It is a well known joke within the government and the military that getting security clearances can move at a glacial speed. It’s yet another example of sausage in the sausage factory –best you don’t really know how it gets made.
Though there are countless new employees who have to endure the security clearance process daily, along with untold numbers who need renewals and adjudications, never is there more of a glut than with the incoming of a new administration.
Hundreds of people across all government agencies are expected to begin their work before the confetti is even cleared from the ballrooms of inaugural parties. Hundreds of new administration officials are expected to hit the ground running on day one, if not before–and their work includes classified material –but many of them show up to the job for months with only an interim clearance.
It has always been this way– the snail’s pace with which this process moves. But it wasn’t until recently, when this chronic and well chronicled problem was thrust into the spotlight thanks to political posturing, that anyone else seemed to care. Somehow it seems unlikely that anything is going to change.