In 2010, I submitted a suggestion to help Subject’s submit a better questionnaire. The suggestion was dismissed because the 2010 SF 86 was supposed to cure all submission problems.
The issue with the security questionnaire is the complexity of the questions and process. A regular person reading the security questionnaire once every five years does not have the time or desire to learn how to fill out the questionnaire.
We have another complex submission that almost every adult American has to do each year. Income tax submission. I argue that your security questionnaire submission and income tax reporting processes have shared issues in common.
How does the IRS get citizens (Subjects) to correctly submit complex forms in a timely manner? There are tax accountants, tax lawyers, and tax preparation businesses. There is also computer guided tax programs.
What if the Federal government allowed Intuit (or others) to create a user friendly security questionnaire program? A program that would ask you questions and help you prepare your questionnaire on your computer, before submission. The program could “audit” your form and ask you corrective questions, such as, “you lived in Iowa but work in Iraq from 2015 to 2016. Is this correct?” The Subject could make all the corrections before the submission.
This product would save the government money even if the product never went to the general public but was allowed by contractor companies and large federal agencies to buy/license. Subject interviews would be shorter and hopefully current contact information would be accurate. Marketing the program by the third party company would allow experts to build the program without the government having to fund the program.
Even if the product was only commercially available, Subjects and companies in the know would spend the money to have a quick, complete, security questionnaire created.
One argument I’ve seen is the electronic submission from a private computer to the government system not being secure. This has been worked out before, (see the IRS system) but accuracy would improve even if the Subject printed their responses then input the information into the government system manually. Also, the Subject would have their information on their computer - for updates whenever needed.
The second argument I’ve seen is that people will still lie on their forms. I counter that this will help us identify people who intentionally falsify versus the Subject mistakenly falsifies their submission.
That is two cents worth. Does anyone else have any workable suggestions?