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General Accounting Office, Classified Information: Costs of Protection Are Integrated With Other Security Costs (NSIAD-94-55) (Oct. 20, 1993) (full-text).


Pursuant to a congressional request, the GAO reviewed the costs of protecting national security information. The GAO found that: (1) governmentwide costs directly applicable to national security information totalled over $350 million in 1992, including $239 million for security clearances, $58 million for secure equipment, $49 million for courier services, and $6 million for declassification work; (2) in addition, the government spends billions of dollars annually for physical safeguards to protect both classified and unclassified information and property, and secure communications and computers used for sensitive, but unclassified, data, and for administrative tasks associated with information security; and (3) the Department of Defense has taken action to standardize procedures and reduce the costs associated with handling classified information and security clearances.