Clearances and Economy of Scale

Posted March 20th, 2007 by

Our government hasn’t had a ton of time to get their act together.  It’s only been 225 years, give or take, and in that time, we might have learned a thing or two.

So why is it that it took us this long before we could get one agency to recognize the clearances from another agency?  Even though OMB keeps trying to unify the clearance management systems, as a managed service provider I still have to convince every new client that I’m trustworthy because I have a DoD Top Secret.
So what’s the benefit?  Well, from my angle, one unified clearance system means economy of scale simply by avoiding a “Not Invented Here” attitude.  If I have 5 clients, 100 employees, and $5000 per person for a clearance, the savings add up really quickly if I just have to clear people once.

Now the strange thing is that by agencies having their own individual clearance system, we are creating an artificial scarcity of cleared people.  For somebody with a TS/SCI, starting salary in the DC area is around $80K/year, simply because of lack of supply.  That’s an indirect cost that we could avoid.

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