Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Security Clearances and Math

Somehow the math doesn't add up.  There was an article in the Post this morning, then I found this blog post.
 "The number of persons who held security clearances for access to classified information last year exceeded 4.2 million — far more than previously estimated — according to a new intelligence community report to Congress (pdf)."
OPM says there are 2.756 million federal employees, and a total of 4.403 million legislative, executive and military branch employees.  I never had a security clearance, either in the Army or in USDA, but the figures imply that the average person in government does.  Why, for goodness sake?  I can see the law enforcement branches, but not much else.

I hope the figures are wrong.  I hope what's going on is that the data bases of security clearances aren't being purged very well when people leave the government.  Or is it the case that: once cleared, always cleared, and leaving government doesn't cancel the clearance. 

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