covered individual, including the credit worthiness of the covered individual.

(c)

Enhanced security clearance programs

Part III of title 5, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

J

Enhanced personnel security programs

110

Enhanced personnel security programs

Sec.

11001. Enhanced personnel security programs.

11001.

Enhanced personnel security programs

(a)

Definitions

In this section—

(1)

the term agency has the meaning given that term in section 3001 of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 ( 50 U.S.C. 3341 );

(2)

the term consumer reporting agency has the meaning given that term in section 603 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act ( 15 U.S.C. 1681a );

(3)

the term covered individual means an individual who has been determined eligible for access to classified information or eligible to hold a sensitive position;

(4)

the term enhanced personnel security program means a program implemented by an agency at the direction of the Director of National Intelligence under subsection (b); and

(5)

the term periodic reinvestigations means investigations conducted for the purpose of updating a previously completed background investigation—

(A)

every 5 years in the case of—

(i)

eligibility for access to top secret information or access to a highly sensitive program; or

(ii)

eligibility to hold a special sensitive or critical sensitive position;

(B)

every 10 years in the case of—

(i)

eligibility for access to secret information; or

(ii)

eligibility to hold a noncritical sensitive position; or

(C)

every 15 years in the case of eligibility for access to confidential information.

(b)

Enhanced Personnel Security Program

The Director of National Intelligence shall direct each agency to implement a program to provide enhanced security review of covered individuals—

(1)

in accordance with this section; and

(2)

not later than the earlier of—

(A)

the date that is 5 years after the date of enactment of the Enhanced Security Clearance Act of 2014 ; or

(B)

the date on which the backlog of overdue periodic reinvestigations of covered individuals is eliminated, as determined by the Director of National Intelligence.

(c)

Comprehensiveness

(1)

Sources of information

The enhanced personnel security program of an agency shall integrate relevant information from various sources, including government, publicly available, and commercial data sources, consumer reporting agencies, social media, and such other sources as determined by the Director of National Intelligence.

(2)

Types of information

Information obtained and integrated from sources described in paragraph (1) may include—

(A)

information relating to any criminal or civil legal proceeding;

(B)

financial information relating to the covered individual, including the credit worthiness of the covered individual;

(C)

public information, including news articles or reports, that includes relevant security or counterintelligence information about the covered individual;

(D)

publicly available electronic information, to include relevant security or counterintelligence information on any social media Web site or forum, blog, microblog, picture or video sharing Web site and other public online content that may suggest ill intent, vulnerability to blackmail, compulsive behavior, allegiance to another country, illegal drug use, criminal activity, material falsification, change in ideology, or any other information that may suggest the covered individual lacks good judgment, reliability or trustworthiness; and

(E)

data maintained on any terrorist or criminal watch list maintained by any agency, State or local government, or international organization.

(d)

Reviews of covered individuals

(1)

Reviews

(A)

In general

The enhanced personnel security program of an agency shall require that, not less than 2 times every 5 years, the head of the agency shall conduct or request the conduct of automated record checks and checks of information from sources under subsection (c) to ensure the continued eligibility of each covered individual employed or contracted with by the agency, unless more frequent reviews of automated record checks and checks of information from sources under subsection (c) are conducted on the covered individual.

(B)

Scope of reviews

Except for a covered individual who is subject to more frequent reviews to ensure the continued eligibility of the covered individual, the reviews under subparagraph (A) shall consist of random or aperiodic checks of covered individuals, such that each covered individual is subject to at least 2 reviews during the 5-year period beginning on the date on which the agency implements the enhanced personnel security program of an agency, and during each 5-year period thereafter.

(C)

Individual reviews

A review of the information relating to the continued eligibility of a covered individual under subparagraph (A) may not be conducted until after the end of the 120-day period beginning on the date the covered individual receives the notification required under paragraph (3).

(2)

Results

The head of an agency shall take appropriate action if a review under paragraph (1) finds relevant information that may affect the continued eligibility of a covered individual.

(3)

Information for covered individuals

The head of an agency shall ensure that each covered individual employed by the agency or a contractor of the agency is adequately advised of the types of relevant security or counterintelligence information the covered individual is required to report to the head of the agency.

(4)

Limitation

Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to affect the authority of an agency to determine the appropriate weight to be given to information relating to a covered individual in evaluating the continued eligibility of the covered individual.

(5)

Guidance for minor financial or mental health issues

The Director of National Intelligence shall issue guidance defining minor financial or mental health issues, in accordance with this section and any direction from the President.

(6)

Authority of the President

Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as limiting the authority of the President to direct or perpetuate periodic reinvestigations of a more comprehensive nature or to delegate the authority to direct or perpetuate such reinvestigations.

(e)

Audit

(1)

In general

Beginning 2 years after the date of implementation of the enhanced personnel security program of an agency under subsection (b), the Inspector General of the agency shall conduct at least 1 audit to assess the effectiveness and fairness, which shall be determined in accordance with performance measures and standards established by the Director of National Intelligence, to covered individuals of the enhanced personnel security program of the agency.

(2)

Submissions to the DNI

The results of each audit conducted under paragraph (1) shall be submitted to the Director of National Intelligence to assess the effectiveness and fairness of the enhanced personnel security programs across the Federal Government.

.

(d)

Technical and conforming amendment

The table of chapters for part III of title 5, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end following:

Subpart J—Enhanced personnel security programs

110. Enhanced personnel security programs 11001

.