Tester’s security clearance reform bill is law

President’s signature frees up watchdog resources to improve clearance process, make nation safer

(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester today released the following statement after the President signed his Security Clearance Oversight Reform (SCORE) Act into law. Tester’s bipartisan bill becomes law days after the U.S. Department of Justice filed a formal complaint alleging that USIS, the company that handled the background check on Edward Snowden, failed to properly complete more than 660,000 investigations of individuals seeking security clearances:

“Whether it’s Edward Snowden or Washington’s Navy Yard shooter, we’ve seen the dangers of folks playing fast and loose with the security clearance process. When companies put profit ahead of national security, Americans’ safety is threatened. This law will empower watchdogs to take action to make our nation more secure and our government more efficient. It’s a common-sense law that saves taxpayer dollars and makes Americans safer.”

Tester’s bill allows the Inspector General of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to use resources from the agency’s $2 billion Revolving Fund to more thoroughly investigate cases where the integrity of the background check process may have been compromised. Current law blocks OPM from using the funds to investigate the background check process.

Tester originally introduced the SCORE Act after Edward Snowden, a former government contractor, publicly revealed classified information in June. The bill stems from hearings Tester held in his Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee that oversees the federal workforce.

The bill passed the Senate in October and the House of Representatives in January. Because of a minor difference between the two bills, the Senate passed it again at the end of January.