Furloughs Could Endanger Feds’ Security Clearances
March 26, 2013
A top Republican senator is concerned that furloughs resulting from the sequester could endanger some federal employees’ security clearances.
Susan Collins of Maine has asked the agency that handles the government security clearance process not to rescind employees’ credentials because of financial problems stemming solely from being furloughed. “I understand the reason a security clearance could be revoked for an employee who is in financial trouble because of decisions he or she made,” Collins wrote in a March 19 letter to Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry. “In these unusual circumstances, however, employees may have financial difficulties due to the unexpected impact of sequestration.”
The government can revoke the security clearances of federal employees who fall into financial debt, which in turn can cost them their jobs since some positions require those credentials. Many agencies have said they will have to furlough workers to comply with the mandatory spending cuts under sequestration, meaning affected employees will receive smaller paychecks during the next six months.