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          Facing the backdrop of prolonged global economic crisis, UK Government was forced to seek new ways for cutting back increasing cost of an oversized administration. The most radical step so far has been the initiative to centralize security vetting. From now on, one independent body will be in charge of security vetting for Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), Security Service (MI5) and Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ).

           

          This proposal concludes the reform process that was initiated last year, when the Government standardized all security vetting procedures led by separate agencies and bodies. Through standardization and centralization, security and intelligence agencies will not be expected anymore to keep and develop autonomous capacities needed for vetting, effectively saving money earmarked for that purpose. It is estimated that the most basic background check costs around GBP 80, while a more complex procedure can cost as high as GBP 3,000.

           

          As one might expected, this proposal caused concern with many employees of security and intelligence services who felt this might have a negative effect on the principle of secrecy. They believe it might be counterproductive to have another body vetting their own colleagues and employees, having a first hand insight to names of their operatives.

           

          In the end it should be said that centralization and standardization of security vetting as a step forward in reform of state administration was not „invented“ by British Government; rather, it was Australia which established The Australian Government Security Vetting Agency - AGSVA as world's premier body tasked exclusively with security vetting. It is estimated that close to 5,3 million dollars are saved every year in this way. 

        • Tags: centralisation, security vetting, UK, security services, standardisation
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