[USC02] 50 USC CHAPTER 45, SUBCHAPTER III: SECURITY CLEARANCES AND CLASSIFIED INFORMATION
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50 USC CHAPTER 45, SUBCHAPTER III: SECURITY CLEARANCES AND CLASSIFIED INFORMATION
From Title 50—WAR AND NATIONAL DEFENSECHAPTER 45—MISCELLANEOUS INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY AUTHORITIES

SUBCHAPTER III—SECURITY CLEARANCES AND CLASSIFIED INFORMATION

§3341. Security clearances

(a) Definitions

In this section:

(1) The term "agency" means—

(A) an executive agency (as that term is defined in section 105 of title 5);

(B) a military department (as that term is defined in section 102 of title 5); and

(C) an element of the intelligence community.


(2) The term "authorized investigative agency" means an agency designated by the head of the agency selected pursuant to subsection (b) to conduct a counterintelligence investigation or investigation of persons who are proposed for access to classified information to ascertain whether such persons satisfy the criteria for obtaining and retaining access to such information.

(3) The term "authorized adjudicative agency" means an agency authorized by law, regulation, or direction of the Director of National Intelligence to determine eligibility for access to classified information in accordance with Executive Order 12968.

(4) The term "highly sensitive program" means—

(A) a government program designated as a Special Access Program (as that term is defined in section 4.1(h) of Executive Order 12958 or any successor Executive order); or

(B) a government program that applies restrictions required for—

(i) restricted data (as that term is defined in section 2014(y) of title 421 or

(ii) other information commonly referred to as "sensitive compartmented information".


(5) The term "current investigation file" means, with respect to a security clearance, a file on an investigation or adjudication that has been conducted during—

(A) the 5-year period beginning on the date the security clearance was granted, in the case of a Top Secret Clearance, or the date access was granted to a highly sensitive program;

(B) the 10-year period beginning on the date the security clearance was granted in the case of a Secret Clearance; and

(C) the 15-year period beginning on the date the security clearance was granted in the case of a Confidential Clearance.


(6) The term "personnel security investigation" means any investigation required for the purpose of determining the eligibility of any military, civilian, or government contractor personnel to access classified information.

(7) 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 a top secret clearance or access to a highly sensitive program;

(B) every 10 years in the case of a secret clearance; or

(C) every 15 years in the case of a Confidential Clearance.


(8) The term "appropriate committees of Congress" means—

(A) the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Committees on Armed Services, Homeland Security, Government Reform, and the Judiciary of the House of Representatives; and

(B) the Select Committee on Intelligence and the Committees on Armed Services, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, and the Judiciary of the Senate.


(9) Access determination.—The term "access determination" means the determination regarding whether an employee—

(A) is eligible for access to classified information in accordance with Executive Order 12968 (60 Fed. Reg. 40245; relating to access to classified information), or any successor thereto, and Executive Order 10865 (25 Fed. Reg. 1583; relating to safeguarding classified information with 2 industry), or any successor thereto; and

(B) possesses a need to know under such an Order.

(b) Selection of entity

Except as otherwise provided, not later than 90 days after December 17, 2004, the President shall select a single department, agency, or element of the executive branch to be responsible for—

(1) directing day-to-day oversight of investigations and adjudications for personnel security clearances, including for highly sensitive programs, throughout the United States Government;

(2) developing and implementing uniform and consistent policies and procedures to ensure the effective, efficient, and timely completion of security clearances and determinations for access to highly sensitive programs, including the standardization of security questionnaires, financial disclosure requirements for security clearance applicants, and polygraph policies and procedures;

(3) serving as the final authority to designate an authorized investigative agency or authorized adjudicative agency;

(4) ensuring reciprocal recognition of access to classified information among the agencies of the United States Government, including acting as the final authority to arbitrate and resolve disputes involving the reciprocity of security clearances and access to highly sensitive programs pursuant to subsection (d);

(5) ensuring, to the maximum extent practicable, that sufficient resources are available in each agency to achieve clearance and investigative program goals;

(6) reviewing and coordinating the development of tools and techniques for enhancing the conduct of investigations and granting of clearances; and

(7) not later than 180 days after July 7, 2014, and consistent with subsection (j)—

(A) developing policies and procedures that permit, to the extent practicable, individuals alleging reprisal for having made a protected disclosure (provided the individual does not disclose classified information or other information contrary to law) to appeal any action affecting an employee's access to classified information and to retain their government employment status while such challenge is pending; and

(B) developing and implementing uniform and consistent policies and procedures to ensure proper protections during the process for denying, suspending, or revoking a security clearance or access to classified information following a protected disclosure, including the ability to appeal such a denial, suspension, or revocation, except that there shall be no appeal of an agency's suspension of a security clearance or access determination for purposes of conducting an investigation, if that suspension lasts no longer than 1 year or the head of the agency or a designee of the head of the agency certifies that a longer suspension is needed before a final decision on denial or revocation to prevent imminent harm to the national security.

(c) Performance of security clearance investigations

(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, not later than 180 days after December 17, 2004, the President shall, in consultation with the head of the entity selected pursuant to subsection (b), select a single agency of the executive branch to conduct, to the maximum extent practicable, security clearance investigations of employees and contractor personnel of the United States Government who require access to classified information and to provide and maintain all security clearances of such employees and contractor personnel. The head of the entity selected pursuant to subsection (b) may designate other agencies to conduct such investigations if the head of the entity selected pursuant to subsection (b) considers it appropriate for national security and efficiency purposes.

(2) The agency selected under paragraph (1) shall—

(A) take all necessary actions to carry out the requirements of this section, including entering into a memorandum of understanding with any agency carrying out responsibilities relating to security clearances or security clearance investigations before December 17, 2004;

(B) as soon as practicable, integrate reporting of security clearance applications, security clearance investigations, and determinations of eligibility for security clearances, with the database required by subsection (e); and

(C) ensure that security clearance investigations are conducted in accordance with uniform standards and requirements established under subsection (b), including uniform security questionnaires and financial disclosure requirements.

(d) Reciprocity of security clearance and access determinations

(1) All security clearance background investigations and determinations completed by an authorized investigative agency or authorized adjudicative agency shall be accepted by all agencies.

(2) All security clearance background investigations initiated by an authorized investigative agency shall be transferable to any other authorized investigative agency.

(3)(A) An authorized investigative agency or authorized adjudicative agency may not establish additional investigative or adjudicative requirements (other than requirements for the conduct of a polygraph examination) that exceed requirements specified in Executive Orders establishing security requirements for access to classified information without the approval of the head of the entity selected pursuant to subsection (b).

(B) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), the head of the entity selected pursuant to subsection (b) may establish such additional requirements as the head of such entity considers necessary for national security purposes.

(4) An authorized investigative agency or authorized adjudicative agency may not conduct an investigation for purposes of determining whether to grant a security clearance to an individual where a current investigation or clearance of equal level already exists or has been granted by another authorized adjudicative agency.

(5) The head of the entity selected pursuant to subsection (b) may disallow the reciprocal recognition of an individual security clearance by an agency under this section on a case-by-case basis if the head of the entity selected pursuant to subsection (b) determines that such action is necessary for national security purposes.

(6) The head of the entity selected pursuant to subsection (b) shall establish a review procedure by which agencies can seek review of actions required under this section.

(e) Database on security clearances

(1) Not later than 12 months after December 17, 2004, the Director of the Office of Personnel Management shall, in cooperation with the heads of the entities selected pursuant to subsections (b) and (c), establish and commence operating and maintaining an integrated, secure, database into which appropriate data relevant to the granting, denial, or revocation of a security clearance or access pertaining to military, civilian, or government contractor personnel shall be entered from all authorized investigative and adjudicative agencies.

(2) The database under this subsection shall function to integrate information from existing Federal clearance tracking systems from other authorized investigative and adjudicative agencies into a single consolidated database.

(3) Each authorized investigative or adjudicative agency shall check the database under this subsection to determine whether an individual the agency has identified as requiring a security clearance has already been granted or denied a security clearance, or has had a security clearance revoked, by any other authorized investigative or adjudicative agency.

(4) The head of the entity selected pursuant to subsection (b) shall evaluate the extent to which an agency is submitting information to, and requesting information from, the database under this subsection as part of a determination of whether to certify the agency as an authorized investigative agency or authorized adjudicative agency.

(5) The head of the entity selected pursuant to subsection (b) may authorize an agency to withhold information about certain individuals from the database under this subsection if the head of the entity considers it necessary for national security purposes.

(f) Evaluation of use of available technology in clearance investigations and adjudications

(1) The head of the entity selected pursuant to subsection (b) shall evaluate the use of available information technology and databases to expedite investigative and adjudicative processes for all and to verify standard information submitted as part of an application for a security clearance.

(2) The evaluation shall assess the application of the technologies described in paragraph (1) for—

(A) granting interim clearances to applicants at the secret, top secret, and special access program levels before the completion of the appropriate full investigation;

(B) expediting investigations and adjudications of security clearances, including verification of information submitted by the applicant;

(C) ongoing verification of suitability of personnel with security clearances in effect for continued access to classified information;

(D) use of such technologies to augment periodic reinvestigations;

(E) assessing the impact of the use of such technologies on the rights of applicants to verify, correct, or challenge information obtained through such technologies; and

(F) such other purposes as the head of the entity selected pursuant to subsection (b) considers appropriate.


(3) An individual subject to verification utilizing the technology described in paragraph (1) shall be notified of such verification, shall provide consent to such use, and shall have access to data being verified in order to correct errors or challenge information the individual believes is incorrect.

(4) Not later than one year after December 17, 2004, the head of the entity selected pursuant to subsection (b) shall submit to the President and the appropriate committees of Congress a report on the results of the evaluation, including recommendations on the use of technologies described in paragraph (1).

(g) Reduction in length of personnel security clearance process

(1) The head of the entity selected pursuant to subsection (b) shall, within 90 days of selection under that subsection, develop, in consultation with the appropriate committees of Congress and each authorized adjudicative agency, a plan to reduce the length of the personnel security clearance process.

(2)(A) To the extent practical the plan under paragraph (1) shall require that each authorized adjudicative agency make a determination on at least 90 percent of all applications for a personnel security clearance within an average of 60 days after the date of receipt of the completed application for a security clearance by an authorized investigative agency. Such 60-day average period shall include—

(i) a period of not longer than 40 days to complete the investigative phase of the clearance review; and

(ii) a period of not longer than 20 days to complete the adjudicative phase of the clearance review.


(B) Determinations on clearances not made within 60 days shall be made without delay.

(3)(A) The plan under paragraph (1) shall take effect 5 years after December 17, 2004.

(B) During the period beginning on a date not later than 2 years after December 17, 2004, and ending on the date on which the plan under paragraph (1) takes effect, each authorized adjudicative agency shall make a determination on at least 80 percent of all applications for a personnel security clearance pursuant to this section within an average of 120 days after the date of receipt of the application for a security clearance by an authorized investigative agency. Such 120-day average period shall include—

(i) a period of not longer than 90 days to complete the investigative phase of the clearance review; and

(ii) a period of not longer than 30 days to complete the adjudicative phase of the clearance review.

(h) Reports

(1) Not later than February 15, 2006, and annually thereafter through 2011, the head of the entity selected pursuant to subsection (b) shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report on the progress made during the preceding year toward meeting the requirements of this section.

(2) Each report shall include, for the period covered by such report—

(A) the periods of time required by the authorized investigative agencies and authorized adjudicative agencies for conducting investigations, adjudicating cases, and granting clearances, from date of submission to ultimate disposition and notification to the subject and the subject's employer;

(B) a discussion of any impediments to the smooth and timely functioning of the requirements of this section; and

(C) such other information or recommendations as the head of the entity selected pursuant to subsection (b) considers appropriate.

(i) Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary for fiscal year 2005 and each fiscal year thereafter for the implementation, maintenance, and operation of the database required by subsection (e).

(j) Retaliatory revocation of security clearances and access determinations

(1) In general

Agency personnel with authority over personnel security clearance or access determinations shall not take or fail to take, or threaten to take or fail to take, any action with respect to any employee's security clearance or access determination in retaliation for—

(A) any lawful disclosure of information to the Director of National Intelligence (or an employee designated by the Director of National Intelligence for such purpose) or the head of the employing agency (or employee designated by the head of that agency for such purpose) by an employee that the employee reasonably believes evidences—

(i) a violation of any Federal law, rule, or regulation; or

(ii) gross mismanagement, a gross waste of funds, an abuse of authority, or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety;


(B) any lawful disclosure to the Inspector General of an agency or another employee designated by the head of the agency to receive such disclosures, of information which the employee reasonably believes evidences—

(i) a violation of any Federal law, rule, or regulation; or

(ii) gross mismanagement, a gross waste of funds, an abuse of authority, or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety;


(C) any lawful disclosure that complies with—

(i) subsections (a)(1), (d), and (h) of section 8H of the Inspector General Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App.);

(ii) subparagraphs (A), (D), and (H) of section 3517(d)(5) of this title; or

(iii) subparagraphs (A), (D), and (I) of section 3033(k)(5) of this title; and


(D) if the actions do not result in the employee or applicant unlawfully disclosing information specifically required by Executive order to be kept classified in the interest of national defense or the conduct of foreign affairs, any lawful disclosure in conjunction with—

(i) the exercise of any appeal, complaint, or grievance right granted by any law, rule, or regulation;

(ii) testimony for or otherwise lawfully assisting any individual in the exercise of any right referred to in clause (i); or

(iii) cooperation with or disclosing information to the Inspector General of an agency, in accordance with applicable provisions of law in connection with an audit, inspection, or investigation conducted by the Inspector General.

(2) Rule of construction

Consistent with the protection of sources and methods, nothing in paragraph (1) shall be construed to authorize the withholding of information from Congress or the taking of any personnel action against an employee who lawfully discloses information to Congress.

(3) Disclosures

(A) In general

A disclosure shall not be excluded from paragraph (1) because—

(i) the disclosure was made to a person, including a supervisor, who participated in an activity that the employee reasonably believed to be covered by paragraph (1)(A)(ii);

(ii) the disclosure revealed information that had been previously disclosed;

(iii) the disclosure was not made in writing;

(iv) the disclosure was made while the employee was off duty; or

(v) of the amount of time which has passed since the occurrence of the events described in the disclosure.

(B) Reprisals

If a disclosure is made during the normal course of duties of an employee, the disclosure shall not be excluded from paragraph (1) if any employee who has authority to take, direct others to take, recommend, or approve any personnel action with respect to the employee making the disclosure, took, failed to take, or threatened to take or fail to take a personnel action with respect to that employee in reprisal for the disclosure.

(4) Agency adjudication

(A) Remedial procedure

An employee or former employee who believes that he or she has been subjected to a reprisal prohibited by paragraph (1) may, within 90 days after the issuance of notice of such decision, appeal that decision within the agency of that employee or former employee through proceedings authorized by subsection (b)(7), except that there shall be no appeal of an agency's suspension of a security clearance or access determination for purposes of conducting an investigation, if that suspension lasts not longer than 1 year (or a longer period in accordance with a certification made under subsection (b)(7)).

(B) Corrective action

If, in the course of proceedings authorized under subparagraph (A), it is determined that the adverse security clearance or access determination violated paragraph (1), the agency shall take specific corrective action to return the employee or former employee, as nearly as practicable and reasonable, to the position such employee or former employee would have held had the violation not occurred. Such corrective action may include back pay and related benefits, travel expenses, and compensatory damages not to exceed $300,000.

(C) Contributing factor

In determining whether the adverse security clearance or access determination violated paragraph (1), the agency shall find that paragraph (1) was violated if a disclosure described in paragraph (1) was a contributing factor in the adverse security clearance or access determination taken against the individual, unless the agency demonstrates by a preponderance of the evidence that it would have taken the same action in the absence of such disclosure, giving the utmost deference to the agency's assessment of the particular threat to the national security interests of the United States in the instant matter.

(5) Appellate review of security clearance access determinations by Director of National Intelligence

(A) Appeal

Within 60 days after receiving notice of an adverse final agency determination under a proceeding under paragraph (4), an employee or former employee may appeal that determination in accordance with the procedures established under subparagraph (B).

(B) Policies and procedures

The Director of National Intelligence, in consultation with the Attorney General and the Secretary of Defense, shall develop and implement policies and procedures for adjudicating the appeals authorized by subparagraph (A).

(C) Congressional notification

Consistent with the protection of sources and methods, at the time the Director of National Intelligence issues an order regarding an appeal pursuant to the policies and procedures established by this paragraph, the Director of National Intelligence shall notify the congressional intelligence committees.

(6) Judicial review

Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit or require judicial review of any—

(A) agency action under this section; or

(B) action of the appellate review procedures established under paragraph (5).

(7) Private cause of action

Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit, authorize, or require a private cause of action to challenge the merits of a security clearance determination.

(8) Inclusion of contractor employees

In this subsection, the term "employee" includes an employee of a contractor, subcontractor, grantee, subgrantee, or personal services contractor, of an agency. With respect to such employees, the term "employing agency" shall be deemed to be the contracting agency.

(Pub. L. 108–458, title III, §3001, Dec. 17, 2004, 118 Stat. 3705; Pub. L. 113–126, title VI, §602(a)(1), (b), (c), July 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 1416, 1417, 1419; Pub. L. 113–293, title III, §310, Dec. 19, 2014, 128 Stat. 3999; Pub. L. 115–118, title I, §110(c), Jan. 19, 2018, 132 Stat. 17.)

References in Text

Executive Order 12968, referred to in subsec. (a)(3), (9)(A), is set out as a note under section 3161 of this title.

Executive Order 12958, referred to in subsec. (a)(4)(A), which was formerly set out as a note under section 435 (now section 3161) of this title, was revoked by Ex. Ord. No. 13526, §6.2(g), Dec. 29, 2009, 75 F.R. 731.

Executive Order 10865, referred to in subsec. (a)(9)(A), is set out as a note under section 3161 of this title.

Section 8H of the Inspector General Act of 1978, referred to in subsec. (j)(1)(C)(i), is section 8H of Pub. L. 95–452, which is set out in the Appendix to Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

Codification

Section was formerly classified to section 435b of this title prior to editorial reclassification and renumbering as this section.

Amendments

2018—Subsec. (j)(8). Pub. L. 115–118 added par. (8).

2014—Subsec. (a)(9). Pub. L. 113–126, §602(c), added par. (9).

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 113–126, §602(a)(1)(A), substituted "Except as otherwise provided, not" for "Not" in introductory provisions.

Subsec. (b)(7). Pub. L. 113–293, §310(1), inserted ", and consistent with subsection (j)" after "2014" in introductory provisions.

Pub. L. 113–126, §602(a)(1)(B)–(D), added par. (7).

Subsec. (b)(7)(A). Pub. L. 113–293, §310(2), substituted "alleging reprisal for having made a protected disclosure (provided the individual does not disclose classified information or other information contrary to law) to appeal any action affecting an employee's access to classified information" for "to appeal a determination to suspend or revoke a security clearance or access to classified information".

Subsec. (b)(7)(B). Pub. L. 113–293, §310(3), substituted "information following a protected disclosure," for "information,".

Subsec. (j). Pub. L. 113–126, §602(b), added subsec. (j).

Change of Name

Committee on Government Reform of House of Representatives changed to Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of House of Representatives by House Resolution No. 6, One Hundred Tenth Congress, Jan. 5, 2007. Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of House of Representatives changed to Committee on Oversight and Reform of House of Representatives by House Resolution No. 6, One Hundred Sixteenth Congress, Jan. 9, 2019.

Construction

Pub. L. 113–126, title VI, §602(e), July 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 1419, provided that: "Nothing in section 3001 of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (50 U.S.C. 3341), as amended by this title, shall be construed to require the repeal or replacement of agency appeal procedures implementing Executive Order 12968 (60 Fed. Reg. 40245; relating to access to classified information) [50 U.S.C. 3161 note], or any successor thereto, and Executive Order 10865 (25 Fed. Reg. 1583; relating to safeguarding classified information with[in] industry) [50 U.S.C. 3161 note], or any successor thereto, that meet the requirements of paragraph (7) of section 3001(b) of such Act [50 U.S.C. 3341(b)(7)], as added by this section."

Required Elements of Policies and Procedures

Pub. L. 113–126, title VI, §602(a)(2), July 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 1416, provided that: "The policies and procedures for appeal developed under paragraph (7) of section 3001(b) of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 [50 U.S.C. 3341(b)(7)], as added by subsection (a), shall provide for the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community, or the inspector general of the employing agency, to conduct fact-finding and report to the agency head or the designee of the agency head within 180 days unless the employee and the agency agree to an extension or the investigating inspector general determines in writing that a greater period of time is required. To the fullest extent possible, such fact-finding shall include an opportunity for the employee to present relevant evidence such as witness testimony."

Existing Rights Preserved

Pub. L. 113–126, title VI, §602(d), July 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 1419, provided that: "Nothing in this section [amending this section and enacting provisions set out as notes under this section] or the amendments made by this section shall be construed to preempt, preclude, or otherwise prevent an individual from exercising rights, remedies, or avenues of redress currently provided under any other law, regulation, or rule."

Strategy for Security Clearance Reciprocity

Pub. L. 112–277, title III, §306, Jan. 14, 2013, 126 Stat. 2472, provided that:

"(a) Strategy.—The President shall develop a strategy and a schedule for carrying out the requirements of section 3001(d) of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (50 U.S.C. 435b(d)) [now 50 U.S.C. 3341(d)]. Such strategy and schedule shall include—

"(1) a process for accomplishing the reciprocity required under such section for a security clearance issued by a department or agency of the Federal Government, including reciprocity for security clearances that are issued to both persons who are and who are not employees of the Federal Government; and

"(2) a description of the specific circumstances under which a department or agency of the Federal Government may not recognize a security clearance issued by another department or agency of the Federal Government.

"(b) Congressional Notification.—Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act [Jan. 14, 2013], the President shall inform Congress of the strategy and schedule developed under subsection (a)."

1 So in original. There probably should be a closing parenthesis before the semicolon.

2 So in original. Probably should be "within".

§3342. Security clearances for transition team members

(1) Definition

In this section, the term "eligible candidate" has the meaning given such term by section 3(h)(4) of the Presidential Transition Act of 1963 (3 U.S.C. 102 note).

(2) In general

Each eligible candidate for President may submit, before the date of the general election, requests for security clearances for prospective transition team members who will have a need for access to classified information to carry out their responsibilities as members of the President-elect's transition team.

(3) Completion date

Necessary background investigations and eligibility determinations to permit appropriate prospective transition team members to have access to classified information shall be completed, to the fullest extent practicable, by the day after the date of the general election.

(Pub. L. 108–458, title VII, §7601(c), Dec. 17, 2004, 118 Stat. 3857; Pub. L. 111–283, §2(c)(1), Oct. 15, 2010, 124 Stat. 3048.)

References in Text

This section, referred to in par. (1), is section 7601 of Pub. L. 108–458. See Codification note below.

Section 3(h)(4) of the Presidential Transition Act of 1963, referred to in par. (1), is section 3(h)(4) of Pub. L. 88–277, which is set out in a note under section 102 of Title 3, The President.

Codification

Section was formerly classified as a note under section 435b of this title prior to editorial reclassification as this section.

Section is comprised of subsec. (c) of section 7601 of Pub. L. 108–458. Subsec. (a) of section 7601 amended provisions set out as a note under section 102 of Title 3, The President, subsec. (b) of section 7601 is not classified to the Code, and subsec. (d) of section 7601 is set out as a note under section 102 of Title 3.

Amendments

2010—Par. (1). Pub. L. 111–283, §2(c)(1)(A), added par. (1) and struck out former par. (1) which read as follows: "In this section, the term 'major party' shall have the meaning given under section 9002(6) of title 26."

Par. (2). Pub. L. 111–283, §2(c)(1)(B), substituted "eligible candidate" for "major party candidate".

§3343. Security clearances; limitations

(a) Definitions

In this section:

(1) Controlled substance

The term "controlled substance" has the meaning given that term in section 802 of title 21.

(2) Covered person

The term "covered person" means—

(A) an officer or employee of a Federal agency;

(B) a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps who is on active duty or is in an active status; and

(C) an officer or employee of a contractor of a Federal agency.

(3) Restricted Data

The term "Restricted Data" has the meaning given that term in section 2014 of title 42.

(4) Special access program

The term "special access program" has the meaning given that term in section 4.1 of Executive Order No. 12958 (60 Fed. Reg. 19825).

(b) Prohibition

After January 1, 2008, the head of a Federal agency may not grant or renew a security clearance for a covered person who is an unlawful user of a controlled substance or an addict (as defined in section 802(1) of title 21).

(c) Disqualification

(1) In general

After January 1, 2008, absent an express written waiver granted in accordance with paragraph (2), the head of a Federal agency may not grant or renew a security clearance described in paragraph (3) for a covered person who—

(A) has been convicted in any court of the United States of a crime, was sentenced to imprisonment for a term exceeding 1 year, and was incarcerated as a result of that sentence for not less than 1 year;

(B) has been discharged or dismissed from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions; or

(C) is mentally incompetent, as determined by an adjudicating authority, based on an evaluation by a duly qualified mental health professional employed by, or acceptable to and approved by, the United States Government and in accordance with the adjudicative guidelines required by subsection (d).

(2) Waiver authority

In a meritorious case, an exception to the disqualification in this subsection may be authorized if there are mitigating factors. Any such waiver may be authorized only in accordance with—

(A) standards and procedures prescribed by, or under the authority of, an Executive order or other guidance issued by the President; or

(B) the adjudicative guidelines required by subsection (d).

(3) Covered security clearances

This subsection applies to security clearances that provide for access to—

(A) special access programs;

(B) Restricted Data; or

(C) any other information commonly referred to as "sensitive compartmented information".

(4) Annual report

(A) Requirement for report

Not later than February 1 of each year, the head of a Federal agency shall submit a report to the appropriate committees of Congress if such agency employs or employed a person for whom a waiver was granted in accordance with paragraph (2) during the preceding year. Such annual report shall not reveal the identity of such person, but shall include for each waiver issued the disqualifying factor under paragraph (1) and the reasons for the waiver of the disqualifying factor.

(B) Definitions

In this paragraph:

(i) Appropriate committees of Congress

The term "appropriate committees of Congress" means, with respect to a report submitted under subparagraph (A) by the head of a Federal agency—

(I) the congressional defense committees;

(II) the congressional intelligence committees;

(III) the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate;

(IV) the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the House of Representatives; and

(V) each Committee of the Senate or the House of Representatives with oversight authority over such Federal agency.

(ii) Congressional defense committees

The term "congressional defense committees" has the meaning given that term in section 101(a)(16) of title 10.

(iii) Congressional intelligence committees

The term "congressional intelligence committees" has the meaning given that term in section 3003 of this title.

(d) Adjudicative guidelines

(1) Requirement to establish

The President shall establish adjudicative guidelines for determining eligibility for access to classified information.

(2) Requirements related to mental health

The guidelines required by paragraph (1) shall—

(A) include procedures and standards under which a covered person is determined to be mentally incompetent and provide a means to appeal such a determination; and

(B) require that no negative inference concerning the standards in the guidelines may be raised solely on the basis of seeking mental health counseling.

(Pub. L. 108–458, title III, §3002, as added Pub. L. 110–181, div. A, title X, §1072(a), Jan. 28, 2008, 122 Stat. 328.)

References in Text

Executive Order 12958, referred to in subsec. (a)(4), which was formerly set out as a note under section 435 (now section 3161) of this title, was revoked by Ex. Ord. No. 13526, §6.2(g), Dec. 29, 2009, 75 F.R. 731.

Codification

Section was formerly classified to section 435c of this title prior to editorial reclassification and renumbering as this section.

Change of Name

Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of House of Representatives changed to Committee on Oversight and Reform of House of Representatives by House Resolution No. 6, One Hundred Sixteenth Congress, Jan. 9, 2019.

§3344. Classification training program

(a) In general

The head of each Executive agency, in accordance with Executive Order 13526, shall require annual training for each employee who has original classification authority. For employees who perform derivative classification, or are responsible for analysis, dissemination, preparation, production, receipt, publication, or otherwise communication of classified information, training shall be provided at least every two years. Such training shall—

(1) educate the employee, as appropriate, regarding—

(A) the guidance established under subparagraph (G) of section 3024(g)(1) of this title, as added by section 5(a)(3),1 regarding the formatting of finished intelligence products;

(B) the proper use of classification markings, including portion markings that indicate the classification of portions of information; and

(C) any incentives and penalties related to the proper classification of intelligence information; and


(2) ensure such training is a prerequisite, once completed successfully, as evidenced by an appropriate certificate or other record, for—

(A) obtaining original classification authority or derivatively classifying information; and

(B) maintaining such authority.

(b) Relationship to other programs

The head of each Executive agency shall ensure that the training required by subsection (a) is conducted efficiently and in conjunction with any other required security, intelligence, or other training programs to reduce the costs and administrative burdens associated with carrying out the training required by subsection (a).

(Pub. L. 111–258, §7, Oct. 7, 2010, 124 Stat. 2652.)

References in Text

Executive Order 13526, referred to in subsec. (a), is set out as a note under section 3161 of this title.

Section 5(a)(3), referred to in subsec. (a)(1)(A), probably means section 5(a)(3) of Pub. L. 111–258.

Codification

Section was formerly classified to section 435d of this title prior to editorial reclassification and renumbering as this section.

Definitions

Pub. L. 111–258, §3, Oct. 7, 2010, 124 Stat. 2648, provided that: "In this Act [see Short Title of 2010 Amendment note set out under section 101 of Title 6, Domestic Security]:

"(1) Derivative classification and original classification.—The terms 'derivative classification' and 'original classification' have the meanings given those terms in Executive Order No. 13526 [50 U.S.C. 3161 note].

"(2) Executive agency.—The term 'Executive agency' has the meaning given that term in section 105 of title 5, United States Code.

"(3) Executive order no. 13526.—The term 'Executive Order No. 13526' means Executive Order No. 13526 (75 Fed. Reg. 707; relating to classified national security information) or any subsequent corresponding executive order."

1 See References in Text note below.

§3345. Limitation on handling, retention, and storage of certain classified materials by the Department of State

(a) Certification regarding full compliance with requirements

The Director of Central Intelligence shall certify to the appropriate committees of Congress whether or not each covered element of the Department of State is in full compliance with all applicable directives of the Director of Central Intelligence relating to the handling, retention, or storage of covered classified material.

(b) Limitation on certification

The Director of Central Intelligence may not certify a covered element of the Department of State as being in full compliance with the directives referred to in subsection (a) if the covered element is currently subject to a waiver of compliance with respect to any such directive.

(c) Report on noncompliance

Whenever the Director of Central Intelligence determines that a covered element of the Department of State is not in full compliance with any directive referred to in subsection (a), the Director shall promptly notify the appropriate committees of Congress of such determination.

(d) Effects of certification of non-full compliance

(1) Subject to subsection (e), effective as of January 1, 2001, a covered element of the Department of State may not retain or store covered classified material unless the Director has certified under subsection (a) as of such date that the covered element is in full compliance with the directives referred to in subsection (a).

(2) If the prohibition in paragraph (1) takes effect in accordance with that paragraph, the prohibition shall remain in effect until the date on which the Director certifies under subsection (a) that the covered element involved is in full compliance with the directives referred to in that subsection.

(e) Waiver by Director of Central Intelligence

(1) The Director of Central Intelligence may waive the applicability of the prohibition in subsection (d) to an element of the Department of State otherwise covered by such prohibition if the Director determines that the waiver is in the national security interests of the United States.

(2) The Director shall submit to appropriate committees of Congress a report on each exercise of the waiver authority in paragraph (1).

(3) Each report under paragraph (2) with respect to the exercise of authority under paragraph (1) shall set forth the following:

(A) The covered element of the Department of State addressed by the waiver.

(B) The reasons for the waiver.

(C) The actions that will be taken to bring such element into full compliance with the directives referred to in subsection (a), including a schedule for completion of such actions.

(D) The actions taken by the Director to protect any covered classified material to be handled, retained, or stored by such element pending achievement of full compliance of such element with such directives.

(f) Definitions

In this section:

(1) The term "appropriate committees of Congress" means the following:

(A) The Select Committee on Intelligence and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate.

(B) The Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Committee on International Relations of the House of Representatives.


(2) The term "covered classified material" means any material classified at the Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) level.

(3) The term "covered element of the Department of State" means each element of the Department of State that handles, retains, or stores covered classified material.

(4) The term "material" means any data, regardless of physical form or characteristic, including written or printed matter, automated information systems storage media, maps, charts, paintings, drawings, films, photographs, engravings, sketches, working notes, papers, reproductions of any such things by any means or process, and sound, voice, magnetic, or electronic recordings.

(5) The term "Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) level", in the case of classified material, means a level of classification for information in such material concerning or derived from intelligence sources, methods, or analytical processes that requires such information to be handled within formal access control systems established by the Director of Central Intelligence.

(Pub. L. 106–567, title III, §309, Dec. 27, 2000, 114 Stat. 2840.)

Codification

Section was formerly classified to section 435a of this title prior to editorial reclassification and renumbering as this section.

Change of Name

Reference to the Director of Central Intelligence or the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency in the Director's capacity as the head of the intelligence community deemed to be a reference to the Director of National Intelligence. Reference to the Director of Central Intelligence or the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency in the Director's capacity as the head of the Central Intelligence Agency deemed to be a reference to the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. See section 1081(a), (b) of Pub. L. 108–458, set out as a note under section 3001 of this title.

Committee on International Relations of House of Representatives changed to Committee on Foreign Affairs of House of Representatives by House Resolution No. 6, One Hundred Tenth Congress, Jan. 5, 2007.

§3346. Compilation and organization of previously declassified records

(a), (b) Omitted

(c) Compilation and organization of records

The Department of Defense may not be required, when conducting a special search, to compile or organize records that have already been declassified and placed into the public domain.

(d) Special searches

For the purpose of this section, the term "special search" means the response of the Department of Defense to any of the following:

(1) A statutory requirement to conduct a declassification review on a specified set of agency records.

(2) An Executive order to conduct a declassification review on a specified set of agency records.

(3) An order from the President or an official with delegated authority from the President to conduct a declassification review on a specified set of agency records.

(Pub. L. 106–398, §1 [[div. A], title X, §1075], Oct. 30, 2000, 114 Stat. 1654, 1654A-280.)

References in Text

This section, referred to in subsec. (d), is section 1075 of H.R. 5408 of the 106th Congress, as introduced on Oct. 6, 2000, and as enacted into law by section 1 of Pub. L. 106–398, Oct. 30, 2000, 114 Stat. 1654. See Codification note below.

Codification

Section was formerly classified as a note under section 435 of this title prior to editorial reclassification as this section.

Section is comprised of section 1075 of H.R. 5408 of the 106th Congress, as introduced on Oct. 6, 2000, and as enacted into law by section 1 of Pub. L. 106–398, Oct. 30, 2000, 114 Stat. 1654. Subsec. (a) of section 1075 amended former section 230 of Title 10, Armed Forces and subsec. (b) of section 1075 was not classified to the Code.

§3347. Secrecy agreements used in intelligence activities

Notwithstanding any other provision of law not specifically referencing this section, a nondisclosure policy form or agreement that is to be executed by a person connected with the conduct of an intelligence or intelligence-related activity, other than an employee or officer of the United States Government, may contain provisions appropriate to the particular activity for which such document is to be used. Such form or agreement shall, at a minimum—

(1) require that the person will not disclose any classified information received in the course of such activity unless specifically authorized to do so by the United States Government; and

(2) provide that the form or agreement does not bar—

(A) disclosures to Congress; or

(B) disclosures to an authorized official of an executive agency that are deemed essential to reporting a violation of United States law.

(Pub. L. 104–93, title III, §306, Jan. 6, 1996, 109 Stat. 966.)

Codification

Section was formerly classified as a note under section 435 of this title prior to editorial reclassification as this section.

§3348. Reports relating to certain special access programs and similar programs

(a) In general

(1) Not later than February 1 of each year, the head of each covered department or agency shall submit to the congressional oversight committees a report on each special access program carried out in the department or agency.

(2) Each such report shall set forth—

(A) the total amount requested by the department or agency for special access programs within the budget submitted under section 1105 of title 31 for the fiscal year following the fiscal year in which the report is submitted; and

(B) for each program in such budget that is a special access program—

(i) a brief description of the program;

(ii) in the case of a procurement program, a brief discussion of the major milestones established for the program;

(iii) the actual cost of the program for each fiscal year during which the program has been conducted before the fiscal year during which that budget is submitted; and

(iv) the estimated total cost of the program and the estimated cost of the program for (I) the current fiscal year, (II) the fiscal year for which the budget is submitted, and (III) each of the four succeeding fiscal years during which the program is expected to be conducted.

(b) Newly designated programs

(1) Not later than February 1 of each year, the head of each covered department or agency shall submit to the congressional oversight committees a report that, with respect to each new special access program of that department or agency, provides—

(A) notice of the designation of the program as a special access program; and

(B) justification for such designation.


(2) A report under paragraph (1) with respect to a program shall include—

(A) the current estimate of the total program cost for the program; and

(B) an identification, as applicable, of existing programs or technologies that are similar to the technology, or that have a mission similar to the technology, or that have a mission similar to the mission, of the program that is the subject of the notice.


(3) In this subsection, the term "new special access program" means a special access program that has not previously been covered in a notice and justification under this subsection.

(c) Revision in classification of programs

(1) Whenever a change in the classification of a special access program of a covered department or agency is planned to be made or whenever classified information concerning a special access program of a covered department or agency is to be declassified and made public, the head of the department or agency shall submit to the congressional oversight committees a report containing a description of the proposed change or the information to be declassified, the reasons for the proposed change or declassification, and notice of any public announcement planned to be made with respect to the proposed change or declassification.

(2) Except as provided in paragraph (3), a report referred to in paragraph (1) shall be submitted not less than 14 days before the date on which the proposed change, declassification, or public announcement is to occur.

(3) If the head of the department or agency determines that because of exceptional circumstances the requirement of paragraph (2) cannot be met with respect to a proposed change, declassification, or public announcement concerning a special access program of the department or agency, the head of the department or agency may submit the report required by paragraph (1) regarding the proposed change, declassification, or public announcement at any time before the proposed change, declassification, or public announcement is made and shall include in the report an explanation of the exceptional circumstances.

(d) Revision of criteria for designating programs

Whenever there is a modification or termination of the policy and criteria used for designating a program of a covered department or agency as a special access program, the head of the department or agency shall promptly notify the congressional oversight committees of such modification or termination. Any such notification shall contain the reasons for the modification or termination and, in the case of a modification, the provisions of the policy as modified.

(e) Waiver of reporting requirement

(1) The head of a covered department or agency may waive any requirement under subsection (a), (b), or (c) that certain information be included in a report under that subsection if the head of the department or agency determines that inclusion of that information in the report would adversely affect the national security. Any such waiver shall be made on a case-by-case basis.

(2) If the head of a department or agency exercises the authority provided under paragraph (1), the head of the department or agency shall provide the information described in that subsection with respect to the special access program concerned, and the justification for the waiver, to the congressional oversight committees.

(f) Initiation of programs

A special access program may not be initiated by a covered department or agency until—

(1) the congressional oversight committees are notified of the program; and

(2) a period of 30 days elapses after such notification is received.

(g) Definitions

For purposes of this section:

(1) Congressional oversight committees

The term "congressional oversight committees" means—

(A) congressional leadership and authorizing and appropriations congressional committees with jurisdiction or shared jurisdiction over a department or agency;

(B) the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate; and

(C) the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the House of Representatives.

(2) Covered department or agency

(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the term "covered department or agency" means any department or agency of the Federal Government that carries out a special access program.

(B) Such term does not include—

(i) the Department of Defense (which is required to submit reports on special access programs under section 119 of title 10);

(ii) the National Nuclear Security Administration (which is required to submit reports on special access programs under section 2426 of this title); or

(iii) an agency in the Intelligence Community (as defined in section 3003(4) of this title).

(3) Special access program

The term "special access program" means any program that, under the authority of Executive Order 12356 (or any successor Executive order), is established by the head of a department or agency whom the President has designated in the Federal Register as an original "secret" or "top secret" classification authority that imposes "need-to-know" controls or access controls beyond those controls normally required (by regulations applicable to such department or agency) for access to information classified as "confidential", "secret", or "top secret".

(Pub. L. 103–160, div. A, title XI, §1152, Nov. 30, 1993, 107 Stat. 1758; Pub. L. 106–65, div. C, title XXXII, §3294(e)(2), Oct. 5, 1999, 113 Stat. 970; Pub. L. 115–390, title I, §103, Dec. 21, 2018, 132 Stat. 5177.)

References in Text

Executive Order 12356, referred to in subsec. (g)(3), is Ex. Ord. No. 12356, Apr. 2, 1982, 47 F.R. 14874, 15557, which prescribed a uniform system for classifying, declassifying, and safeguarding national security information, and which was formerly set out as a note under section 435 (now section 3161) of this title, was revoked by Ex. Ord. No. 12958, §6.1(d), Apr. 17, 1995, 60 F.R. 19843.

Codification

Section 103 of Pub. L. 115–390, which directed amendment of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1994 (50 U.S.C. 3348), was executed to this section, which is section 1152 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1994 (Pub. L. 103–160), to reflect the probable intent of Congress. See 2018 Amendment notes below.

Section was formerly classified as a note under section 435 of this title prior to editorial reclassification as this section.

Amendments

2018—Subsecs. (a) to (e). Pub. L. 115–390, §103(1), substituted "the congressional oversight committees" for "Congress" wherever appearing. See Codification note above.

Subsec. (f)(1). Pub. L. 115–390, §103(2), substituted "congressional oversight committees" for "appropriate oversight committees". See Codification note above.

Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 115–390, §103(3), added par. (1) and redesignated former pars. (1) and (2) as (2) and (3), respectively. See Codification note above.

1999—Subsec. (g)(1)(B)(ii). Pub. L. 106–65 amended cl. (ii) generally. Prior to amendment, cl. (ii) read as follows: "the Department of Energy, with respect to special access programs carried out under the atomic energy defense activities of that department (for which the Secretary of Energy is required to submit reports under section 2122a of title 42); or".

Change of Name

Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of House of Representatives changed to Committee on Oversight and Reform of House of Representatives by House Resolution No. 6, One Hundred Sixteenth Congress, Jan. 9, 2019.

Effective Date of 1999 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 106–65 effective Mar. 1, 2000, see section 3299 of Pub. L. 106–65, set out as an Effective Date note under section 2401 of this title.

§3349. Notification regarding the authorized public disclosure of national intelligence

(a) Notification

In the event of an authorized disclosure of national intelligence or intelligence related to national security to the persons or entities described in subsection (b), the government official responsible for authorizing the disclosure shall submit to the congressional intelligence committees on a timely basis a notification of the disclosure if—

(1) at the time of the disclosure—

(A) such intelligence is classified; or

(B) is declassified for the purpose of the disclosure; and


(2) the disclosure will be made by an officer, employee, or contractor of the Executive branch.

(b) Persons or entities described

The persons or entities described in this subsection are as follows:

(1) Media personnel.

(2) Any person or entity, if the disclosure described in subsection (a) is made with the intent or knowledge that such information will be made publicly available.

(c) Content

Each notification required under subsection (a) shall—

(1) provide the specific title and authority of the individual authorizing the disclosure;

(2) if applicable, provide the specific title and authority of the individual who authorized the declassification of the intelligence disclosed; and

(3) describe the intelligence disclosed, including the classification of the intelligence prior to its disclosure or declassification and the rationale for making the disclosure.

(d) Exception

The notification requirement in this section does not apply to a disclosure made—

(1) pursuant to any statutory requirement, including to section 552 of title 5 (commonly referred to as the "Freedom of Information Act");

(2) in connection with a civil, criminal, or administrative proceeding;

(3) as a result of a declassification review process under Executive Order 13526 (50 U.S.C. 435 note) [now 50 U.S.C. 3161 note] or any successor order; or

(4) to any officer, employee, or contractor of the Federal government or member of an advisory committee to an element of the intelligence community who possesses an active security clearance and a need to know the specific national intelligence or intelligence related to national security, as defined in section 3003(5) of this title.

(Pub. L. 112–277, title V, §504, Jan. 14, 2013, 126 Stat. 2477; Pub. L. 113–126, title III, §328, July 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 1405.)

Amendments

2014—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 113–126 struck out subsec. (e). Text read as follows: "The notification requirements of this section shall cease to be effective for any disclosure described in subsection (a) that occurs on or after the date that is one year after January 14, 2013."

Definitions

Pub. L. 112–277, §2, Jan. 14, 2013, 126 Stat. 2469, provided that: "In this Act [see Tables for classification]:

"(1) Congressional intelligence committees.—The term 'congressional intelligence committees' means—

"(A) the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate; and

"(B) the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives.

"(2) Intelligence community.—The term 'intelligence community' has the meaning given that term in section 3(4) of the National Security Act of 1947 (50 U.S.C. 401a(4)) [now 50 U.S.C. 3003(4)]."

§3350. Maximum amount charged for declassification reviews

In reviewing and processing a request by a person for the mandatory declassification of information pursuant to Executive Order No. 13526, a successor executive order, or any provision of law, the head of an element of the intelligence community—

(1) may not charge the person reproduction fees in excess of the amount of fees that the head would charge the person for reproduction required in the course of processing a request for information under section 552 of title 5 (commonly referred to as the "Freedom of Information Act"); and

(2) may waive or reduce any processing fees in the same manner as the head waives or reduces fees under such section 552.

(Pub. L. 115–31, div. N, title III, §313, May 5, 2017, 131 Stat. 816.)

References in Text

Executive Order No. 13526, referred to in text, is Ex. Ord. No. 13526, Dec. 29, 2009, 75 F.R. 707, 1013, which is set out as a note under section 3161 of this title.

Definitions

For definition of "intelligence community", referred to in text, see section 2 of div. N of Pub. L. 115–31, set out as a note under section 3003 of this title.

§3351. Improving quality of information in background investigation request packages

(a) Report on metrics and best practices

Not later than 180 days after December 20, 2019, the Director of the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency, which serves as the primary executive branch service provider for background investigations for eligibility for access to classified information, eligibility to hold a sensitive position, and for suitability and fitness for other matters pursuant to Executive Order 13467 (50 U.S.C. 3161 note; relating to reforming processes related to suitability for Government employment, fitness for contractor employees, and eligibility for access to classified national security information), shall, in consultation with the Security, Suitability, and Credentialing Performance Accountability Council established under such executive order, submit to Congress a report on—

(1) metrics for assessing the completeness and quality of packages for background investigations submitted by agencies requesting background investigations from the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency;

(2) rejection rates of background investigation submission packages due to incomplete or erroneous data, by agency; and

(3) best practices for ensuring full and complete information in background investigation requests.

(b) Annual report on performance

Not later than 270 days after December 20, 2019, and not less frequently than once each year thereafter, the Security, Suitability, and Credentialing Performance Accountability Council shall submit to Congress a report on performance against the metrics and return rates identified in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (a).

(c) Improvement plans

(1) Identification

Not later than one year after December 20, 2019, executive agents under Executive Order 13467 (50 U.S.C. 3161 note) shall identify agencies in need of improvement with respect to the quality of the information in the background investigation submissions of the agencies as reported in subsection (b).

(2) Plans

Not later than 90 days after an agency is identified under paragraph (1), the head of the agency shall provide the executive agents referred to in such paragraph with a plan to improve the performance of the agency with respect to the quality of the information in the agency's background investigation submissions.

(Pub. L. 116–92, div. A, title XVII, §1757, Dec. 20, 2019, 133 Stat. 1860.)

§3351a. Making certain policies and execution plans relating to personnel clearances available to industry partners

(a) Definitions

In this section:

(1) Security executive agent

The term "Security Executive Agent" means the officer serving as the Security Executive Agent pursuant to section 3162a of this title.

(2) Appropriate industry partner

The term "appropriate industry partner" means a contractor, licensee, or grantee (as defined in section 101(a) of Executive Order 12829 (50 U.S.C. 3161 note; relating to National Industrial Security Program), as in effect on the day before December 20, 2019) that is participating in the National Industrial Security Program established by such Executive Order.

(b) Sharing of policies and plans required

Each head of a Federal agency shall share policies and plans relating to security clearances with appropriate industry partners directly affected by such policies and plans in a manner consistent with the protection of national security as well as the goals and objectives of the National Industrial Security Program administered pursuant to Executive Order 12829 (50 U.S.C. 3161 note; relating to the National Industrial Security Program).

(c) Development of policies and procedures required

Not later than 90 days after December 20, 2019, the Security Executive Agent and the Director of the National Industrial Security Program shall jointly develop policies and procedures by which appropriate industry partners with proper security clearances and a need to know can have appropriate access to the policies and plans shared pursuant to subsection (b) that directly affect those industry partners.

(Pub. L. 116–92, div. E, title LIV, §5402, Dec. 20, 2019, 133 Stat. 2143.)

§3351b. Limitations on determinations regarding certain security classifications

(a) Prohibition

An officer of an element of the intelligence community who has been nominated by the President for a position that requires the advice and consent of the Senate may not make a classification decision with respect to information related to such officer's nomination.

(b) Classification determinations

(1) In general

Except as provided in paragraph (2), in a case in which an officer described in subsection (a) has been nominated as described in such subsection and classification authority rests with the officer or another officer who reports directly to such officer, a classification decision with respect to information relating to the officer shall be made by the Director of National Intelligence.

(2) Nominations of Director of National Intelligence

In a case described in paragraph (1) in which the officer nominated is the Director of National Intelligence, the classification decision shall be made by the Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence.

(c) Reports

Whenever the Director or the Principal Deputy Director makes a decision under subsection (b), the Director or the Principal Deputy Director, as the case may be, shall submit to the congressional intelligence committees a report detailing the reasons for the decision.

(Pub. L. 116–92, div. E, title LXIII, §6310, Dec. 20, 2019, 133 Stat. 2190.)

Definitions

For definitions of "intelligence community" and "congressional intelligence committees", referred to in text, see section 5003 of div. E of Pub. L. 116–92, set out as a note under section 3003 of this title.

§3352. Definitions

In this title:

(1) Appropriate congressional committees

The term "appropriate congressional committees" means—

(A) the congressional intelligence committees;

(B) the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate;

(C) the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate;

(D) the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate;

(E) the Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives;

(F) the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives;

(G) the Committee on Homeland Security of the House of Representatives; and

(H) the Committee on Oversight and Reform of the House of Representatives.

(2) Appropriate industry partner

The term "appropriate industry partner" means a contractor, licensee, or grantee (as defined in section 101(a) of Executive Order No. 12829 (50 U.S.C. 3161 note; relating to National Industrial Security Program)) that is participating in the National Industrial Security Program established by such Executive order.

(3) Continuous vetting

The term "continuous vetting" has the meaning given such term in Executive Order No. 13467 (50 U.S.C. 3161 note; relating to reforming processes for determining suitability for government employment, fitness for contractor employees, and eligibility for access to classified national security information).

(4) Council

The term "Council" means the Security, Suitability, and Credentialing Performance Accountability Council established pursuant to such Executive order, or any successor entity.

(5) Reciprocity

The term "reciprocity" means reciprocal recognition by Federal departments and agencies of eligibility for access to classified information.

(6) Security Executive Agent

The term "Security Executive Agent" means the officer serving as the Security Executive Agent pursuant to section 3162a of this title.

(7) Suitability and Credentialing Executive Agent

The term "Suitability and Credentialing Executive Agent" means the Director of the Office of Personnel Management acting as the Suitability and Credentialing Executive Agent in accordance with Executive Order No. 13467 (50 U.S.C. 3161 note; relating to reforming processes related to suitability for Government employment, fitness for contractor employees, and eligibility for access to classified national security information), or any successor entity.

(Pub. L. 116–92, div. E, title LXVI, §6601, Dec. 20, 2019, 133 Stat. 2209.)

References in Text

This title, referred to in text, means title LXVI of div. E of Pub. L. 116–92, which enacted this section and sections 3162a and 3352a to 3352f of this title and amended sections 3033, 3104, 3163, and 3164 of this title. For complete classification of title LXVI to the Code, see Tables.

Definitions

For definition of "congressional intelligence committees", referred to in par. (1)(A), see section 5003 of div. E of Pub. L. 116–92, set out as a note under section 3003 of this title.

§3352a. Reports and plans relating to security clearances and background investigations

(a) Sense of Congress

It is the sense of Congress that—

(1) ensuring the trustworthiness and security of the workforce, facilities, and information of the Federal Government is of the highest priority to national security and public safety;

(2) the President and Congress should prioritize the modernization of the personnel security framework to improve its efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability;

(3) the current system for background investigations for security clearances, suitability and fitness for employment, and credentialing lacks efficiencies and capabilities to meet the current threat environment, recruit and retain a trusted workforce, and capitalize on modern technologies; and

(4) changes to policies or processes to improve this system should be vetted through the Council to ensure standardization, portability, and reciprocity in security clearances across the Federal Government.

(b) Accountability plans and reports

(1) Plans

Not later than 90 days after December 20, 2019, the Council shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees and make available to appropriate industry partners the following:

(A) A plan, with milestones, to reduce the background investigation inventory to 200,000, or an otherwise sustainable steady-level, by the end of year 2020. Such plan shall include notes of any required changes in investigative and adjudicative standards or resources.

(B) A plan to consolidate the conduct of background investigations associated with the processing for security clearances in the most effective and efficient manner in the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency. Such plan shall address required funding, personnel, contracts, information technology, field office structure, policy, governance, schedule, transition costs, and effects on stakeholders.

(2) Report on the future of personnel security

(A) In general

Not later than 180 days after December 20, 2019, the Chairman of the Council, in coordination with the members of the Council, shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees and make available to appropriate industry partners a report on the future of personnel security to reflect changes in threats, the workforce, and technology.

(B) Contents

The report submitted under subparagraph (A) shall include the following:

(i) A risk framework for granting and renewing access to classified information.

(ii) A discussion of the use of technologies to prevent, detect, and monitor threats.

(iii) A discussion of efforts to address reciprocity and portability.

(iv) A discussion of the characteristics of effective insider threat programs.

(v) An analysis of how to integrate data from continuous vetting, insider threat programs, and human resources data.

(vi) Recommendations on interagency governance.

(3) Plan for implementation

Not later than 180 days after December 20, 2019, the Chairman of the Council, in coordination with the members of the Council, shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees and make available to appropriate industry partners a plan to implement the report's framework and recommendations submitted under paragraph (2)(A).

(4) Congressional notifications

Not less frequently than quarterly, the Security Executive Agent shall make available to the public a report regarding the status of the disposition of requests received from departments and agencies of the Federal Government for a change to, or approval under, the Federal investigative standards, the national adjudicative guidelines, continuous vetting, or other national policy regarding personnel security.

(Pub. L. 116–92, div. E, title LXVI, §6602, Dec. 20, 2019, 133 Stat. 2210.)

Definitions

For definitions of "Council", "reciprocity", "appropriate congressional committees", "appropriate industry partners", "continuous vetting", and "Security Executive Agent", referred to in text, see section 3352 of this title.

§3352b. Improving the process for security clearances

(a) Reviews

Not later than 180 days after December 20, 2019, the Security Executive Agent, in coordination with the members of the Council, shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees and make available to appropriate industry partners a report that includes the following:

(1) A review of whether the information requested on the Questionnaire for National Security Positions (Standard Form 86) and by the Federal Investigative Standards prescribed by the Suitability and Credentialing Executive Agent and the Security Executive Agent appropriately supports the adjudicative guidelines under Security Executive Agent Directive 4 (known as the "National Security Adjudicative Guidelines"). Such review shall include identification of whether any such information currently collected is unnecessary to support the adjudicative guidelines.

(2) An assessment of whether such Questionnaire, Standards, and guidelines should be revised to account for the prospect of a holder of a security clearance becoming an insider threat.

(3) Recommendations to improve the background investigation process by—

(A) simplifying the Questionnaire for National Security Positions (Standard Form 86) and increasing customer support to applicants completing such Questionnaire;

(B) using remote techniques and centralized locations to support or replace field investigation work;

(C) using secure and reliable digitization of information obtained during the clearance process;

(D) building the capacity of the background investigation workforce; and

(E) replacing periodic reinvestigations with continuous vetting techniques in all appropriate circumstances.

(b) Policy, strategy, and implementation

Not later than 180 days after December 20, 2019, the Security Executive Agent shall, in coordination with the members of the Council, establish the following:

(1) A policy and implementation plan for the issuance of interim security clearances.

(2) A policy and implementation plan to ensure contractors are treated consistently in the security clearance process across agencies and departments of the United States as compared to employees of such agencies and departments. Such policy shall address—

(A) prioritization of processing security clearances based on the mission the contractors will be performing;

(B) standardization in the forms that agencies issue to initiate the process for a security clearance;

(C) digitization of background investigation-related forms;

(D) use of the polygraph;

(E) the application of the adjudicative guidelines under Security Executive Agent Directive 4 (known as the "National Security Adjudicative Guidelines");

(F) reciprocal recognition of clearances across agencies and departments of the United States, regardless of status of periodic reinvestigation;

(G) tracking of clearance files as individuals move from employment with an agency or department of the United States to employment in the private sector;

(H) collection of timelines for movement of contractors across agencies and departments;

(I) reporting on security incidents and job performance, consistent with section 552a of title 5 (commonly known as the "Privacy Act of 1974"), that may affect the ability to hold a security clearance;

(J) any recommended changes to the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) necessary to ensure that information affecting contractor clearances or suitability is appropriately and expeditiously shared between and among agencies and contractors; and

(K) portability of contractor security clearances between or among contracts at the same agency and between or among contracts at different agencies that require the same level of clearance.


(3) A strategy and implementation plan that—

(A) provides for periodic reinvestigations as part of a security clearance determination only on an as-needed, risk-based basis;

(B) includes actions to assess the extent to which automated records checks and other continuous vetting methods may be used to expedite or focus reinvestigations; and

(C) provides an exception to the requirement under subparagraph (A) for certain populations if the Security Executive Agent—

(i) determines such populations require reinvestigations at regular intervals; and

(ii) provides written justification to the appropriate congressional committees for any such determination.


(4) A policy and implementation plan for agencies and departments of the United States, as a part of the security clearance process, to accept automated records checks generated pursuant to a security clearance applicant's employment with a prior employer.

(5) A policy for the use of certain background information on individuals collected by the private sector for background investigation purposes.

(6) Uniform standards for agency continuous vetting programs to ensure quality and reciprocity in accepting enrollment in a continuous vetting program as a substitute for a periodic investigation for continued access to classified information.

(Pub. L. 116–92, div. E, title LXVI, §6603, Dec. 20, 2019, 133 Stat. 2211.)

Improving Visibility Into the Security Clearance Process

Pub. L. 116–92, div. E, title LIV, §5401, Dec. 20, 2019, 133 Stat. 2142, provided that:

"(a) Definition of Security Executive Agent.—In this section, the term 'Security Executive Agent' means the officer serving as the Security Executive Agent pursuant to section 803 of the National Security Act of 1947 [50 U.S.C. 3162a], as added by section 6605.

"(b) Policy Required.—Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act [Dec. 20, 2019], the Security Executive Agent shall issue a policy that requires the head of each Federal agency to create, not later than December 31, 2023, an electronic portal that can be used by human resources personnel and applicants for security clearances to view information about the status of an application for a security clearance and the average time required for each phase of the security clearance process."

Definitions

For definitions of "Security Executive Agent", "Council", "appropriate congressional committees", "appropriate industry partners", "Suitability and Credentialing Executive Agent", "continuous vetting", and "reciprocity", referred to in text, see section 3352 of this title.

§3352c. Goals for promptness of determinations regarding security clearances

(a) In general

The Council shall reform the security clearance process with the objective that, by December 31, 2021, 90 percent of all determinations, other than determinations regarding populations identified under section 3352b(b)(3)(C) of this title, regarding—

(1) security clearances—

(A) at the secret level are issued in 30 days or fewer; and

(B) at the top secret level are issued in 90 days or fewer; and


(2) reciprocity of security clearances at the same level are recognized in 2 weeks or fewer.

(b) Certain reinvestigations

The Council shall reform the security clearance process with the goal that by December 31, 2021, reinvestigation on a set periodicity is not required for more than 10 percent of the population that holds a security clearance.

(c) Equivalent metrics

(1) In general

If the Council develops a set of performance metrics that it certifies to the appropriate congressional committees should achieve substantially equivalent outcomes as those outlined in subsections (b) and (c),1 the Council may use those metrics for purposes of compliance within this provision.

(2) Notice

If the Council uses the authority provided by paragraph (1) to use metrics as described in such paragraph, the Council shall, not later than 30 days after communicating such metrics to departments and agencies, notify the appropriate congressional committees that it is using such authority.

(d) Plan

Not later than 180 days after December 20, 2019, the Council shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees and make available to appropriate industry partners a plan to carry out this section. Such plan shall include recommended interim milestones for the goals set forth in subsections (b) and (c) 1 for 2019, 2020, and 2021.

(Pub. L. 116–92, div. E, title LXVI, §6604, Dec. 20, 2019, 133 Stat. 2213.)

Definitions

For definitions of "Council", "reciprocity", "appropriate congressional committees", and "appropriate industry partners", referred to in text, see section 3352 of this title.

1 So in original. Probably should be "subsections (a) and (b)".

§3352d. Reports on reciprocity for security clearances inside of departments and agencies

(a) Reports to Security Executive Agent

The head of each Federal department or agency shall submit an annual report to the Security Executive Agent that, with respect to the period covered by the report—

(1) identifies the number of individuals whose security clearances took more than 2 weeks for reciprocity recognition after such individuals move to another part of such department or agency; and

(2) breaks out the information described in paragraph (1) by type of clearance and the reasons for any delays.

(b) Annual report

Not less frequently than once each year, the Security Executive Agent shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees and make available to industry partners a report that summarizes the information received pursuant to subsection (b) during the period covered by such report.

(Pub. L. 116–92, div. E, title LXVI, §6608, Dec. 20, 2019, 133 Stat. 2216.)

Definitions

For definitions of "Security Executive Agent", "reciprocity", and "appropriate congressional committees", referred to in text, see section 3352 of this title.

§3352e. Periodic report on positions in the intelligence community that can be conducted without access to classified information, networks, or facilities

Not later than 180 days after December 20, 2019, and not less frequently than once every 5 years thereafter, the Director of National Intelligence shall submit to the congressional intelligence committees a report that reviews the intelligence community for which positions can be conducted without access to classified information, networks, or facilities, or may only require a security clearance at the secret level.

(Pub. L. 116–92, div. E, title LXVI, §6610, Dec. 20, 2019, 133 Stat. 2218.)

Definitions

For definitions of "congressional intelligence committees" and "intelligence community", referred to in text, see section 5003 of div. E of Pub. L. 116–92, set out as a note under section 3003 of this title.

§3352f. Information-sharing program for positions of trust and security clearances

(a) Program required

(1) In general

Not later than 90 days after December 20, 2019, the Security Executive Agent and the Suitability and Credentialing Executive Agent shall establish and implement a program to share between and among agencies of the Federal Government and industry partners of the Federal Government relevant background information regarding individuals applying for and currently occupying national security positions and positions of trust, in order to ensure the Federal Government maintains a trusted workforce.

(2) Designation

The program established under paragraph (1) shall be known as the "Trusted Information Provider Program" (in this section referred to as the "Program").

(b) Privacy safeguards

The Security Executive Agent and the Suitability and Credentialing Executive Agent shall ensure that the Program includes such safeguards for privacy as the Security Executive Agent and the Suitability and Credentialing Executive Agent consider appropriate.

(c) Provision of information to the Federal Government

The Program shall include requirements that enable investigative service providers and agencies of the Federal Government to leverage certain pre-employment information gathered through private-sector means during the employment or military recruiting process, and other relevant security or human resources information obtained during employment with or for the Federal Government, that satisfy Federal investigative standards, while safeguarding personnel privacy.

(d) Information and records

The information and records considered under the Program shall include the following:

(1) Date and place of birth.

(2) Citizenship or immigration and naturalization information.

(3) Education records.

(4) Employment records.

(5) Employment or social references.

(6) Military service records.

(7) State and local law enforcement checks.

(8) Criminal history checks.

(9) Financial records or information.

(10) Foreign travel, relatives, or associations.

(11) Social media checks.

(12) Such other information or records as may be relevant to obtaining or maintaining national security, suitability, fitness, or credentialing eligibility.

(e) Implementation plan

(1) In general

Not later than 90 days after December 20, 2019, the Security Executive Agent and the Suitability and Credentialing Executive Agent shall jointly submit to the appropriate congressional committees and make available to appropriate industry partners a plan for the implementation of the Program.

(2) Elements

The plan required by paragraph (1) shall include the following:

(A) Mechanisms that address privacy, national security, suitability or fitness, credentialing, and human resources or military recruitment processes.

(B) Such recommendations for legislative or administrative action as the Security Executive Agent and the Suitability and Credentialing Executive Agent consider appropriate to carry out or improve the Program.

(f) Plan for pilot program on two-way information sharing

(1) In general

Not later than 180 days after December 20, 2019, the Security Executive Agent and the Suitability and Credentialing Executive Agent shall jointly submit to the appropriate congressional committees and make available to appropriate industry partners a plan for the implementation of a pilot program to assess the feasibility and advisability of expanding the Program to include the sharing of information held by the Federal Government related to contract personnel with the security office of the employers of those contractor personnel.

(2) Elements

The plan required by paragraph (1) shall include the following:

(A) Mechanisms that address privacy, national security, suitability or fitness, credentialing, and human resources or military recruitment processes.

(B) Such recommendations for legislative or administrative action as the Security Executive Agent and the Suitability and Credentialing Executive Agent consider appropriate to carry out or improve the pilot program.

(g) Review

Not later than 1 year after December 20, 2019, the Security Executive Agent and the Suitability and Credentialing Executive Agent shall jointly submit to the appropriate congressional committees and make available to appropriate industry partners a review of the plans submitted under subsections (e)(1) and (f)(1) and utility and effectiveness of the programs described in such plans.

(Pub. L. 116–92, div. E, title LXVI, §6611, Dec. 20, 2019, 133 Stat. 2218.)

Trusted Information Provider Program for National Security Positions and Positions of Trust

Pub. L. 115–232, div. A, title IX, §941, Aug. 13, 2018, 132 Stat. 1941, provided that:

"(a) Program Required.—Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act [Aug. 13, 2018], the Security Executive Agent and the Suitability/Credentialing Executive Agent shall establish and implement a program (to be known as the 'Trusted Information Provider Program') to share between and among agencies of the Federal Government and industry partners of the Federal Government relevant background information regarding individuals applying for and currently occupying national security positions and positions of trust, in order to ensure the Federal Government maintains a trusted workforce.

"(b) Privacy Safeguards.—The Security Executive Agent and the Suitability/Credentialing Executive Agent shall ensure that the program required by subsection (a) includes such safeguards for privacy as the Security Executive Agent and the Suitability/Credentialing Executive Agent consider appropriate.

"(c) Provision of Information to the Federal Government.—The program required by subsection (a) shall include requirements that enable Investigative Service Providers and agencies of the Federal Government to leverage certain pre-employment information gathered during the employment or military recruiting process, and other relevant security or human resources information obtained during employment with or for the Federal Government, that satisfy Federal investigative standards, while safeguarding personnel privacy.

"(d) Information and Records.—The information and records considered under the program required by subsection (a) shall include the following:

"(1) Date and place of birth.

"(2) Citizenship or immigration and naturalization information.

"(3) Education records.

"(4) Employment records.

"(5) Employment or social references.

"(6) Military service records.

"(7) State and local law enforcement checks.

"(8) Criminal history checks.

"(9) Financial records or information.

"(10) Foreign travel, relatives or associations.

"(11) Social media checks.

"(12) Any other information or records relevant to obtaining or maintaining national security, suitability, fitness, or credentialing eligibility.

"(e) Implementation Plan.—

"(1) In general.—Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act [Aug. 13, 2018], the Security Executive Agent and the Suitability/Credentialing Executive Agent shall jointly submit to Congress a plan for the implementation of the program required by subsection (a).

"(2) Elements.—The plan required by paragraph (1) shall include the following:

"(A) Mechanisms that address privacy, national security, suitability or fitness, credentialing, and human resources or military recruitment processes.

"(B) Such recommendations for legislative or administrative action as the Security Executive Agent and the Suitability/Credentialing Executive Agent consider appropriate to carry out or improve the program.

"(f) Definitions.—In this section:

"(1) The term 'Security Executive Agent' means the Director of National Intelligence acting as the Security Executive Agent in accordance with Executive Order 13467 (73 Fed. Reg. 38103; 50 U.S.C. 3161 note).

"(2) The term 'Suitability/Credentialing Executive Agent' means the Director of the Office of Personnel Management acting as the Suitability/Credentialing Executive Agent in accordance with Executive Order 13467."

Definitions

For definitions of "Security Executive Agent", "Suitability and Credentialing Executive Agent", "appropriate congressional committees", and "appropriate industry partners", referred to in text, see section 3352 of this title.