The government is aiming to make the barring and vetting system more fit for purpose with increased transparency. The first step has been to release a new policy document which centres around contractors working in roles which require security clearance.

This new policy document has been released as part of a security clearance booklet published by the government. On its release the authors stated that the policy update “clearly underlines some important considerations that the statement[s] it replaces did not.”

The authors clarified the often-contentious situation where contractors who do not possess security clearance are prevented from applying for roles where that clearance are is required. This has often been considered a catch 22 situation for the contractors as they cannot apply for security clearance without a positions which requires it but they cannot apply for these positions without security clearance.

Speaking to Contractor UK, HMG Personnel Security Controls stated that there should only be “exceptional circumstances” which would preclude a contractor for applying for a position without possessing clearance beforehand.

Officials commenting on the new policy document, however, have criticised it for not changing this situation for all contractors. It has only altered the vetting system where short term contracts are concerned or when there is a position which must “be filled urgently”. The officials concluded that there is “no substantive change to the policy on security vetting.”

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