asked Her Majesty's Government:
What is the average waiting time for security clearance for those who have applied to work in the forensic explosives laboratory; and whether they have proposals to speed up clearance for those who have waited for three months or longer.[HL7019]
For the year ending 30 June 2006, the Defence Vetting Agency (DVA) awarded a total of 34 developed vetting (DV) clearances and 306 security check (SC) clearances for personnel employed and waiting to be employed at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, Fort Halstead. These took an average of 74.6 days and an average of 61.7 days from receipt of application to clearance being awarded for DV and SC respectively. These figures apply to personnel at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, Fort Halstead in general; it is not possible for the DVA to supply figures for personnel in the forensic explosives laboratory without disproportionate effort. Within the vetting process, any outstanding checks are hastened at regular intervals. There is also the provision for sponsors to flag cases as priority at the outset, which will ensure priority handling throughout.