Fedweek

Washington DC - June 22 2021: Capitol Police perform a security sweep outside the Senate chamber before a key vote on a voting rights bill, at the Capitol.

The White House’s recently released “national strategy for countering domestic terrorism” says that the administration intends to add to the security screening requirements for many federal jobs.

“Pre–employment background checks and re–investigations for government employees is a critical screening process that must account for all possible terrorist threats . . . We are working to augment the screening process for those who join the military and federal law enforcement as well as any government employee who receives a security clearance or holds a position of trust by considering changes to the Standard Form (SF)–85, SF–85P, and SF–86 federal employee background questionnaires, along with applicable military screening questionnaires,” it says.

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“This effort can help to ensure that new applicants and employees undergoing re–investigations are abiding by legal obligations, including in providing candid and forthright representations, and to prevent individuals who pose domestic terrorism threats from being placed in positions of trust,” it says.

It adds: “We are also improving our systems and mechanisms for identifying anyone who has already been granted a sensitive position of trust within the federal workforce who would misuse that position in violation of law, including domestic terrorism–related activities. The Department of Defense, for example, is reviewing and updating its definition of prohibited extremist activities among uniformed military personnel, and will consider appropriate policy recommendations and options to address such activity by and among civilian employees and contractors.”

The document, the result of a review ordered by President Biden issued on his first day in office, does not provide an expected timetable for such changes.

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