The federal government is struggling to conduct background checks on people seeking security clearances, creating a backlog that one industry group says encompasses more than 700,000 applicants.
As of March, the process for a top secret security clearance took more than 450 days to conclude, a federal official reported in May, more than a half-year longer than it took in April 2016.
As the backlog has mounted, the Office of Personnel Management recently stopped reporting on the numbers of people waiting for approval. The decision to halt reporting comes as George Nesterczuk, the man President Trump nominated to lead the effort withdrew his name from consideration, leaving OPM without a permanent director.
The delay is complicating life for government contractors, as a shortage of cleared, qualified employees makes it hard to fill key positions and put people to work on sensitive projects.
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