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After criticism, Obama officials quietly craft new polygraph policy

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James ClapperThe Obama administration is drawing up a new national polygraph policy in the wake of allegations that federal agencies are pushing legal and ethical limits during screenings of job applicants and employees.

The decision by National Intelligence Director James Clapper to draft a new policy comes after his office conducted a review of federal polygraph programs and after McClatchy detailed allegations of polygraph abuses. Clapper’s review found “inconsistencies” across the government that led him to order a new policy, but it also found that “all programs were operating appropriately,” Clapper’s public affairs office said in a statement to McClatchy.

But a congressman who’d asked Clapper to look into alleged polygraph abuses said the director was being “dismissive” of a more serious problem with the way the federal government conducts its screenings. In its statement, Clapper’s public affairs office said the inconsistencies “related to administrative practices, rather than the substance of the polygraphs.” The review was completed between July and August.

“This is a non-response,” said Rep. Rush Holt, a New Jersey Democrat. “I’m really concerned that throughout the intelligence community there has been an unwillingness to ask critical questions about polygraph.”


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