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Press Releases: Internal Efficiency & Effectiveness

March 17, 2003

Government Clearance Process Moving Into 21st Century

E-Clearance Initiative to Streamline Clearance Process, Help Public and Private Sector

WASHINGTON D.C. - Today, U.S. Office of Personnel Director Kay Coles James discussed the progress OPM has made moving the federal government’s national security background clearance process into the 21st Century, unveiling the new SF-86C Certification form for the SF-86, the Questionnaire for National Security Positions, and the launch of the Clearance Verification System.

”It would be difficult to overstate the importance of E-Clearance,“ said James. ”With threats to our homeland and to our national interests overseas, providing accurate, thorough, and timely clearances to the workforce is crucial. The loyalty and the integrity of the men and women of America’s civil service is well known, and we will use new technology to maintain their proud legacy of patriotism while rapidly adding to our ranks.“

The SF-86C will allow individuals to quickly and easily update their most recent SF-86, which is 13 pages in length. The SF-86C, at just two pages, is dramatically shorter and will save employees from having to fill out the longer SF-86 form in most instances. The SF-86C will be available for download on-line, and in the coming months will be completely automated, allowing individuals to fill it out on-line, eliminating the need for paper forms in most instances.

”The E-Clearance initiative will eliminate unnecessary paperwork, reduce the burden on people we want to bring into the federal government, cut tie involved in processing clearances while preserving the integrity of our investigations, and free-up personnel security resources to focus where it counts,“ James declared.

”We’re also building the Clearance Verification System that puts all the civilian clearance information in a single database, connected to the DOD system,“ James added. ”For the first time, a single search will give you the complete picture.“

The Clearance Verification System will enable, for the first time, one search to locate investigative and clearance information for any agency.

E-Clearance is part of the E-Government initiative contained in President George W. Bush’s Management Agenda. The President’s Management Agenda contains 24 E-Government initiatives, five of which are managed by OPM. The other four programs OPM manages are E-Training, E-Payroll, Recruitment One-Stop, and Enterprise Human Resource Integration.

For more information please contact Chad Cowan at 202-606-2402 or