PSC Testifies before Senate Intel Committee on Security Clearance Reform

Arlington, V.A. (March 8, 2018) — The Professional Services Council (PSC) President and CEO, David J.  Berteau testified Wednesday before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on the current status of the personnel security clearance process, the impact of the current situation on industry, and the prospects for reform. Berteau appeared on behalf of PSC’s nearly 400 member companies which provide technology and professional services across all agencies of the federal government.

“Reciprocity is a critical component. How can it be that you’re cleared and acceptable for one part of the government and you’re not cleared and acceptable for another part,” Berteau questioned during the hearing. “There has to be greater collaboration and cooperation between the government oversight mechanisms and the contractor oversight mechanisms. This is where personnel issues, privacy issues, security issues, and contract issues come together.”

Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and Vice Chairman Mark Warner (D-VA) held the hearing to emphasize the need for a more modern, efficient and secure process which includes a whole of government approach. Echoing his recent op-ed, Sen. Warner stated: “These failures in our security clearance process impact individual individuals, companies, government agencies and even our own military's readiness,” Sen. Warner stated during the hearing. “I hear again and again from contractors, particularly from cutting-edge technology companies and government agencies, that they cannot hire the people they need in a timely manner.”

PSC recommended changes that Congress can take to reduce the backlog and wait times, while maintaining integrity in the process, increasing security, and strengthening industry workforces. Berteau told the Committee: “There’s a risk that we don’t often take into account. It’s not just the risk of awarding a clearance to somebody who ends up doing something wrong.There’s a risk to government missions and functions in every step of the way by not doing it in a timely way and by not having the best and brightest people on board to do that.” 

The hearing allowed both industry and government leaders to address issues in the security clearance process. Additional information, including witness statements and bios are here.

Ways to Engage:
Watch video from the hearing here beginning at the 18:45 mark
Read PSC’s full written testimony here 
View photos on PSC's Twitter page
Click here to view the PDF version of this release

Media Contact: 
Ashlei Stevens
Director, Media Relations
About PSC: PSC is the voice of the government technology and professional services industry. PSC’s nearly 400-member companies represent small, medium and large businesses that provide federal agencies with services of all kinds, including information technology, engineering, logistics, facilities management, operations and maintenance, consulting, international development, scientific, social, environmental services, and more. Together, the trade association’s members employ hundreds of thousands of Americans in all 50 states. Follow PSC on Twitter @PSCSpeaks. To learn more, visit