Text: H.R.3210 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

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Public Law No: 115-173 (05/22/2018)

 
[115th Congress Public Law 173]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]



[[Page 132 STAT. 1291]]

Public Law 115-173
115th Congress

                                 An Act


 
To require the Director of the National Background Investigations Bureau 
   to submit a report on the backlog of personnel security clearance 
 investigations, and for other purposes. <<NOTE: May 22, 2018 -  [H.R. 
                                3210]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: Securely 
Expediting Clearances Through Reporting Transparency Act of 2018. 5 USC 
11001 note.>> 
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Securely Expediting Clearances 
Through Reporting Transparency Act of 2018'' or the ``SECRET Act of 
2018''.
SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act--
            (1) the term ``Bureau'' means the National Background 
        Investigations Bureau of the Office;
            (2) the term ``Director'' means the Director of National 
        Intelligence acting as the Security Executive Agent; and
            (3) the term ``Office'' means the Office of Personnel 
        Management acting as the Suitability and Credentialing Executive 
        Agent.
SEC. 3. REPORT ON BACKLOG OF PERSONNEL SECURITY CLEARANCE 
                    INVESTIGATIONS.

    Not later <<NOTE: Time period. Coordination.>>  than 90 days after 
the date of enactment of this Act, and quarterly thereafter for 5 years, 
the Director of the Bureau, in coordination with the Director, shall 
submit to Congress a report on the backlog of personnel security 
clearance investigations at the Bureau for the most recent full calendar 
quarter, which shall include--
            (1) the size of the backlog of personnel security clearance 
        investigations of the Bureau, including, for each sensitivity 
        level--
                    (A) the number of interim clearances granted;
                    (B) the number of initial investigations for Federal 
                employees;
                    (C) the number of periodic reinvestigations for 
                Federal employees;
                    (D) the number of initial investigations for 
                employees of Federal contractors;
                    (E) the number of periodic reinvestigations for 
                employees of Federal contractors;
                    (F) the number of initial investigations for 
                employees of, and employees of contractors of, the 
                Department of Defense;

[[Page 132 STAT. 1292]]

                    (G) the number of periodic reinvestigations for 
                employees of and employees of contractors of the 
                Department of Defense;
                    (H) the number of employees of the Bureau conducting 
                background investigations for the Bureau; and
                    (I) the number of employees of contractors of the 
                Bureau conducting background investigations for the 
                Bureau;
            (2) the average length of time, for each sensitivity level, 
        for the Bureau to carry out an initial investigation and a 
        periodic reinvestigation;
            (3) a discussion of the factors contributing to the average 
        length of time to carry out an initial investigation and a 
        periodic reinvestigation;
            (4) <<NOTE: Plan.>>  a backlog mitigation plan, which shall 
        include--
                    (A) <<NOTE: Recommenda- tions.>>  the identification 
                of the cause of, and recommendations to remedy, the 
                backlog at the Bureau;
                    (B) the steps the Director of the Bureau shall take 
                to reduce the backlog;
                    (C) process reforms to improve efficiencies in, and 
                the quality of, background investigations by the Bureau; 
                and
                    (D) a projection of when the backlog at the Bureau 
                will be sufficiently reduced to meet required timeliness 
                standards; and
            (5) a description of improvements in the information and 
        data security of the Bureau.
SEC. 4. <<NOTE: Coordination.>>  REPORT ON SECURITY CLEARANCE 
                    INVESTIGATIONS OF PERSONNEL OF THE EXECUTIVE 
                    OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT.

    Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the 
Director of the Office of Administration of the Executive Office of the 
President, in coordination with the Director and the Director of the 
Office, shall submit to Congress a report that explains the process for 
conducting and adjudicating security clearance investigations for 
personnel of the Executive Office of the President, including personnel 
of the White House Office.
SEC. 5. <<NOTE: Consultation.>>  REPORT ON COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH 
                    BIFURCATED BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION SYSTEMS.

    Not later than 120 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the 
Director of the Office, in consultation with the other members of the 
Suitability and Security Clearance Performance Accountability Council 
established under Executive Order 13467 (73 Fed. Reg. 38103) and the 
Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, shall submit to Congress a 
report on the cost of maintaining comprehensive background 
investigations capability within the Office under the control or 
direction of the Bureau and a background investigations capability for 
Department of Defense personnel under the control or direction of the 
Department of Defense for implementation of the plan referenced in 
section 925 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 
2018 (Public Law 115-91), as compared to the cost of sustaining a single 
Government-wide background investigations enterprise.
SEC. 6. REPORTS ON CONTINUOUS EVALUATION, RECIPROCITY, AND 
                    TIMELINESS MEASURES.

    Not later than 120 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the 
Director shall submit to Congress reports that provide--

[[Page 132 STAT. 1293]]

            (1) the status of implementing continuous evaluation 
        Government-wide, including--
                    (A) the number of agencies with continuous 
                evaluation programs and how many of those programs are 
                currently conducting automated records checks of the 
                required data sources as identified by the Director; and
                    (B) a discussion of the barriers for agencies to 
                implement continuous evaluation programs, including any 
                requirement under a statute, regulation, Executive 
                Order, or other administrative requirement;
            (2) a detailed explanation of efforts by agencies to meet 
        requirements for reciprocal recognition to access classified 
        information, including--
                    (A) the range of the length of time for agencies to 
                grant reciprocal recognition to access classified 
                information;
                    (B) additional requirements for reinvestigations or 
                readjudications, by agency; and
                    (C) any other barriers to the timely granting of 
                reciprocity, by agency, including any requirement under 
                a statute, regulation, Executive Order, or other 
                administrative requirement; and
            (3) <<NOTE: Review.>>  a review of whether the schedule for 
        processing security clearances under section 3001 of the 
        Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (50 
        U.S.C. 3341) should be modified.
SEC. 7. REVIEW AND UPDATE OF POSITION DESIGNATION GUIDANCE.

    (a) Definitions.--In this section--
            (1) the term ``agency'' has the meaning given the term in 
        Executive Order 13467 (73 Fed. Reg. 38103), or any successor 
        thereto;
            (2) the term ``appropriate congressional committees'' 
        means--
                    (A) the Committee on Homeland Security and 
                Governmental Affairs and the Select Committee on 
                Intelligence of the Senate; and
                    (B) the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform 
                and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of 
                the House of Representatives;
            (3) the term ``background investigation'' means any 
        investigation required for the purpose of determining the--
                    (A) eligibility of a covered individual for logical 
                and physical access to Federally controlled facilities 
                or information systems;
                    (B) suitability or fitness of a covered individual 
                for Federal employment;
                    (C) eligibility of a covered individual for access 
                to classified information or to hold a national security 
                sensitive position; or
                    (D) fitness of a covered individual to perform work 
                for or on behalf of the United States Government as a 
                contractor employee; and
            (4) the term ``covered individual''--
                    (A) means a person who performs work for or on 
                behalf of the executive branch or seeks to perform work 
                for or on behalf of the executive branch;
                    (B) is not limited to Federal employees;

[[Page 132 STAT. 1294]]

                    (C) includes all persons, not excluded under 
                subparagraph (D), who require eligibility for access to 
                classified information or eligibility to hold a 
                sensitive position, including, but not limited to, 
                contractors, subcontractors, licensees, certificate 
                holders, grantees, experts, consultants, and government 
                employees; and
                    (D) does not include--
                          (i) the President;
                          (ii) employees of the President under section 
                      105 or 107 of title 3, United States Code (except 
                      to the extent otherwise directed by the 
                      President);
                          (iii) the Vice President; or
                          (iv) employees of the Vice President under 
                      section 106 of title 3, United States Code, or an 
                      annual legislative branch appropriations Act 
                      (except to the extent otherwise directed by the 
                      Vice President).

    (b) Review and Updating.--
            (1) <<NOTE: Deadline. Recommenda- tions. Determinations.>>  
        Initial review and update of guidance.--Not later than 180 days 
        after the date of enactment of this Act, the Director and the 
        Director of the Office shall review and make recommendations to 
        Congress and the President as appropriate to issue guidance to 
        assist agencies in determining--
                    (A) position sensitivity designation; and
                    (B) the appropriate background investigation to 
                initiate for each position designation.
            (2) <<NOTE: Time period. President. Determination.>>  
        Reviews and revisions of position designations.--Not less 
        frequently than every 4 years, the President, acting through 
        relevant agencies (as determined by the President) and in 
        accordance with the guidance described in paragraph (1), shall 
        review and, if necessary, revise the position designation of 
        positions within agencies.

    (c) <<NOTE: President.>>  Reports to Congress.--Not later than 30 
days after completing a review under subsection (b)(2), the President 
shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report on--
            (1) any issues identified in the review; and
            (2) the number of position designations revised as a result 
        of the review.

[[Page 132 STAT. 1295]]

    (d) No Change in Authority.--Nothing in this section limits or 
expands the authority of any agency to designate a position as sensitive 
or as requiring its occupant to have access to classified information.

    Approved May 22, 2018.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--H.R. 3210:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

HOUSE REPORTS: No. 115-258 (Comm. on Oversight and Government Reform).
SENATE REPORTS: No. 115-185 (Comm. on Homeland Security and Governmental 
Affairs).
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD:
                                                        Vol. 163 (2017):
                                    July 26, considered and passed 
                                        House.
                                                        Vol. 164 (2018):
                                    Mar. 15, considered and passed 
                                        Senate, amended.
                                    May 7, House concurred in Senate 
                                        amendment.
DAILY COMPILATION OF PRESIDENTIAL DOCUMENTS (2018):
            May 22, Presidential statement.

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