Despite Cabinet Office rules to the contrary, many Government organisations require applicants to hold security clearance to the required level prior to being considered for even non-urgent work and this is often explicitly stated in advertisements.  This discriminates against those with no or lapsed security clearance.  Furthermore, applicants who wish to apply for such work cannot pay to have themselves cleared in advance.

Why is this idea important?

The current practice effectively creates a closed shop.  Removing such anti-competitive practices ensures that Government organisations have access to the best resources available in the marketplace and not just to those freelancers who have recent experience of security cleared work.  Either freelances should be able to apply for clearance in advance at their own expense or the existing rules should be properly applied.

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