The Federal Government has established a single security vetting agency in the Department of Defence for Commonwealth security clearances.
The agency, to commence operations in October 2010, is expected to save the Government $5.3 million per year.
The Government said the single vetting agency would improve the Commonwealth’s security vetting process through ensuring that public servants and business contractors have a single clearance effective across government.
It would also address unnecessary and poorly designed regulation, and remove inconsistencies associated with the current decentralised approach.
“Currently more than 100 agencies replicate the processes of security vetting while more than 50 agencies hold separate contracts with vetting service providers,” Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, said in a statement. “The introduction of a single vetting agency will remove this inefficient duplications.”
Minister for Finance and Deregulation, Lindsay Tanner said the move was part of the Government’s Better Regulation Ministerial Partnerships aimed at cutting regulation and improving productivity.
“We have listened to the concerns of business and the wider community and taken action to cut red tape and improve efficiencies in our own backyard,” Tanner said.
About 50,000 security clearances were conducted across the Commonwealth in 2007/08.