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Project on Government Oversight

POGO and Allies Tell Congress to Keep the Report on Security Clearances

Chair Dianne Feinstein
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
211 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510

Chair Mike Rogers
House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
Capitol Visitor Center HVC-304
Washington, DC 20515

Vice Chair Saxby Chambliss
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
211 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510

Ranking Member Dutch Ruppersberger
House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
Capitol Visitor Center HVC-304
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chair Feinstein, Vice-Chair Chambliss, Chair Rogers, and Ranking Member Ruppersberger,

We are writing to urge you to preserve the existing statutory requirement for the Intelligence Community to prepare an annual report to Congress regarding security clearances.

That requirement, which was enacted in the FY2010 Intelligence Authorization Act (50 U.S.C. 415A-10), would be repealed by the Senate Committee markup of the FY2013 Intelligence Authorization Act (S.3454, Section 308(a)(3)). The House Committee markup leaves the reporting requirement unaffected.

We believe the annual report on security clearances provides exceptional value to the public and should continue to be published.

In the two years that the report has been produced, it has dramatically altered our conception of the size and scale of the personnel security clearance system. Prior to the reporting requirement, the Government Accountability Office could only estimate the number of security cleared personnel, and its latest estimate was low by more than a million clearances.

As evidence of the exceptional public interest in this report, we note that the findings of the latest annual report have appeared in the New York Times (July 24), the Washington Post (July 28), and McClatchy Papers (July 27), among others. As you know, this level of attention is well above average for a report to Congress on any topic.

Through this annual reporting requirement, your Committees have provided an unprecedented degree of transparency concerning the security clearance system. We thank you for that, and we respectfully request that you maintain this important reporting requirement.

Sincerely,

American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee

American Association of Law Libraries

American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression

Association of Research Libraries

Bill of Rights Defense Committee

Brennan Center for Justice

Essential Information

Federation of American Scientists

Freedom of Information Center at the Missouri School of Journalism

Government Accountability Project – GAP

James Madison Project

National Coalition Against Censorship

National Freedom of Information Coalition

National Security Counselors

OMB Watch

OpenTheGovernment.org

Progressive Librarians Guild

Project On Government Oversight – POGO

Sunlight Foundation

Understanding Government

Union of Concerned Scientists, Scientific Integrity Program

Washington Coalition for Open Government

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