Tester Statement on Arrest of Government Contractor Accused of Stealing Data

(U.S. Senate)-Senator Jon Tester today issued the following statement after the FBI arrested Harold Thomas Martin III and charged him with stealing top secret data:

“This man’s alleged actions put our national security at risk, and potentially exposed top-secret information to our enemies. Until we can confidently guarantee that the folks receiving security clearances will keep our nation safe, I will continue to push for common-sense reforms to the background check process. These are the folks who have access to our nation’s most sensitive information, and it is critical that we hold them to the absolute highest security standards.”

Tester successfully included provisions in the 2016 NDAA that reformed how criminal history records are shared between law enforcement agencies and background investigators.

Tester is also sponsoring the Security Clearance Accountability, Reform, and Enhancement (SCARE) Act, which prohibits federal contractors and employees who have compromised the integrity of a background investigation from performing future background investigations.

In 2014, Tester’s Security Clearance Oversight Reform (SCORE) Act was signed into law and 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.

In August, Tester and Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) sent a letter to OPM Director Beth Cobert demanding answers about how the new National Background Investigations Bureau would better keep our nation’s most sensitive information and places secure.