Are You Experiencing Security Clearance Processing Delays?
Over the past several months we’ve heard from both hiring managers and cleared candidates that security clearance processing delays are becoming a serious problem. It’s no surprise that in the wake of the Office of Personnel Management cybersecurity breach, the 30-day eQIP shutdown, and some major reshuffling in contract investigation companies, delays are going to happen. The most recently released figures from the National Industrial Security Policy Program Committee bear that out. Top Secret and Secret investigation times have increased by about 50 days, and Top Secret reinvestigation times have increased by more than 80 days.
What do processing delays mean? Combined with a shrinking cleared population, they’re a serious concern for government contracting firms. Faced with the uncertainty of how a new investigation will turn out and with a three month waiting period, already cleared candidates certainly have the hiring advantage.
Do the recently reported figures hold true for your investigations?
My timeline thus far… interviewed and accepted a job offer from a gov’t contractor on July 30th. I did finger print and and submitted initial background check info the same day. I submit E-Qip (form SF-86) for secret clearance 20th of Aug. The credit bureau’s sent me notification that OPM pulled my credit in mid Oct. and my current supervisor received a questionnaire to fill out around the same time frame. I have not contacted my FSO, but the recruiter called me yesterday to informed me they have not heard from DOD regarding my clearance and to make sure I was still interested in waiting for the position. Since I am employed, I have the luxury of waiting; but the wait is nerve racking. I will update any change to my status.
I accepted a job with a contractor in mid-July 2015, but because of the OPM background investigation shut down I couldn’t submit my SF-86 until 1 September 2015 with investigation opened on 15 September 2015…I have now been waiting 14 months and have yet to hear from an investigator. The big issue with all of this is that I worked as an employee of an intelligence community agency for 10 years. They failed to update my background investigation at 5 years and I was at 3 years out of scope when I resigned. I took some time off because I was told by the Agency I resigned from and the contractor that once I submitted my reinvestigation paperwork my SCI would be recertified and I would be able to start working again. The FSO claims the SBPR average is now 297 days from initiation to adjudication but again I am at 400+ days with not even a call from an investigator.
I submitted my first eQIP application in late December 2015. After a couple of misfires involving my middle initial wandering outside the signature box followed by a second misfire due to my fingerprints expiring, my third eQIP was filed and accepted in June 2016 and the T3 investigation started in early Sept. At this point, it’s crickets. I haven’t heard a peep other than being told to complete the new counterintelligence training course requirement which becomes effective Nov 30. As others have stated, my FSO has no status information. It appears that my contract employer will keep me on for now despite the lack of a clearance but I get the impression my job is running on fumes until such time as an interim is granted. It might be time to start looking for a non-clearance job.
I was just contacted by my recruiter and he informed me that I received an interim clearance. Quick re-cap of my situation… Submitted eQip Aug 20th 2016, it took roughly 90 actual days to receive interim. My eQIP was by no means clean. Marijuana use from 2005 until 2012, I was arrested and plead no contest to domestic abuse in 2010 completing unsupervised probation in 2014, credit bad but settled all the delinquencies in 2015, and my oldest child was born and lives in Canada. I fully mitigated each negative or eyebrow raising item to the best of my ability in the spaces provided on the eQIP. So, I just want to tell everybody waiting to hang in there and best of luck.
Hi All, below is my history:
Going to work for a DOD contractor on a conditional job offer that requires full secret clearance to start, doing aviation work in war zone. First time for security for me and no prior military. Clean and uncomplicated background including financial, family members and foreign travel. SF-86 history filled out for 10 years at employer’s request. Not a young person either, over 50.
8/23/16 – SF 86 Submitted to DOD CAF
9/25/16 - OPM sent investigative employment request to my employers, all of whom returned them promptly.
11/4/16 (after about 70 days or 10 weeks) – Interim Secret received.
Have not seen a credit check show up and none of my references have been contacted, nor have I.
Two questions please:
#1 do any particular jobs or employers get priority over others in the security clearance process?
#2 is it normal (or required) for an applicant for Secret to be interviewed during the investigative or adjudication process?
Hope this helps someone, good luck.
No…actually it has been just 123 business days going by wolfram. If when I read “Days” it is meant business days…then I have been really off on my scale.
Since a number of you have referenced getting into financial trouble while waiting for clearances/jobs to come through, I want to note that filing a Ch. 7 bankruptcy is no longer a big issue UNLESS you incurred the debt by living a lavish lifestyle, gambling, and something unsavory. Running up credit cards to stay afloat while unemployed (or underemployed) – or due to other unavoidable events such as a large medical expense – happens (and has happened) to a lot of us. In the fall of 2014, I finally landed a job after several years of looking and 800+ applications. I had freelance income during only one of those several years. Shortly after my then-employer got the application process started for my Secret clearance, I realized I’d need to file for a Ch. 7 or I’d go under financially. I went to our company’s security officer and explained my situation. He reassured me that none of my reasons for needing to file would disqualify me, so I proceeded to file with the assistance of a NoVa attorney (Robert Weed) who has decades of experience helping people with clearances (or who hope to get clearances). My bankruptcy was discharged in June 2015, and my Secret clearance was adjudicated in July. (I now have an interim TS.) Discharging your debts (federal student loans excepted) through a bankruptcy makes you far less of a security risk than if you’re drowning in debt – so it’s worth checking out before you lose everything.
Army changing MOS for which a TS is required to begin training. Submitted packet in NOV16 and the only information I get from my security handler whenever he checks my status is that it is open. Investigators have not yet contacted my references. My case should be an easy one, I have zero social media, one credit card that I never use, good credit, no arrests, and my father and two brothers are all military and all have TS clearance. Is there some way to see what is going on with my case or is their anyone I can contact to get the ball rolling? It looks like everyone is in my position, but it can’t hurt to ask.
I’d call hotline just make sure the investigation is closed. (724) 794-5612 ext 7000, then dial 2, then dial 4.
Timeline below are the latest one for 1Q2018
I was already interviewed, both for the subject interview and a follow up interview where I had to show the investigator my medication. I spoke to several references and almost none of them says that they were contacted. They only person I’m aware of that that they spoke to was my supervisor.