Background InvestigationsObtaining Security Clearance

Ask Your Clearance Questions – Part 15

Our popular ongoing series allows you to ask your most complex questions regarding security clearances and our regular contributors of present and former clearance investigators and adjudicators will try to answer them. The rules are listed below. Failure to abide by them will mean your question will be deleted.

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Comment Archive

  1. Avatar

    I’m 31, and I’m considering joining the Navy. The jobs I’m interested in require an SSBI for TS clearance, or a BI for Secret clearance. 7 years ago I was civilly committed for about 100 days. Will this disqualify me?

  2. Avatar

    I am looking at interviewing for a job that requires secret level security clearance and possible Top Secret clearance later in my career there. I have however in the past, hired a mexican nanny that was here on a tourist visa and not a work visa. I have also hired (on 3-4 occasions) day laborers who may or may not be illegal to perform construction work around the house (i am not sure as I did not ask them whether they could legally work in the US). Would I be granted secret and possibly top secret clearance?

  3. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson,
    You wrote:
    Adjudicator 101:

    Recently DNI issued ICPG #704.2, “Personnel Security Adjudication Guidelines for Determining Eligibility for Access To Sensitive Compartmented Information and Other Controlled Access Program Information.” This document has an Annex A that is suppose to be the Dec 2005 Adjudicative Guidelines, but. . . the Foreign Preference guideline in Annex A is significantly different than the Dec 05 Adjudicative Guidelines.

    Any idea why it’s different? Is this a new revision to the Adjudicative Guidelines? Is it applicable to collateral clearances?

    **So sorry for the delay; Industrial clearances only are adjudicated up to a TS level. SCI or SAP programs are adjudicated by the military branch the particular project is for. I have not been briefed on the Annex as it does not pertain to Industrial, only military or AGAs. If you find out or already know by now, let me know. Thanks.

  4. Avatar

    As an Army Intel Officer I had a TS/SBI w/SCI+ from 1980 to 1996. Last year I went to work for a contractor in Afghanistan who initiated a SSBI PR and I was granted an interim TS. The SSBI was completed and submitted in November 2007 but DISCO did not do an adjudication before I left the contractor’s employ in March 2008. Now I’ve been offered a postion with another contractor which only requires a SECRET clearance. They’ve requested via an RRU (?) that an adjudication be done based on the SSBI PR. 1. Is the SSBI PR too old now for an adjudication? 2. Under current rules will the adjudication (assume no adverse information) likely result in a TS w/SCI eligibility or just a TS collateral or something else?

  5. Avatar

    joe blow,
    More information is going to be needed than just “civilly committed fo about 100 days”.

  6. Avatar


    Can you plese be more specific. What sort of information? A person is civilly committed for one of 3 reasons, the person is mentally ill, and considered:

    * Gravely Ill

    * A threat to self

    * A threat to others

    I was committed because of the last two.

  7. Avatar

    What exactly are IT-1, IT-2, etc.? (I had to have one of these for working at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.)

    What exactly are ADP-1, ADP-2, etc.? (I had to have one of these for working at the DOD in a “back office” job.)

  8. Avatar

    I am a lawyer in private practice. Three years ago, I began working on a litigation that required me to apply for national security clearance (secret). I was completely honest on the application, which required me to disclose all drug use going back 10 years. This included use of cocaine and heroin about five years earlier and some more recent use of marijuana. Eventually, I was told that my application would be rejected, so DOJ gave me the chance to withdraw my application voluntarily so that I would never have to say that I’d been denied clearance in the future.

    I’m now considering applying for a federal government position that will require secret clearance, and I think they’ll ask for the standard 7 year disclosure rather than 10 years. I haven’t used any drugs in the past year, and the only drug use I would have to disclose in the past 7 years is marijuana.

    Two questions: (1) When I previously went through this process, I asked DOJ to destroy my application materials, which they said they would do. Do you think my file was actually destroyed? Is there any way to confirm this? (2) Would occasional use of marijuana over the past 7 years but not in the past 12 months likely prevent me from getting clearance?

    There are absolutely no other red flags on my record. Many thanks.

  9. Avatar

    joe blow,
    The mental health question is a 7 year question on the
    SF-86 so depending exactly when you were committed you may not even have to list it. Yet if you do list it investigators are very limited in asking questions regarding mental health to both the SUBJECT and the medical practioner who is listed. Your investigator will ask you the nature of the mental health counseling and then confirm the dates of treatment and the name/address of the medical practioner. The SF-86 medical release will be used when the practioner is contacted. If he/she answers “no” to the first question then we just get the dates of treatment and if the info can be released directly to the SUBJECT of investigation. If he/she answers yes to the first question then we follow up with the additional questions on the medical release and then obtain a medical specific release from the SUBJECT. A full interview is conducted with the medical practioner along with the review of the medical record. The information is then reported with the specific answer to the question about a recommendation for a position of National Security or Public Trust depending on the case type.
    From there it is in the agency’s hands and it will be up to them to grant the clearance or not.

  10. Avatar

    Adjudicator 101:
    As you know the DNI now has unilateral authority establish policies and standards regarding collateral and SCI clearances. The new Foreign Preference guideline in ICPG #704.2 is almost a 180 degree change (more permissive) from previous policy. I can’t imagine that the granting of SCI eligibility would rely on a much more permissive standard than that used for collateral clearances.

    ICPG #704.2 basically says that it is okay for a US citizen to seek and obtain foreign citizenship unless there is a heightened risk of . . . . so, it will be okay for some countries but not okay for others.


  11. Avatar

    Has anyone used the new July 2008 version of the SF86 or its eQIP equivalent?

  12. Avatar

    I have conducted a few PRSIs using it.

  13. Avatar

    I have recently completed my five year update for my SSBI, I have passed the poly and still waiting for the “official nod” How long can they take to get back to my security focals to let them know I’m good for another five years?

  14. Avatar

    I just got a job and they want me to provide proof of clearance so that they don’t have to start the process from the beginning. how do I do this? I know I have an active clearance that was updated about three years ago. Thanks in advance.

  15. Avatar

    Until recently I had held an active clearance. I was laid off in the midst of my periodic investigation while my clearance was still active in 2007. I have applied for jobs and was accepted for a position which required a clearance but to my suprise was utimately rejected because unbeknowest to me there is some type of problem with my clearance information which I was never made aware of. How do I find out the true status in JPAS and if detrimental what if anything are the grounds for negative info so that I can respond to them

  16. Avatar

    Does anyone know the rules of adjudication when it involves polygraphs? How are polygraphs used during adjudication (ie the results, how the person acted, information in the session gathered, etc).

    Also, does anyone know the adjudication authority for the agencies under the DoD in the IC?

    Finally, how long is it currently taking for adjudication within these adjudication authorities?


  17. Avatar


    Question 28 of SF86 reads:

    In the last 7 years (if an SSBI go back 10 years), have you been a party to any public record civil court action(s) not listed elsewhere on this form?

    Would I need to report my committal here, since this would be an SSBI? I don’t know if it is a public record civil court action. It was in a civil court 7 years ago, but I don’t know if it’s considered public record.

    Also, you mention:

    The SF-86 medical release will be used when the practioner is contacted. If he/she answers “no” to the first question then we just get the dates of treatment and if the info can be released directly to the SUBJECT of investigation. If he/she answers yes to the first question then we follow up with the additional questions on the medical release and then obtain a medical specific release from the SUBJECT.

    What are the questions on this medical release?

    I have seen multiple providers since my committal. The last one in April of this year. However, some of the therapists I saw are no longer with the clinics where I saw them. And in perhaps two cases the clinics I was seen at have taken on new names, and perhaps new ownership. Will those providers still have to be contacted?

    I have been considered “disabled” by the social security department since my release, but I am hoping to have this changed before applying. Will this be a factor?

    Finally, will I be required to discuss the content of my sessions with therapists?

    Thanks for your help.

  18. Avatar

    I have filed an Appeal of a “decision” made by DSS not to remove a false JPAS incident report even though I furnished documentation from an investigation performed by a State agency (granting me unemployment benefits) that these charges were false. My Appeal FOIA/PA #818-28(2) was filed on September 1, 2008. HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO WAIT for a reasonable intelligent review of my record. DSS has been jerking me around for over 6 months! I have had a Secret Security Clearance since 1965 and now cannot get a job because of this false report.

  19. Avatar


    I am interested in knowing if the issues below would be disqualifiers for a Secret Clearance. I am now 37.

    1) Bankruptcy – To be finalized end of 2008 – Job Loss, Rental Investment Gone Bad are the main culprits.

    2) DUI – Over 12 years ago – Rarely drink and certainly don’t drive and drive anymore.

    3) Smoked pot in college – Haven’t touched in 15 or more years and don’t plan on doing it or any other drugs again. Just not my thing.

    4) Alcohol related accident over 14 years ago – didn’t get a ticket or into any trouble whatsoever. I was a little banged up so I think they considered it punishment enough.

    Don’t even know if a police report said anything about it being alcohol related. Again those are certainly the past and no chance of re-occurance.

    5) When a personal reference is given – Is the the backgroud of that person also investigated? Can I be held responsible for knowing a person a long time ago who has had “unacceptable” behavior since then?

    Thanks for your help.

  20. Avatar


    Are people using both the paper version and the eQIP version of the new SF86?

    Okay, I’m confused. OPM Federal Investigation Notice #08-03(revised), Subject: Revised Standard Form 86, dated 8 Aug 08, which didn’t get posted at their website until a couple of weeks ago, announces the “FUTURE” implementation of the Jul 08 version of the SF86. The old versions of the SF86, SF85, SF85P, etc. should have expired on 30 Sep 08; however, on about 28 Sep 08 OMB gave OPM another emergency extension until 31 Dec 08. Perhaps OPM only needed the emergency extension for the other forms (SF85, SF85P, etc). But why no announcement about the implementation of the new SF86?

    But it still doesn’t make sense to issue a FIN to announce the future implementation of a new form, but not issue any announcement when it is implemented.

  21. Avatar


    I just started with a contractor and need to fill out an eQIP SF-86 Document. If I am in the process of filing Chapter 13 in where I gave up my house and a car but I am paying everyone back at 100% on the dollar. Due to the fact I had to move back home to take care of familiy and economy, where I owed more than what my house was worth. Will I be able to get my interim secret clearance? As I know they look at the financial history. I have no criminal history and I currently hold a confidential clearance. I also had a previous Chapter 13 Discharged in 2004.


  22. Avatar

    It is my understanding that both versions of the SF-86 are still being used because some agencies still have to do some internal updates before they can start using the new SF-86. What the internal updates are I do not know. The cases I have worked on in which the SUBJECT has used the new SF-86 were for DHS. I am guessing the extension is so these agencies can do what ever internal updates they need to do. I have been advised that 01/09 is when OPM wants all agencies to just use the new version of the SF-86. But then again that could change. You never know with OPM.
    Also there have been some questions regarding the questions on the new SF-86 (if that makes sense). OPM has recently released a document clarifying some of the questions on the new SF-86 to make it easier for security officers and investigators to explain to SUBJECTs.

  23. Avatar

    joe blow,
    If you look on the OPM website or even just google SF-86 medical release you will find one and you can read the questions on the form.
    You may want to do some research to determine if your situation was public record so you know whether to list it or not. The best I can tell you is to be honest. As for the providers you have seen in the past 7 years, yes you will have to list them along with the dates of treatment and their addresses. It is your investigator’s responsibility to find these providers and or clinics.
    As for being considered disabled a negative factor for your clearance I can not answer that since I am not an adjudicator or the agency hiring you. I also can not answer if you will have to discuss your sessions with therapists. That will be up to the agency who hires you as well.
    If you feel you are qualified for what ever position you are applying for I encourage you to apply for it and be truthful throughout your entire hiring process including on your SF-86 and during your interview. You never know what may happen.

  24. Avatar

    I have another question. Is taking an anti-depressent considered being treated for a mental health issue? Dumb question, I know, but I was prescribed this a couple of years ago due to depression brought on by a long illness. I haven’t had any symptoms of depression in over two years, and I am still ont he medicine.


  25. Avatar

    I applied for a TS clearance back in August and an investigator came to my workplace and also interviewed my neighbors and former places of employment. This was well over 6 weeks ago. I just called the personal references (3)which I listed on the SF86 and was told that they have not been contacted. Should I be concerned? Are these people always contacted?

  26. Avatar

    Yes. It doesn’t matter whether the anti-depressent is prescribed by a psychiatrist or a general practitioner. Any mental health counseling or treatment must be investigated, but rarely does it ever result in a clearance denial, unless the applicant refuses to follow treatment recommendations for a current serious illness.

  27. Avatar

    Investigator: Thanks for the info.

  28. Avatar

    Hi all,

    Does anyone know the contact information for checking the status of a CBP clearance? I found this address ([email protected]) in a previous post but it is no longer active. I wanted to contact CBP directly because I have not heard anything in a few weeks. Also, how long does it typical take for a CBP BI to go through?
    Information on my case that may help:
    – My contacts are spread around the country
    – I’ve been in delay for about a month
    – I have not spoken with an investigator yet (is this normal)

    Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks, Andrew

  29. Avatar

    Hi, what happened to my TS clearance? I was hired by DRS-TSI and sent to Iraq with TS/DSS on my LOI in 2007. Now back in USA I was successful in finding a job, but they can’t “find” my TS. I’ve contacted DRS-TSI and was told that I only have a secret…but I’m sure that I had TS on my security badge for Al Faw Palacem too. HOW CAN I FIND OUT ABOUT MY TS CLEARANCE? Can a company withdraw or keep your TS clearance? I’ve asked my Senators and Representative for help, but have not heard a peep from them. I’ve emailed the security officer at Al Faw but have not received a response yet. I need my TS so I can start work! I need $ to pay my mortgage.

  30. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson,
    I guess looking at the adjudicative process, in my experience, the country in question was always the main issue. A Pakistan national or Canadian national, both weigh different in my ‘adjudicative eyes’. The country has always been looked at closely, however; dual citizenship is not as bad as it sounds. I could be a dual citizen with say…the UK, have family there, an apartment, travel there often. I would only be considered a security issue if I had a foreign passport. There has not been, as far as I know, anyone with a foreign passport AND a DoD security clearance. I could still be a dual citizen, and not a security risk, and get my clearance if I only traveled on my US passport. I think the Foreign Preference problems come down to the passport issue, not a citizenship issue.
    Is that what you see too?

  31. Avatar

    You are not required to provide proof! They should have access to JPAS, if indeed their company is actually cleared also, and look up your social security number and see your information. The Facility Security Officer should do that for you. What company are you applying with????

  32. Avatar

    I was put in for an SCI today, and the program office is asking me to provide a copy of the SF86 (updated with a pen) I submitted for my TS back in July. There were some minor errors in it that I addressed during the field interview, and the TS is already granted (after just 3 months). For the SCI, do I need to fix those errors or just leave them? The only real update is my investigations record, which now includes the TS.

  33. Avatar

    You will most likely here from an investigator once the CBP processes all of your information. When you say it has been a “few weeks” since you heard anything what do you mean? A few weeks since you turned in your SF-86 or SF-85P or a few weeks since a representative from CBP has actually spoken with you?

  34. Avatar

    Six weeks is not a long time. Also we do not always interview the listed references on a SUBJECT’s case papers. How many places have lived and worked at in the past 7 years? Were they all in the same city or were they spread out over various cities and states?

  35. Avatar

    Adjudicator 101:

    I understand what you are saying about dual citizenship, but I think it only applies to people who are dual citizens based solely on their parents’ citizenship or birth in a foreign country.

    There is no mitigating condition in the Dec 05 Adjudicative Guidelines (AG) for “(b) action to acquire or obtain recognition of a foreign citizenship by an American citizen.” The new Intelligence Community AG says it is okay to acquire foreign citizenship and it is okay to use a foreign passport, except to enter and exit the United States.

  36. Avatar

    bald eagle:
    What do you mean by: “TS/DSS on my LOI?” Anyone processed for a clearance by DSS has a record in JPAS that lists their clearance (investigative and adjudicative) history. A company can not withdraw or keep your TS clearance. The FSO of the company where you apply for employment will have access to JPAS and can look up your clearance history. If you did not have a Personal Subject Interview, where an OPM investigator spent about an hour or so with you going over each item on your SF86, you were not investigated for a TS clearance. Another indicator: if you didn’t have access to Top Secret information while employed with DRS-TSI, you probably didn’t have a Top Secret clearance.

  37. Avatar

    It is doubtful that anyone who is in the process of filing for bankruptcy (chapter 7 or 13) would be granted an interim clearance at any level. Without looking at the bankruptcy records there is no way an adjudicator can tell if all the delinquent debt listed in a credit report are included in the bankruptcy. And even then an adjudicator will want to see that the applicant actually makes a few payments to the trustee on time and will want detailed information about the circumstances that lead to the bankruptcy.

  38. Avatar

    When you apply for federal employment that requires a secret clearance, there will be an investigation (ANACI) that will be used for both employment suitability and security clearance adjudication. Twelve months of abstinence after occasionally using marijuana over a period of several years may be sufficient to mitigate the drug issue for security clearance purposes, but you also have to get past the personnel officer who may decide that you are not best qualified among those considered, particularly if you are applying for a position as a lawyer. I have no idea whether DOJ lied to you or not about destroying your paper file. It probably doesn’t matter unless you are applying to DOJ for employment. What you really want to know is whether your previous clearance application form can be retrieved by the investigative agency that does a future investigation on you. That depends on whether your clearance application was submitted for investigation before you backed out of the process with DOJ.

    BTW isn’t illegal drug use grounds for disbarrment?

  39. Avatar

    For the question regarding ADP 1&2 and IT 1&2:

    What we have here is a difference in terminologies. ADP = Automated Data Processing (computers), and IT means IT equipment of course.

    The levels are set based on access and $$ value. A Systems Administrator who has access to X number of systems or admin access to systems worth $X (dollar amount) is considered an IT or ADP 2, and the higher the numbers above, you go to ADP or IT 1.

    ADP or IT 1 require an SSBI background check, but not neccessarily a TS clearance. ADP 2 depends on the systems/agency and ADP/IT 3 (normal user) requires a NAC.

  40. Avatar

    The only adjudicatively significant issue is the bankruptcy. Bankruptcy itself is not a potentially disqualifying condition; the main concern is the events and circumstances that lead to the bankruptcy and money management following the bankruptcy. Generally if a bankruptcy is caused by circumstances beyond your control, then the greater the chance of mitigating this financial issue. Two alcohol related incidents 12 & 14 years ago are not a concern; however, your current use of alcohol will be examined more closely because of it. You are not judged based on the conduct of others, unless they can influence you to become involved in some type of misconduct. Your references will not be investigated, because the agency doing your clearance investigation has no authority to do so.

  41. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson,
    I am speechless, befuddled. WTF might be the proper term.

  42. Avatar

    Hello, everyone, I just filled up the EQuip for Interim Secret clearance. I’m wondering how the adjudicator evaluate the “foreign Influence”. I put down the mitigating information.

  43. Avatar

    I am currently goin through the pocess of enlisting in the Marines. I have past alcohol charges including disorderly and resisting (2x), dui, misd. batery, misd poss. of mj. If the waiver gets accepted and i get the job i want that requires secret clearance, when does this get conducted? before meps or after? If after, what happens if im in the mos school and i get denied?

    thanks in advance

  44. Avatar

    There may not be anything negative in your clearance record. The 2 most likely problems related to your prior clearance are:

    1) The clearance level required at the new job is higher than the clearance you previously held.
    2) Your previous investigation (not the periodic reinvestigation that was not completed) may be too far out of date for your clearance to be reinstated at the same level and a completely new clearance investigation may be required. The incomplete PR is probably worthless at this point.

    You can make a Freedom of Information/Privacy Act request to the adjudicative agency to obtain information about your investigation and adjudication history.

  45. Avatar


    Your SBI from the army was too far out of date to have a new TS clearance granted based on an SSBI-PR. And if you were granted an interim TS clearance it would have been based on a new SSBI as you stated in your third sentence.

    The SSBI completed in Nov 07 should be sufficient for adjudicating and granting a Secret clearance. You can only be granted the level of clearance requested by your employer and the employer is limited by the level of its Facility Security Clearance. It is possible to have your SSBI that was completed in Nov 07 used as the basis for adjudicating and granting a TS clearance only if your employer requests it and if the adjudicative agency is willing to accept a slightly dated SSBI. SCI is a little more complicated. For either a TS or TS/SCI additional paperwork (updated SF86 or SF86C) may be required. For TS/SCI additional investigative action, such as a polygraph may be required. Although your situation is a common one, it is not clearly covered by regulations and is left to the internal policies of individual government agencies.

  46. Avatar

    I recommend making pen corrects to everything that needs to be corrected, minor or major.

  47. Avatar

    There are more than 13 agencies that process your type of clearance. Each has different caseloads and turnaround times. None have published any current information about adjudication time. Typically PRs are given lower priority than initial clearances, because clearances don’t “expire” if paperwork for the PR is submitted on time.

  48. Avatar

    Adjudication questions:
    The general rule within DOD is that adverse action will not be taken solely on the basis of a polygraph exam chart that indicates deception. However, verbal statements made by the applicant before, during, and after the exam are relevant and material. Of course it’s not that simple. To fully understand all the rules and exceptions to the rules, it is necessary to read DoD Regulation 5210.48 (specifically paragraph C1.1.6). The same information is also contained in paragraph 4.9 of DoD Directive 5210.48. Rules for other federal agencies may differ significantly.

  49. Avatar

    Kenneth Berkowitz:
    I have never encountered the type of situation you have described so I can offer no direct response to your question. In a more general vein, investigative reports normally contain information from personal and record sources of varying accuracy and often contain contradictory information. The subject of the investigation doesn’t have the right to have unfavorable information removed from the investigative report even if he can prove it is incorrect; instead the information offered by the subject of the investigation is made a part of the report, so the adjudicator can consider both the allegation of misconduct and any evidence that rebuts it. I am always very careful about terminology such as innocent versus not guilty and proven false versus insufficient to prove true. Courts do not find people innocent (they are found not guilty) and investigations rarely prove that something did not happen, just don’t prove that they did happen.

  50. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson:
    I am puzzled by your reply to my question repeated below.
    I have filed an Appeal of a “decision” made by DSS not to remove a false JPAS incident report even though I furnished documentation from an investigation performed by a State agency (granting me unemployment benefits) that these charges were false. My Appeal FOIA/PA #818-28(2) was filed on September 1, 2008. HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO WAIT for a reasonable intelligent review of my record. DSS has been jerking me around for over 6 months! I have had a Secret Security Clearance since 1965 and now cannot get a job because of this false report since my JPAS report indicates “Loss of Jurisdiction -DISCO” and potential employers will not wait 2 years for DSS/OPM to do an investigation.

  51. Avatar

    When I was 18 I was arrested for assualt on an officer and resisting arrest the assault on the officer charge was dropped and the resisting arrest was done as a prayer of judgment, at 20 I was arrested again for Fel. B&E, Fel. Larcony, Felony Poss. of Stolen Goods(which I realy didnt understand because they didnt even search me) Misd. Assult with a deadly weopon, resisting arrest, and 2 counts of injury to person property. all those charges were dropped except 1 injury to person property where I payed $13 restitution for breaking the door handle in the cop car. Basicly I had some “friends” do these things and I was merely seen with them that night and my small town law enforcments mentality is just to go ahead and arrest people with out investigating and let the court system decide. Other then that I had a couple of DUIs at 21 and 22 yrs old, I am now 27 and a college graduate considering a job with General Dynamics that could eventualy lead to job requiring security clearance, could any of this bar me from getting the clearance, or even the not clearance required job???

  52. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson:

    2005 I was granted TS clearance.
    2006 I was denied access to sci information
    2008 TS clearance was reinstated
    I have now started the process of attempting to gain access to sci information again….BUT after submission of the sf86 I was arrested for DUI. At this point I am not sure if my sponsor wants to move forward, I am waiting on that decision. If they choose I suggested contacting the NSA immediately to disclose that information. With that said, I know that is a very negative incident. Will that automatically diqualify me due to the recency?

  53. Avatar

    I, a naturalized citizen, am applying for TS/SCI in the military and started to fill out the e-Qip regarding the foreign activities. I reviewed my previously submitted SF 86 for Secret and realized that I did not list my previous summer jobs during college that I worked in my native country. These summer jobs were more than 10 years old and were stuff like work in retail store and temp agency type work. I think I didn’t list in the SF 86 because they were more than seven years old (for Secret) but I feel like I now made a mistake.

    Was there a change in this question where it is no longer asking for the specific period or was it my mistake for not listing them?

    Also, the question states whether I was employed by a “foreign government, firm or agency.” Would these nongovernmental, private employers fall under that definition?

    If the answer is affirmative, how do I rectify the situation? How serious of a mistake is it?

    Thank you for your guidance/opinion in advance.

  54. Avatar


    I was recently notified the intent to revoke access to SCI on 10/23/08. THe statement of reasons has 18 of unpaid, past due debts of which 10 are paid; 4 are large sums owed to colleges in which 3 are on included on a debt management program and 1 i just learned about through the SOR; 1 is a out of service debt to DFAS that I am trying to fix for a long time now; and the others have been on pyment plans through the DMP or store.

    I have proof of the circumstances that lead to this situation which was lack of income due to job lay offs, health issues, increased living expenses, car repairs and car accidents. I have done everything I can do to aliviate my circumstances but now I am facing unemployment and everyone I talk to has reccomended bankruptcy. I have returned the awknowledgemnt of reciept of the SOR stating that I intend to reply and requesting a copy of the documents.

    I have credit reports with responses to disputes, character refrences, statements as to why I incurred the debt from my mother and other family members and some other documents such as pay off letters. Is this enough to mitigate the concerns under guideline F?

  55. Avatar

    I had 4 questions regarding a TS security clearance investigation.

    1)I’m a second generation Asian American. My parents are naturalized citizens. I have quite a few relatives on my dad’s side who still live in India, Thailand, Japan and Malaysia and whom he and my mom are in frequent contact. I have been on a long family visit/backpacking trip and I visited some of them for the first time in over 13 years. Generally, I don’t have any contact on my own-all of it is just news i hear from my parents. Do I need to list everyone I’m related to and have visited once or twice in my entire life if my parents are in close contact with them or just foreign relatives with whom I see on a regular basis?

    2)Some of the aforementioned relatives overseas have had problems with my family (nothing more than petty family politics). However will this be an issue if they are interviewed given that part of the clearance is meant to see if I have good character.

    3) I left my first job out of college after one year. However, while there was no legally binding agreement, in the interview they ask if you are prepared to stay for a full two years. Initially, during the interview I said yes, but after a year and realizing the job was not nearly as interesting as they had made it out to be I resigned about 9 months ahead. I made up some partly true but semi BS excuse of why i wanted to resign because I wanted to avoid the dramatic scenes that have happened when others were more candid about why they were leaving.

    Anyways, well over 60% of the people employed in my position leave well before the 2nd year. All of us are hired straight out of college. However, how might this look to an adjudicator with regard to honesty/character? Is this something I should own up to in advance?

  56. Avatar

    I need a TS/SCI for my job. I sent in the SF-86, exhaustively listed every detail, left long remarks in the comment sections when I needed to, etc…but. For references, I listed friends from college (I’m 22) instead of professors, pastors, etc. I didn’t think any of them would say anything bad about me, I just thought that my friends knew me better and would give a more complete assessment of character. Have I done something very dumb?

  57. Avatar

    A friend has a a DOE “L” clearance. I understand that China is on the list of places that she can’t travel to. How about Hong Kong?


  58. Avatar

    Well just got word today that my BI for the CBP is complete.
    Turned in SF85p Aug 1
    Interviewed Sept 17
    Called today by Company of BI complete Today Nov 3

    so roughly 3 months start to finish. And I have lived in the same area for the last 10 years, German national wife and no other hiccups that I know of.

  59. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson:

    I’d like to clarify my question. For the past 6+ months I have followed all the procedures DSS has specified on their website and am now caught in a classic “catch 22 situation.” DSS/OPM/DISCO will not investigate the subject JPAS incident report and potential employers
    will not wait 2 years for DSS/OPM/DISCO to do an investigation. I have been effectively blackballed by the U.S. government which I have faithfully served since Vietnam! I am currently pursuing in Federal Court a ruling to force DSS/OPM/DISCO to do an investigation but you seem to be telling me that I’ve probably wasted the $350 filing fee which is not trivial to an unemployed engineer with mouths to feed and a son in medical school!

  60. Avatar


    Recently took a job for a government contractor. Need to fill out form for secret level security clearance. For the INTERIM clearance will I have a problem if All background questions check out perfect except for

    1) Smoked pot 2x in the last 7 years while visiting amsterdam(legal in amsterdam)

    2)Currently prescribed anti-anxiety medicine, lexapro by a pschiatrist

    Also, For secret level clearance, is it typical for the full personality background check or is that generally reserved for TS.

    Thank You.

  61. Avatar

    Mr. Berkowitz:
    Your clarification helps. I thought that the intent in your original post was to have a negative “incident report” removed from your record and in my response I suggested that this may not be possible because DSS may view an incident report in the same way they view investigative reports. Currently the fastest 80% of NACLCs done by OPM for Secret clearances are taking 51 days. I suspect that the other 20% average about 100 days. So even if a completely new investigation were needed for a Secret clearance it shouldn’t take very long.

    You are in a catch 22 situation if you need to have your previous clearance reinstated or require an interim Secret clearance, because I believe that DSS will not adjudicate the incident report since they do not currently have jurisdiction over you because you are not employed in a position that requires an industrial security clearance. So, I guess you are right that one way to correct the situation and clear the way for clearance reinstatement is to have the incident report removed. I just don’t believe that this is possible through normal procedures. I recommend seeking the assistance of one of your congressmen. If they can not resolve the matter successfully within a month or two, then try the courts. The alternative is to find an employer who will give you a “contingent offer of employment” and submit an RRU to DSS to get the matter resolved. This alternative may only take a couple of months and will cost the prospective employer nothing, since you will not be hired until after the clearance is reinstated/granted.

  62. Avatar

    I am currently a college student who will soon be working for a defense contractor and need a secret clearance. I am a US citizen with no prior convictions, monetary problems, or issues involving foreign contacts. In fact, I do not anticipate any problems except for those relating to drug use. Approximately four years ago, I used marijuana on three occations. Since then, I have not used it again “illegally”. However, I did use it on one occasion this past summer while in Amsterdam (about 4 months ago). To clarify, I have never used any other drugs except marijuana.

    I intend to be completely honest with the questions but am not sure if I will need to include the Amsterdam event. Will I be asked about “illegal drug use” only or will the interview cover drug use in any situation? How do you feel that this will affect my chances of getting the clearance if brought up?

  63. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson:

    Thanks, but what is an RRU? I may have a chance at reemployment if I can convince potential employers to submit an RRU and that they don’t have to hire and pay me until my clearance eligibility is restored.

    P.S. My congresswoman only succeeded in having my JPAS report amended but the incident report was not adjudicated. Don’t know when my Court case will be heard.

    Any info on an RRU would be greatly appreciated.

  64. Avatar

    having been in a semi-similar situation and helped others the same, I would recommend you re-write your congressman/woman and specifically state your goal in clear writing “I want my incident adjudicated” or similar.

    I believe officially DISCO should have amended your jpas summary to state “LOSS OF JURISDICTION”, and you should consider asking your congressman/woman to investigate it with that notation being your intent.

    This should remove any negative marks on your JPAS summary and when you get a job requiring a clearance the security officer will submit a request to have your clearance adjudciated…at that time DISCO should see the incident summary and previous clearance and follow adjudication procedures accordingly.

  65. Avatar

    Hey Mr. Henderson got your book and I have a few questions.

    For an NACLC what all does the investigator do? It would appear if I am reading correctly that the Credit check and NAC are performed at a central office, so all the local investigator would do are the local checks.

    It also says some local checks are done by FIPC and some are done by field offices. How do you determine which is done by which.

    Last, how do you perform the local checks? Do you call, write in, or do you have access to their database?


  66. Avatar

    About four-and-a-half years ago, I was working for DHS as a contractor. Part of the requirements for working in this position was that I submit to a Public Trust investigation (SF-85P). I did so, and the investigation was favorable – except that one of my former employers made some false statements about my conduct while in his employ and about the reasons why I had been terminated. Basically, he said that I had repeatedly brought a knife to work (completely not true — there was another individual at work who routinely brought a knife to work) and continued to do so after being relieved of them (again, utterly false). He further stated that this was all explained to me and that I was terminated because they were concerned that I was dangerous and unstable — this is false. I was told at termination that my probationary employment was being terminated for no specific reason, which I disclosed on the form.

    There was also another employer who incorrectly believed that I owed them a uniform back, this is not the case. It is actually my brother, who worked there at the same time as me, who owed them the uniform. They also stated that I had resigned without providing notice, which is untrue — I was working as a PRN employee when my boss told me that

    I would have to put in a schedule or resign. I chose to resign, as I was traveling extensively and did not know my schedule far enough in advance.

    At any rate, DHS took the word of this employer over mine – never even speaking to me about the issue – and revoked my provisional clearance a few days later on the basis that I had been dishonest about the reasons I was fired. They subsequently refused to answer any questions of mine as to why I had been denied, and gave me months of runaround until I finally gave up. I was never issued a Statement of Reasons letter, was never offered an opportunity to appeal, and DHS eventually stopped returning my phone calls.

    It was not until Fall 2006 that I finally found out the reasons behind my denial through a Privacy Act filing with DHS requesting my clearance file. I stumbled upon information on how to do this and figured it was worth a shot.

    Out of primarily financial reasons I have yet to deal with this issue. I spoke with a lawyer in the winter of 2006 concerning my case, but there were substantial up-front costs involved that I could not (and still cannot) afford.

    At this point, I’m really just tired of having this hanging over my head. I’d like to know what, if anything, I can do to have the denial reversed.

  67. Avatar

    I have just received CBP full BI clearance. Due to the time it took to get this clearance, the company that got me this clearance no longer has the job for which they wanted to hire me. One question is how long is this clerance good for. A second question – Is this good for only CBP, or Depat of Homeland security or any other organization. Finally, how does this relate to other security classifications that I frequently see as a job requirement, such as secret, top secret, TS/SCI, etc. Thanks in advance for any response you may be able to provide.

  68. Avatar

    A NACLC is a National Agency Check Law Check. Part of this includes a Credit Report Check that is done through FIPC. An electronic check is done with the three credit bureaus to check a SUBJECT’s credit. If there is an
    account on an individuals credit report that is delinquent and falls into the criteria a Special Interview (SPIN) is conducted. An investigator meets with the SUBJECT and asks him/her questions regarding the credit issue.
    Another part of the NACLC is the law/police record check. OPM has agreements with various state and local police agencies and courthouses so SUBJECT’s information can be checked electronically through these agencies/courthouses. If there is no agreement then an investigator will physically go out and check police departments and courthouses to see if there is a record. At most courthouses the information is public record. At police stations the general release a SUBJECT signs is used to obtain any information from their records.
    Again if anything is found during these checks that falls with in the SPIN criteria an investigator will meet with the SUBJECT to ask him/her questions regarding the matter. Also if a SUBJECT lists information on his/her
    SF-86 that falls within the SPIN criteria then an investigator will meet with the SUBJECT to ask him/her questions about what they listed on the SF-86.

  69. Avatar

    No you did not do anything dumb. For an investigation we want to get the “whole person” concept and the “People Who Know You Well” section is where one can list people one feels knows them well. Yet do not be suprised if none of those references are even contacted. As investigators we want to obtain people to interview who we develop on our own so the SUBJECT does not guide the investigation.

  70. Avatar


    Would a simple assault conviction($150 fine 60-day suspended sentence) fall under the SPIN criteria? Would it matter if the record was expunged?

    Also, would the SPIN be conducted before it is sent to adjudication or after?

  71. Avatar

    clearance and meps,
    Your investigation will most likely happen during basic training or AIT. I have had cases in which the soldier was denied a clearance and they had to change MOS which did not require a clearance. This was for the Army so I do not know what the Marines do.

  72. Avatar

    It all depends when the simple assault happened. It does not matter if the record is expunged. I have done many SPINs in which the SUBJECT’s record was expunged but I still need to interview them. SPINs happen before adjudication.

  73. Avatar


    It happened in Aug 02, and my investigation opened on 22 Oct 07 and closed on 19 Feb 08. Why would it take so long to be in adjudication? Could something be wrong? Is it feasible to have s SPIN at the request of an adjudicator?

  74. Avatar

    I filed an e-QIP for a TS. The interim was declined the next business day. Any concerns were fully mitigated in the comments. Do they read the comments when evaluating an interim or is it done by a computer?

    Next question: the application is still in, but the employer has no unclassified work and is not willing to pay me to sit around for the 6-12 months they say the full clearance will take. But the FSO says if they don’t hire me within 30 days they must withdraw the application, and I cannot do temp work elsewhere in the meantime. Is this true?

    Finally: if the employer withdraws the application, can I reapply through a different sponsor, and in that case do I need to list the previous appliction considering that it was not actually adjudicated?

  75. Avatar

    A SPIN most likely will not happen if this was your only offense. There are some instances in which an adjudicator may request additional info but it is rare. The time frame for your case is not long at all. NACLC cases are not usually a high priority unless specifically requested by the agency.

  76. Avatar


    I had some traffic tickets stemming from 5/00-5-02:

    3 for careless operation (rear ended vehicles each time) $110.00 fine.

    1 speeding ticket (70 in a 55 mph zone) $121 fine. I didin’t list any of this on my application b/c it was below $150.

    Oh, I did get a speeding ticket in Jan 08 (102 in 70 mph) I called my security manager and she told me not to worry about it b/c my SF 86 was already processed.

    Is that true?

  77. Avatar


    I got a COE from an Intelligence Agency a little over 2 years ago. Did the SF86, med/poly, interviews, etc. Over the past 2 years I only got the occasional update telling me things were still in progress.

    A week ago I get a call asking me to submit an SF86c. I thought this was a good sign – but it wasn’t. Apparently they also want me to retake the med/poly, and weren’t even sure if the entire investigation would need to be done again. On top of that, apparently all positions are filled through FY09 (so best case I’d start 3.5 years after my COE).

    Why exactly would I need to retake the med/poly? And what kind of hope do I have of ever getting this job if it has already been 2 years? I’m wary of them calling my new employer and alerting them that I’m waiting on another job when it seems like such a longshot.

    I really wanted this job, but over the past 2 years I’ve become a bit demoralized. This latest incident pushed things to the absurd. Any help would be appreciated.

  78. Avatar

    William’s Father:
    Two versions of the SF86 are currently in use. Question 17b on the older version (Sep 95) has not changed and you should have previously answered “yes” to this question. So if you are again using the Sep 95 version, you should answer “yes” to Question 17b, list the required details, and indicate in the comment section that you inadvertently omitted this information from you previous SF86. A truly inadvertent omission should not by itself cause a serious problem. If you are now using the Jul 08 version, you will find that there is no question that applies to your situation.

  79. Avatar

    Mr. Berkowitz:
    An RRU is a “Request to Research/Upgrade Eligibility.” RRUs can be used by FSO for several different purposes, including your situation, but the company must have an owning/servicing relationship with the applicant. They can establish this relation with you in JPAS once they give you a conditional offer of employment.

  80. Avatar

    Those checks that can be done by FIPC are done by FIPC. FIPC does the credit report. FIPC also requests checks at various national agencies. Those agencies actually do the checks and send the results back to FIPC. Some national agency checks are actually done by OPM field personnel, such as when citizenship must be verified at a CIS (formerly INS) regional center. Some local law enforcement checks are done strictly by computer, some are done by letter inquiry from FIPC, and some are done in person or by letter by field investigators. Based on the methods permitted by the specific law enforcement agency, the least labor-intensive method is used.

  81. Avatar

    I had a favorably adjudicated SSBI in 5/06 from OPM to be able to conduct investigations. A clearance was never activated because I never worked in a classified arena and did not require an activated clearance. I was told that I was cleared to the TS level and it would just be a matter of having the clearance activated. Is this correct? From what I understand, my information is not in JPAS. I am looking at other opportunities and trying to figure out if a company would need to start from scratch or they can have some way to utilize my 5/06 SSBI that has already been adjuducated. Thanks!

  82. Avatar

    Contract Investigator,
    Before I started working on TS type cases for IC agencies I just worked OPM cases that did not require a TS clearance. I was also told the same thing that my TS was there and they just had to activate it if needed. If I understand it correctly you can let an agency know that you have had a full SSBI adjudicated but no TS granted because you did not need it for the work you were doing. Let the agency know it was adjudicated through OPM so they know who to contact to verify this information. If I am mistaken Mr. Henderson or one of the adjudicators can correct me. Hope this helps.

  83. Avatar

    If the offense were not required to be listed on your SF-86 then don’t this them. You have one MM more than one year ago so no SPIN should be required. This speeding ticket for 102 in a 70 was a just a speeding ticket not a reckless driving charge?

  84. Avatar

    I have accepted a tentative job offer from DHS contigent on my getting a TS/SCI clearance. I completed the SF86 online, DHS has interviewed friends and employers, and they came to my home to interview me. I recently received a call and an investigator is coming to my home to do a second interview. I asked why and he said he had no clue, he was just asked to conduct a second interview. Is this normal?

  85. Avatar

    I recently accepted a job, and I have to fill out the SF86. I used marijuana twice during my undergrad years (two years apart.) It was a bad idea, and I haven’t done it since. I am planning on admitted it, but will I have issues with this? Should I be worried? I read some of the decisions, and it doesn’t seem to be an issue, but I am worried. Thanks.

  86. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson:

    Thank you for reading my post. So, even though these summer jobs were more than 10 years ago, I still need to list them for e-Qip then?

  87. Avatar

    I have a quick question, I am currently seeking a job that requires an interim security clearance. My only issue is that I say a therapist awhile back for some anxiety issues related to a move that my family made when I was in High School. I am very young, so it was about 1.5 to 2 years ago. I sorta of stopped treatment after I started feeling better about myself. I included this on my SF86, but I am worried that I will be denied my interiem clearance. Is there really no hope if you went to a therapist? This is my only issue, and I have a feeling that this is what is gonna sink me.

    Do I have any hope?

  88. Avatar

    I recently accepted a job with a DoD contractor pending a drug test a security clearance. I will pass the drug test with flying colors however I am worried about passing security clearance because 3 years ago I filed bankruptcy at the age of 23 because of a failed business partnership. The cause of the business failure was due to my business partner and not me. None of my accounts were more than 120 days past due before the bankruptcy and all of my accounts have been paid on time or early since the bankruptcy. Also I when I was about 12 years old I got into a fight with the neighborhood bully and was charged with assault and battery however it was thrown out and dismissed by the court and sealed in my juvenile record. Also I have gotten three speeding tickets in the last 11 years. I have listed all this info honestly as possible on the security clearance form. Should I be worried about failing security clearance and loosing this job?

  89. Avatar

    Investigator/Contract Investigator:

    Correct. The type of investigation a person receives is based on the sensitivity level of the position, which does not alway equate to the clearance level. I believe almost all (if not all) federal investigative positions are critical sensitive and therefore require an SSBI. An SSBI favorably adjudicated at any collateral clearance level can be administratively upgraded and downgraded to any other collateral clearance level. SCI would require separate adjudication. OPM’s investigation and clearance database (CVS) is accessible through a bridge in JPAS.

  90. Avatar

    William’s Father: Yes, but in the Foreign Activities section, not in the Employment section.

  91. Avatar

    I am currently filling out form SF86 for my DOD secret clearance on e-Qip for company A. However, I plan on leaving company A in 2 weeks for company B, which is also a DOD contractor requiring secret clearance. If I finish completing and submit form SF86 and leave soon after that before I get my actual clearance, Will this cause a problem when company B sponsors me to apply for it again in a month? Will having an investigation underway under a previous company cause any sort of conflicts? Should I submit the information on e-Qip right now anyways because it will expedite the process when I join Company B or should I not do it in case it causes conflicts?

  92. Avatar

    I currently hold a Secret, and am putting in for TS/SCI. Two questions:

    1) Is there any problem putting down non-US citizens for the various references? I’m recently out of grad school in the sciences, and most of my acquaintances were foreigners. (I don’t think any of them were contacted for the Secret, which I gather is not unusual; and I also understand that my investigator will generate his/her own list of people to contact.)

    2) Do any of you have recommendations for information to provide with regard to a non-US citizen spouse? I’m well aware of the difficulty of getting an SCI in this case, though things couldn’t be too much better — she’s from a nominally friendly country; has no siblings; has one living and retired parent; neither of her parents were ever involved in political/military/intelligence matters; and the work I need SCI for isn’t something that her country’s military is even remotely involved in, both from subject matter and geographical standpoints. I’m emphasizing as much as possible that she’ll apply for US citizenship when she is eligible in less than a year.

    I’m filling out the (voluminous) paperwork for a spousal SCI exception as required, but want to provide as much info up front as I can, so are there any tips anyone can share?

    Incidentally, I’m aware of the directive issued 1 Oct that eliminated the prohibition on SCI access for people with non-citizen immediate family. But since waivers were available before, and the directive specifically allows for SCI access “as the result of a condition, deviation, or waiver from personnel security standards”, what has changed? Is it just the level at which the waiver is granted, or have the actual adjudication guidelines changed?

  93. Avatar

    I find it odd that the investigator was asked to interview you again but he was not sure why. Did he tell you if it was a going to be a full interivew in which your SF-86 is gone over again? If there is a specific issue DHS wants more info on your investigator should know what that specific issue is. Was the investigator you talked to about your second interview the same one who did your first? If it is a different investigator there could be a chance the original investigator was terminated for falisfying reports and your case has to be redone by a new investigator to make sure there was no falsification on yoru report.

  94. Avatar


    It was a different investigator who called and he did not mention if it would be a full review of my SF86. The first investigator went over my entire SF86, and conducted what I thought was a very thorough interview. Thanks for the response.

  95. Avatar

    A single DUI, absent any other issues including other indicators of excessive alcohol use, can be mitigated regardless of how recent. But obviously something caused the SCI to be denied and that something had to be readjudicated for your TS to be reinstated. What was it? Were there any other issues present in the investigation for your 2005 TS clearance?

  96. Avatar

    1. List all foreign nationals to whom you are bound by affection, obligation, influence or close/continuing contact.
    2. No.
    3. You did nothing wrong, so you are not required to list it. Since you will be the Subject of an SSBI that includes a Personal Subject Interview (PRSI), I recommend you volunteer this information during your PRSI.

  97. Avatar

    No. Adjudicators prefer peer references. A good investigator can look at your transcripts and find out who your professors were. College friends are harder to find because many may have left the school the same time you did. You will have a Personal Subject Interview (PRSI) as part of your investigation. The investigator will probably ask for more names and contact information. You should be prepared to provided names of other potential references during the PRSI.

  98. Avatar

    I was unaware of any special travel restrictions for people with “L” access authorization. Are you sure your friend is prohibited from traveling to China?

  99. Avatar

    Mr. Blue:
    The drug question on the SF86 asks, “. . .have you illegally used any controlled substance. . . .” It does not ask, have you used illegal drugs. So, if your use of marijuana was not illegal in Amsterdam, you do not have to list it on the SF86. There is a strong possibility that the treatment by a psychiatrist for anxiety will cause a problem for an interim clearance but not for the final clearance. To improve your chances of getting an interim clearance, provide as much information as possible regarding your treatment for anxiety. If possible include a letter from your psychiatrist that addresses any affect your condition or treatment may have on your judgment and that includes the psychiatrist phone and fax number. Give your psychiatrist permission to discuss your treatment with any government security official.

  100. Avatar

    See my reply to Mr. Blue (above). I recommend you answer the drug question on the SF86 precisely and accurately. You are not required to volunteer information just because it is related to information you are required to list. If you are interviewed about drug use, listen carefully to the investigator’s questions and answer them precisely and accurately. The investigator’s questions may or may not elicit information about your use of marijuana in Amsterdam. Any illegal use of drugs can result in a clearance denial, but most low-level, recreational use of marijuana can be sufficiently mitigated by passage of time. I can’t say whether or not your legal use of marijuana 4 months ago will be factored into the adjudication. Adjudicators try to predict future conduct based on past conduct. If you used marijuana 4 months ago (whether or not it was legal), what is the likelihood you will use it in the future. Mitigation through passage of time relies the decreasing probability of future drug following progressively longer periods of abstinence.

  101. Avatar

    Based on the circumstance you described, I believe that you were never denied a clearance. Your interim clearance was withdrawn based on the allegations before the investigation was completed. This is not uncommon. You did not say when or why you quit your employment at the DHS contractor, so I have to assume that you quit before your investigation was adjudicated for the final clearance. Had you stuck it out, you would eventually have been interviewed about these matters and the completed investigation including your interview with your side of the story would have been submitted for adjudication. Had the adjudication been unfavorable, you would have been issued a Statement of Reasons (SOR) and then you could have rebutted the SOR and if necessary, appealed an adverse decision.

  102. Avatar

    Yes, it will be an issue, but one that can be mitigated. The more time that has elapsed since the last time you used marijuana the better, but the bare minimum is probably 6 months. There are other mitigating factors that may apply in your situation. Recommend you read Guideline H (Drug Involvement) of the Adjudicative Guidelines for more information about mitigating factors.

  103. Avatar

    You are not required to list a misdemeanor arrest /charge that occurred more than 7 years ago unless it was a felony or related to alcohol, drugs, explosives or firearms. Based on the limited information you provided regarding your bankruptcy, I would guess that your changes of getting a final security clearance are fair to good, but only poor to fair for an interim clearance.

  104. Avatar


    Living in the Netherlands myself, I can tell you that it is a common misconception that the use of soft drugs in Holland is legal. It is not legal.

    That being said, it is tolerated by police nation-wide. So much so that they have limits on enforcement. That is why you have coffee shops selling marijuana. They stay under the enforcement limits for selling, and they arent hassled. Many regions in Holland are moving to remove the enforcement limits.

    Use and possesion of marijuana in the Netherlands is officially illegal, you will not be charged for it unless you have too much on you or you are selling it yourself. Coffee shops are only allowed to sell each person so much to be within the enforcement limits.

    It’s similar to wearing your seatbelt in a car. In some states it’s not a primary enforcement law, meaning they cant or wont pull you over for just not wearing a seatbelt, even though it is illegal, but if you are stopped for anything else they will tack that on to your charges.

  105. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson,

    Thank you for your response. I will list them with an explanation.

  106. Avatar

    I had my personal subject interview today. It was all very relaxed and easy, not the AGONIZING MISERY experience I had been expecting. The investigator was very kind.

    On my SF-86 I admitted experimenting with marijuana in college (it’s been about 15 months). I explained how it always happened at parties with friends, said I regretted it, that I had no intention of doing it again, that I’d undergo drug tests in the future to establish my trustworthiness, etc.

    I was expecting to be grilled on my drug use, but it didn’t happen! He just asked “Have you committed any criminal conduct that’s gone undetected?” I told him about the marijuana, and admitted I’d done some drinking underage while at college. That was it. No more questions on that front.

    I was as honest and forthright as possible, and there are no other red flags on my record. It’s just so easy to be scared about this. I have really been beating myself up for trying marijuana and I regret it a lot; I wish I could’ve told the investigator just how sorry I was. The investigator didn’t act like it was a big deal at all. Is it likely that I’ll be denied clearance for these admissions? Have I disqualified myself automatically without realizing it?

  107. Avatar

    If your investigator is like me talking to someone about their past marijuana use or under age drinking in college is just another day at work. I have talked to many SUBJECT’s about many different issues and every once in a while I will say to myself “Wow did this person really do that”. Yet for the most part I really don’t get to excited about it and will forget about the case after I transmit it. I have another 15-20 on my plate that I have to worry about that need to get done. Your investigator hopefully asked you some additional follow up questions regarding your MJ use and underage drinking. I am not here to grill anyone about there past habits. I am there to get the facts so a determination can be made if one should be able to get their clearance or not. The best thing, as I have said many times before and I think the other regular posters on here will agree with me, is that you were honest and upfront about all of your issues.
    I have seen many SUBJECT’s I interview are a bit nervous even if they have done nothing wrong. Always figgiting (is that a word) in their seats or bouncing their legs. I have also been told I am intimidating in my suit and tie when interviewing people. I don’t mean to be and I am as polite and professional as possible. I have had to raise my voice a few times because a SUBJECT was constantly using foul language when they responded to my questions or when they fell asleep during the interview, but that is rare.

  108. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson,

    As you know, the clearance process is so complicated. I was denied sci clearance the first time because of “falsification of documentation”. OPM and nsa use the same sf86 form. After gaining the TS, it was approx. 1.5 years before my poly came around. Instead of filling out a new sf86 from scratch, my sponsoring company just submitted the the old form with a new signature page…how stupid. There was some information that I should have updated that I overlooked although I disclosed that information to the opm security field officer. Thinking the process was streamlined and everyone shared information was the wrong thing to think. NSA process had nothing to do with opm’s process, so what I disclosed there NSA had no knowledge of, so when I waltz in for the poly and told the same story I told more than a year ago, they thought they squeezed new information out of me. So with that and poor communication during the poly process, I was denied…..I hope you can follow my rambling.
    Thank you for your insight!

  109. Avatar

    I’m trying to find out what happens in the following scenario and was hoping someone here would have the correct answer.

    I currently have no clearance. If I were to accept an offer (cannot start work until the clearance is granted) with a company that requires a TS/SCI for the position, and move on to a different opportunity while waiting for the TS/SCI investigation to conclude, would I retain the TS/SCI if I did not take the position?


  110. Avatar


    Thank you for your reply. I left my contractor shortly after my clearance was withdrawn because they fired me. They could no longer bill DHS for my services, and thus did not want to continue paying me.

    The only documentation I have is a Suitability Determination Record that I received through my Privacy Act request. Am I correct in believing that this is not the same as an SOR?

    So, if this is the case, how do I find out if I was every actually denied or if I was fired before my case reached final adjudication? Is this something that would preclude me from passing a clearance check in the future? Would it be foolish of me to try? On future SF85/86 forms, how should I address this (e.g. I was investigated but not denied, I was denied, etc)?

    Thanks so much!

  111. Avatar

    I currently hold a TS/SCI full scope clearance. In June, I had an accident, I was unharmed and no one else was harmed. I was drinking that night, but was not breathalyzed. I was however given a DUI citation as well as speeding and reckless driving. I have never been in trouble before, have a clean driving record etc. HOWEVER, when I reported it on an Outside Activities form, i said that I had NOT been drinking. I went to court, got all the charges dropped except the DWI and got a PBJ on that. Only 1 year unsupervised probation and 64 hours of community service. I have to go talk to an investigator very soon, if I admit that I WAS drinking that night, is it a crime that I lied on the Outside Activities form? How will the Investigator view the fact that I lied on the form but in the interview am willing to tell the truth?

  112. Avatar

    I am active duty Navy and I just completed my interview for my re-investigation (I currently have a TS/SCI eligible). The only thing that has negatively changed is that I have accumulated about $25,000 in debt over the last 5 years, mostly credit card. This was not due to alcohol, gambling or anything like that. Just due to getting married, having kids, moving, etc. During this 5 year period since my initial investigation I have never missed or been late with a payment. The investigator didn’t even ask me about this debt as it is not delinquent but I concerned that DONCAF will see it and take my clearance away. Am I worrying for nothing or can this actually happen?

  113. Avatar

    I am having my PR now and one of the neighbors from my last place that I lived before I moved to my current address says he told the investigator he saw me “parading around without any clothes” and engaging in some private activities (I dont want to get my post blocked for using the word he says he used) through my window when I lived across the street from him and that he felt very offended. It seems very unlikely to me this is even possible, unless he was right up next to the house on my lawn or something, so I am a little confused. His house was all the way on the other side of the road and I had blinds and shades on the windows, except maybe for a day when I was getting new blinds? Whatever the case I most definitely did not mean for him to see me like that if he somehow really did and I am sorry if he actually did and got offended. He never complained to me when I lived there, for two years, he just told me when I saw him at the store a couple days ago, so I am very shocked to be suddenly hearing this from him now. Maybe he is pulling my leg, I don’t know, but if he really did say this to the investigator am I going to be in trouble or need to be interviewed again about this?

  114. Avatar


    No Breathalyzer? Did you refuse or have to give blood? My 20 years of Law Enforcement tells me you may be leaving something out–is this the case?

  115. Avatar

    I did the field sobriety tests with a hurt foot and was told that I failed on the horizontal eye test but had passed on the standing and turning test. Then, I was told “Go to jail or be breathalyzed”. I said, take me to jail then because I was not drunk, I had no problem being breathalyzed and thought if I was taken to the station, I could be breathalyzed there. He then spoke to the other officers that were there and came back to me and said “Im not going to take you to jail”. He then wrote the many citations and took me home. So there was no actual “arrest”. I must say that I was intimidated when he approached the car when it was in a ditch because he told me to put my hands up. After that, I did not feel comfortable around him. Here I am in a ditch, a female, and he is telling me to put my hands up, not “Are you ok” or anything like that. I took a plea for the DWI because my lawyer told me that they did not have enough evidence to convict on the alcohol related charges but could convict on the speeding and reckless driving which could give me about 10 points on my license. My lawyer thought it best for me to plea to the DWI, no points, no fines. I said to him its like admitting I was drunk when I wasnt and he said “Its the lesser of two evils, with the points, they could take your license”.

    I am asking about the follow up interview that I have to do, is it a crime that I said that I wasnt drinking on the form but am going to tell them that I was in the interview?

  116. Avatar

    I had a Top Secret SCI adjudicated January 2003. I had SIOP-ESI access. My access was terminated in July 2005 because I was voluntarily separating from the Air Force. I officially left active duty in Septempter 2005 and went to graduate school. From June 2007 through August 2007 I worked as an intern at Homeland Security. No classified access was required for the internship, but I was still required to submit a new SF-86 which I submitted in April 2007.
    I understand that if a person who had classified access has a lapse in service exceeding two years, he must apply for a new security clearance as if he had never had classified access. Does my internship at Homeland Security protect me from the two year lapse?
    I am applying for jobs with defense contractors. I would like to know whether I am still eligible to have my classified access reactivated or whether I would have to start the application process as if I’d never had the clearance.

  117. Avatar


    Is is not legal to lie on any forms dealing with a federal background. Also, I’m finding it hard to believe you were convicted of DWI with no blood/breath reading and only based on the FST and Horizontal Gaze–or are you awaiting trial? Neither are a basis for an actual charge. Failing an FST does not warrant a conviction for DWI. Also, please understand if you were giving a citation for DWI and were released, you were arrested–just not jailed. The citation serves as the arrest. I’m sorry to hear your treatment was not so nice. Just tell the investigator the whole story and he/she will be able to tell your side of the story. Your situation is somewhat unusual, but clearing the air is your best bet in my opinion. Volunteer the info to the investigator when you meet. Bets of luck.

  118. Avatar


    This may sound like a silly question but I’m planning to start an internet pornography business. I wanted to know if this would have any affect on being granted a security clearance in the future. Thanks!

  119. Avatar

    I have a friend that currently has his interim security clearance, expecting a final clearance decision by December (at the latest). The process has been delayed a bit by questions concerning citizinship (his father was military and he was born in another country; has not visited the country since his father was restationed when he was a child nor does he have any contact with anyone over there). Anyway, he is being put it a bad financial situation by his now ex-girlfriend. They have a house that they shared in one state (he now lives in a different state); they are both listed on the first mortgage, and he is listed as solely responsible for the second. Since the split, they have both been paying 1/2 of the total mortgages. However, she has now decieded to walk away from the house and no longer pay 1/2 as agreed, and he can not afford more than his half due to having rent, cc debt, and other living expenses where he is now. The home is upside-down (they owe much more that it is currently worth), and he does not have any savings that will make a regular sale possible. If the home goes into foreclosure, will he not receive his final clearance, and not be eligible for TS clearance? He plans to speak with the security officer about this issue (all bills on the home are still current at this point). However, her walking away or delcaring bankruptcy may force him will force him into foreclosure or bankruptcy… Will be still be elgible for his final and/or later TS clearance if there is a foreclosure and/or he has to declare bankruptcy?

  120. Avatar

    In case my first post was confusing and too long I want to make it perfectly clear that what my neighbor says he somehow was able to see me doing was taking place completely INSIDE, repeat INSIDE my own house, it is not like it was out on my lawn or something. And it was with myself, if you know what I mean, not with another person, and I did NOT intend for anyone to see or be upset. Maybe this dude is just messing with me, I don’t know, but if he really thinks he saw that and said this to the investigator is this going to result in any problems for me?

  121. Avatar

    I was issued a security clearance with a DHS agency and about 5 months later was denied a clearance with a certain three letter Intelligence agency. what happens in this instance in which I was granted a security clearance by one agency then denied the same clearance by an entirely different agency? Also I have another offer from a fed. law enforcement agency. Should I wait some time before I go through another BI and clearance process? I dont want to get denied another clearance in such a short time. Advice? Lastly is there a central agency that does security clearances?

  122. Avatar

    I am a former Army 1LT who possesses/possessed a SECRET clearance. I resigned from the Army before finishing my initial committment because of the adverse outcome of an Article 15 investigation. Simply put, I had an inappropriate relationship with a married woman. My ability to do quality and classified work was never questioned.

    I recently applied for a defense consulting job that required a SECRET clearance. I had no reason to believe that I no longer possessed the clearance, but the background investigation revealed that there is an unadjudicated Incident Report filed by MNF-I in September 2007 in my file. This coincides with the timeline of my ART 15. This administrative detail caused the client to reject my candidacy, even though the consultancy was ready to hire me.

    As I understand it, I still possess the clearance (first granted in August 2002). Is this accurate? Second, what do I need to do to have this Incident Report resolved and removed from my record? Assuming this can happen, should I still pursue security-clearance jobs?

  123. Avatar

    Does anyone have any advice regarding my situation?

  124. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson, thank you for your response to my question. I moved about 3 months ago. The guy basically says he saw me nude in my house through my window, and to use less colorful language than he did, he says he saw me touching myself. I have no idea how he could even have seen that, unless the dude has x-ray vision or something, and he never complained to me when I lived there or said I needed to buy better blinds or anything. I sure did not intend for anyone outside my house to see that at all. That is good to hear that it would not be that big a deal, but I am real embarrassed and will spend more money on my blinds from now on.

  125. Avatar

    If your investigation is an SSBI-PR and you have lived at your current residence for more than 6 months as of the date you submitted your SF86, then a neighbor at a prior residence would not routinely be interviewed as part of the investigation. Your former neighbor could have been interviewed if the investigation had to be expanded for issue resolution or if the investigator went back to your old neighborhood to find a developed reference. At least one developed reference is needed for an SSBI-PR, but usually investigators try to fill this requirement with someone you currently have contact with.

    Without knowing exactly what the neighbor said it is difficult to speculate on whether or not you will be reinterviewed regarding his remarks. In any event if you didn’t intend for anyone outside your house to see you and only one person alleged that on one occasion you may have done something he considered improper, I doubt an adjudicator will consider it a potentially disqualifying incident.

  126. Avatar


    I received a conditional offer from a contractor contingent on me getting my clearance. They sponsored me for a TS/SCI with a CI poly, which just recently came through. However, the contractor does not currently have any jobs for me. Am I able to take my clearance and apply for other jobs or does the contractor somehow “own” my clearance?

    Thanks for any help. This blog is a great resource.

  127. Avatar

    i was convicted of retail theft in 2002 completed probation succesfully and vver done it agin.then feb 2006 convicted of a misdemanor battery no jail time or probation or fines.the cop was racist.I never hit him at all he lied. then 2007 disorderly conduct(misdemanor)completed conditonal discharge. then I hooked up with the wrong crowed and got a id theft in 2008.i am on probation it wasn’t work related or had anything to do my job duties.I am working now and was working while going to court as medical receptionist.I am doing good and very remorseful of my mistakes.i am a good person and my family, co-workers,employers, and friends can back me up.i want to apply for medical receptionist at the va hospital.will they consider me is my question for sec.clearance? I have entered mom and mentoring class.and got rid of those bad friends.

  128. Avatar

    Selfless Sailor:
    I don’t know if your mitigation will be enough to overcome the financial issues in your SOR. Without reviewing your entire case file and your written rebuttal I doubt that anyone can give you an answer to your question. You are saying many of the right words—unemployment, medical expenses, car accident, family obligations, some debts paid off, debt management program. But without knowing the chronology of events, how the credit was used (types of purchases or other purposes), and circumstances surrounding everything—basically all the information documented in your credit report and probably several pages of investigative reports—the “right words” you have used lack context, making it impossible to assess the degree to which you were responsible and the degree to which things beyond your control were responsible and whether you acted reasonably and responsibly once your debts became delinquent.

  129. Avatar

    Yes, another contractor or government employer can hire you and takeover ownership of your clearance. If your clearance was granted by a DoD agency and you have a choice, try to find a job at a DoD contractor or DoD agency—it doesn’t have to be DoD but it will just be a little easier if it is.

  130. Avatar

    Mr Henderson,
    I have a DUI single car rollover accident in Sep 04 and prior to that a Public Intoxication arrest in June 04. My record is clean since then. I’ve held a Secret clearence since Feb 00 and my reinvestigation for secret is due a year from now. Based on your expert knowledeg and experience, is 5 plus years enough to mitigate this situation given the fact that bost arrests happened within a short period of time? Will I receive a face to face personal interview?

  131. Avatar

    This is regarding someone I know who has secret clearance and has been struggling with an answer to a question on his initial security application almost 20 years ago. I am not in an industry that requires security clearance so you’ll have to forgive me for using layman’s terminology but there is a question regarding drug use and having used drugs and this person answered “no” to this question. Almost 20 years later, he is struggling with this answer because he and his friends went out one night while he was still in college (3-5 years prior to his job in which he obtained security clearance) and they bought a bag of dried grass from someone on the street. All of the friends smoked it but are not really sure if it was even marijuana since they didn’t know their source and didn’t really feel any effects from what they smoked. The answer to this question is producing much anxiety and my friend is thinking of resigning from his job instead of facing the consequences of his answer. Can my friend’s security clearance be revoked or can he be prosecuted/tried/convicted/jailed for responding “no” to this question almost 20 years ago?

  132. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson or any of the investigators:

    I was issued a security clearance with a DHS agency and about 5 months later was denied a clearance with a certain three letter Intelligence agency. what happens in this instance in which I was granted a security clearance by one agency then denied the same clearance by an entirely different agency? Also I have another offer from a fed. law enforcement agency. Should I wait some time before I go through another BI and clearance process? I dont want to get denied another clearance in such a short time. Advice? Lastly is there a central agency that does security clearances?

  133. Avatar

    Sorry, I should have addressed my questions above to All Investigators

  134. Avatar

    Mr Henderson/Adjudicator
    When OPM sends their closed completed cases to their respected agencies for adjudication does it just go to the end of a very long list and its slowly makes it way to the top or is there a different procedure. Also I would guess some cases have a priority.

  135. Avatar

    Thanks for answering questions like mine all you investigators! I have a current background investigation being done right now for a Q clearance and previously answered no to drug use. I am now submitted forms for a top secret clearance and believe that a polygraph may be done that asks about the answers from the SF86. In light of this, I really tried hard to remember 7 years back. I did try Marijuana maybe two times and one of these (after thinking about it a long time) I believe COULD have been about 6 and 1/2 years ago. I am curious if I change my answer now on this investigation form to be COMPLETELY honest that it will look unfavorable and possibly cause a denial? It’s hard to remember such an incident so far back where i barely took one puff, but i don’t want a polygraph reading to come out questionable either. P.S. I don’t have the Q clearance yet and it has been 1 year and 4 months. Will the new investigators be able to see the old information?

    Also, does a short treatment period for depression (3 weeks) show unfavorably on the SF86 (not related to family, marital, grief) or does getting fired from a job like a clothing store during college for a stupid reason look unfavorably (1 no show = no exceptions firing).

  136. Avatar

    If the Suitability Determination Record does not specifically state that you were denied a PT clearance, you were not denied the clearance. Having an interim clearance withdrawn is not the same as having a clearance denied. I think it is pointless and probably impossible to do anything about an unadjudicated investigation that occurred 4 ½ years ago. For any future clearance a completely new investigation will be required and you will then be given an opportunity to present you side of the story, if the original allegations are still considered significant. On any future SF85P or SF86 you need only indicate that you were previously investigated by the federal government (probably OPM) for a PT position (other). You should not indicate that you had a clearance denied. If anyone questions you about this, show them the Suitability Determinatin Record.

  137. Avatar

    Generally adjudicators don’t grant interim clearance when an applicant has had recent mental health counseling; however, in very limited circumstances it is possible to get an interim clearance. There are two situations I know of where an interim clearance could be granted: 1) a government security officer (not an adjudicator) has the authority to grant an interim Secret clearance and you are dealing directly with this person and you provided persuasive evidence that your condition no longer exists or 2) you attached documentation to your SF86 from your former mental health counsel that stated your condition no longer exists or that your condition or treatment does not affect your judgment.

    Interim Secret clearances are decided in a matter of a few days following the submission of an SF86. Interim TS clearances are usually decided within 2 months. Either way you don’t have long to wait. Final clearances are being granted much faster today than 2 years ago.

  138. Avatar

    Theoretically you should be able to submit the eQIP at company A, be granted an interim clearance within a few days, then move to company B and have company B takeover sponsorship of your case without any major interruption to your clearance processing. I wouldn’t do it just to save 2 weeks of processing time. Too many things can go wrong. For one thing you are assuming that the FSO at company B is knowledgeable and experienced in such matters and everything will go smoothly. For another thing you are assuming that the FSO at company A will immediately release your eQIP to DISCO without any problems.

  139. Avatar

    If the company that sponsors you for the TS/SCI does not withdraw its sponsorship even though you have accepted employment at another company (presumably one that does not require any federal clearance), your investigation for the TS/SCI will continue until it is completed and it will be adjudicated. If it is adjudicated favorably, you will be granted TS/SCI eligibility. At that point the company that sponsored you must hire you within 30 days, otherwise the clearance terminates. To have the clearance reinstated you must be hired in a position that requires a clearance within 2 years and you will be required to submit an updated clearance application form and may be required to submit to a polygraph exam depending on the sensitivity level of the SCI program.

  140. Avatar

    If you are not delinquent on any of your debts, the total amount of your debt will probably not be an issue. Adjudicators generally do not look at the total amount of debt unless it is astronomically high or one or more debts are/were delinquent. The total amount of debt is meaningless without knowing a person’s total income. So unless you told the investigator about all your sources of income (i.e. investment income, spouse’s income, rental income, structured settlements, etc), the adjudicator has no way of knowing your debt-to-income ratio.

  141. Avatar

    Former ICBM Missiler:

    If you were granted a security clearance (at any level) by DHS even though you never had any access, the 2 year clock would have been reset to the date you left the DHS internship for reinstatement of a collateral clearance at any level. You are no longer eligible to have your SCI reinstated (see paragraph C.3. ODNI Intelligence community Policy Guidance # 704.2).

    It is sometimes difficult to verify clearance data at DHS because DHS clearance administration is fragmented. Sometimes it is possible for a defense contractor’s FSO to look up the clearance data using a bridge in JPAS that allows access to OPM’s Clearance Verification System (CVS), to which DHS is suppose to feed data. But there have been many complaints about DHS clearance data not being in CVS. Often FSO must verify DHS clearances by faxed letter inquiry, then have DSS/DISCO enter the information into DoD’s JPAS database before they can have your clearance reinstated. You can try to verify any clearance granted to you by DHS by submitting a Privacy Act request to DHS but it may take a couple of months.

  142. Avatar

    Currently there does not appear to be any Adjudicative Guideline that specifically covers your situation, provided that you don’t try to conceal your activity from others and that what you intend to do does not violate any laws or make you suseptible to blackmail or coercion. For a security clearance you really are sailing into uncharted waters. I hope you know enough about the potential risks and liabilities of such a business.

  143. Avatar

    Your friend does not have to report a future bankruptcy or future foreclosure. For most federal agencies he only has to report his “inability or unwillingness to satisfy debts” when he become delinquent on his debts or when bankruptcy occurs. The words bankruptcy and foreclosure do not appear in the Adjudicative Guidelines; however bankruptcy is a determination by a court that a person can not satisfy their debts. Foreclosure is a little trickier because it indicates an inability or unwillingness to satisfy a debt, but once the foreclosure occurs there may or may not be any debt depending on whether the real estate is later sold for at least the value of the mortgage or if not whether the mortgage was insured through the VA, FHA or PMI or if the former mortgagee pays the difference between the balance of the mortgage and the sale price of the property. After the foreclosure or bankruptcy occurs, your friend will have to show that he acted in a financially reasonable and responsible manner in order to obtain or keep his security clearance depending on whether it occurs before or after his clearance is granted. If this matter is adjudicated favorably it should not have a negative effect on a future TS clearance, if he has no further financial difficulties.

  144. Avatar

    Your Secret clearance terminated the day you separated from the Army. To get the incident report resolved (adjudicated) some cleared federal contractor or government agency must sponsor you to have your clearance reinstated. You are eligible for reinstatement until Sep 09. To obtain sponsorship you must be hired or receive a “contingent offer of employment” for a job that requires a clearance.

  145. Avatar

    I do not know if the VA will consider you for employment with or without a security clearance. When you apply for a job with the federal government there is an investigation. The investigation will be used to determine employment suitability and, if required, security clearance eligibility. Unfortunately for a security clearance, multiple minor criminal offenses and currently being on probation are a potentially disqualifying conditions unless they can be mitigated. It might be possible to mitigate the minor criminal offenses but there is no direct mitigation for currently being on probation and I doubt that even a favorable “whole person” evaluation can indirectly mitigate it. I am not an expert on employment suitability issues, so I can not give you opinion about whether you would be disqualified for employment before you even reached the security clearance stage.

  146. Avatar

    I don’t know if a Special Interview (SPIN) will be conducted. Different agencies have different thresholds for conducting a SPIN. If you did not report both incidents to your security manager or FSO when they occurred, then there is a much greater likelihood that a SPIN will be conducted and there will be two issues to contend with instead of just one. Five years should be sufficient to mitigate alcohol abuse if you have been consuming alcohol moderately and responsibly since then. There are other mitigating factors that you should be aware of. I recommend you read my article regarding alcohol at

  147. Avatar

    Intentional falsification of a security form is potentially disqualifying for a clearance and it is a criminal offense for which the penalty is fine and/or prison. As a practical matter it is highly unlikely that a government agency would refer the matter to a federal prosecutor and even if they did, I doubt that any federal prosecutor would be willing or even allowed by his supervisor to accept the case. Also, clearance revocation is highly unlikely for a single instance of possible dishonesty that occurred 20 years ago.

  148. Avatar

    John Doess:
    About 80% of all security clearance investigations are done by OPM for other federal agencies. The other 20% are done by 10 Intelligence Community (IC) agencies that do their own investigations and adjudicate them. Almost all of the investigations done by OPM are sent to the federal agency that requested the investigation and are adjudicated by the requesting federal agency.

    Your situation sounds highly unusual. The only situation I can think of where you could retain a final clearance at DHS after being denied a final clearance at the same sensitivity level at another IC agency is if your final clearance was granted by DHS with an exception (Waiver, Condition, or Deviation). Are you sure the clearance was at the same sensitivity level? Almost all jobs at IC agencies (except DHS) require SCI eligibility and for SCI there are three levels of sensitivity: 1) SCI w/o polygraph, 2) SCI w/CI Scope Polygraph, and 3) SCI w/Expanded Scope Polygraph). Sometimes people believe they have been denied a clearance when in fact they have been found unsuitable for employment at an IC agency. Before you can be denied a clearance you must receive a letter (often called a Statement of Reason or a Letter of Intent or Letter of Instructions) that explains why the agency intends not to grant the clearance and offers the applicant an opportunity to rebut or respond to the letter.

  149. Avatar

    Different adjudication facilities have different procedures. All adjudicative facilities have a hierarchy of adjudicators—typically: adjudicators, senior adjudicators, supervisory adjudicators and senior supervisory adjudicators. I believe that “priority” cases will be reviewed by a first-level adjudicator ahead of most, if not all, “standard” cases. Standard cases will go to the bottom of the first-level adjudicator’s stack of cases. If the case is clean or relatively clean, the first level adjudicator will grant the clearance. If not, the case is transferred to a senior adjudicator. At that point I don’t know if “priority” cases receive any special treatment. A case with serious derogatory information could be reviewed by two or three levels of adjudicators before an SOR is signed or the clearance is granted. At some facilities the job of the third- or fourth-level adjudicator is to make the final clearance decision based on the case file, SOR, and the applicant’s SOR rebuttal letter.

  150. Avatar


    I recommend against listing non-US citizens as references. Unlike US citizens there is no presumption that a non-US citizen is loyal to the US; therefore, their recommendation about your loyalty to the US is questionable. I don’t mean to malign immigrant aliens, but serving as a character reference in a security clearance investigation is one of the responsibilities reserved for US citizens. As a former investigator I avoided interviewing anyone that I thought was not a US citizen, because I did not want to offend anyone by asking them directly and then declining to interview them. The investigator is allowed to use at least two of your listed references to fill the overall required number of references. Cases on applicants who recently left school are usually more difficult than most, because many of their closest associates also left the school at the same time. Your job in filling out the SF86 is to make the investigation as easy as possible for the investigator.

    Most IC agencies have a form specifically for foreign national spouses. The form covers everything that needs to be covered. Ask your FSO or security manager if they have a copy of such a form. Otherwise contact me off list and I’ll try to get a copy to you.

    The applicable adjudicative guideline did not change. Paragraph 5 “Personnel Security Standards” of DCID 6/4 (recinded on 1 Oct) stated at subparagraph b that “The individual’s immediate family must also be US citizens.” Paragraph E “Personnel Security Standards” of ICD #704 (which replaced DCID 6/4) does not have that restriction. To try to understand what this change means you must (as you did) also consider what is said at paragraph D6 about eligibility based on waivers for non-US citizens to whom the Subject is bound by affection or loyalty and paragraph E3 about people to whom the Subject is bound by affection or obligation not being subject to physical, mental or other forms of duress by a foreign power. There are two possible interpretations of these subparagraphs: 1) waivers are not required when the Subject is bound by affection or obligation to a non-citizen when that non-citizen is not subject to duress by a foreign power, and 2) waivers are not required for non-citizen immediate family members to whom the Subject is not bound by affection or loyalty. I believe interpretation #1 is the intended policy. Interpretation #2 makes the change in paragraph E meaningless to most people with non-US citizen immediate family members.

    A problem with policy documents produced during the waning days of any presidential administration is that too many are produced and many are often produced hastily without proper attention to detail, because they want to get them signed and promulgated before the agency director is replaced by the new administration. The ODNI’s 704 series policy documents have a few other more obvious flaws that will have to be fix soon. If you have been following the public pronouncements made by the DNI during the past 18 months or so, you will agree with me that he intended to make the non-US citizen immediate family requirement less restrictive in this new policy document. I hope that these policy documents will be corrected, clarified and reissued by January 2009.

  151. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson,

    Thanks for the detailed reply. I am indeed filling out the forms given to me for the exception process (though they all say that I’m asking for an exception to DCID 6/4, so presumably the changes haven’t trickled down yet…I seem to be more on top of the changes than my FSO, or our POC at the sponsoring agency). I was just curious as to whether those who have investigated such things have any suggestions based on issues that have arisen as they’ve looked into the non-citizen relatives.

    Actually, I guess that raises a question I hadn’t thought of — are these exception processes handled by the same folks who do the SSBI, or is it done in some other manner by the IC unit itself, since they each seem to have their own process? In which case, I guess no one here could help!

    Thanks again.

  152. Avatar


    Thanks for you help.

    The SDR says: “Subject failed to accurately indicate why he was terminated from A. Subject is not eligible for rehire with A and B. Determination – It is recommended that Mr. X is not suitable for employment as a contractor with DHS.”

    I assume that’s not an explicit denial? It may sound like a stupid question, but I’m very worried about being caught up with an unintentional mistake because I misread something :o).

    On the SF86P, it says “To your knowledge, have you ever had a clearance or access authorization denied, suspended, or revoked, or have you ever been debarred from government employment?” So, you’re saying that the revocation of an interim clearance does not fall under that criteria? If not, why? Is it because an interim clearance is not an actual clearance? I’m not questioning your judgment, I’d just like to know what your reasons are so that I have some defense other than “That’s what I was told” if it comes up.

    In your experience as an investigator and with the allegations I’ve described, do you think that the allegations would still be considered significant 4.5 years after the original investigation? Would you have considered it significant during your time as an investigator?

    Also, when disclosing my employment history, should I put down the information contained in the allegations as alleged information or should I put down what I originally stated (i.e. that I was never given reasons). I don’t want it to appear that I am/was being dishonest… and it will be hard to not bring it up since I’ll have to disclose that I was fired from my contractor job after my interim clearance revocation.

    Thanks again for all your help. You’re really helping me work through this. I’ve been very unsure what to do for the past four years about this… I wish I had found your site sooner!!


  153. Avatar

    I am enlisting in the reserves as a prior service member who has been off of active duty for more than 10 years. The OPM is conducting a NACLC. What type of information is investigated other than employment, credit history, and criminal back ground checks? Do they perform reference checks family members and friends, obtain copies of civilian medical records, prior military medical records, and interviews with current employers?

  154. Avatar

    Hi there,
    I have just joined the National Guard in a MOS that requires a Secret clearance.
    My situation is not overly unique however I’m a dual-citizen with Canada and have only been living in the States for about 2 months. I hold 2 passports which I understand I may be asked to relinquish my Canadian one, which I’m OK with. However, for the criminal and credit checks the investigators will only find a small amount of history. What happens when the credit check comes back and it shows nothing bad but really only being reported on a few months. Will they want me produce reports from the Canadians bureaus with my Canadian social insurance number and RCMP reports to show that I’m on the up and up?

    Thank you in advance for any replies

  155. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson/Adjudicator

    This is a very similar situation to Maria’s question. In the spring of 2007 I worked as an intern for an intelligence agency for a short period and received a TS/SCI clearance after being adjudicated. I did not receive a polygraph examination because of the short duration of my internship and the long backup requests for polygraph examinations. I intentionally left out a one-time experimentation with a prescription drug which happened a year before my adjudication. If I return to my previous intelligence agency employer in the future would this disqualify me when I admit my dishonesty? Thankyou

  156. Avatar

    I am in search of a simple answer to a complex question that continues to be the bane of my existence, because I have a very low patience’s threshold, and was hoping someone could help me? My clearance has vanished in the hole of Adjudication for about 2 months now and I’m worried it may never return. This is also very odd, because everything else went very fast up to this point.
    My question is, what exactly happens during Adjudication? And if you could explain it like you are talking to someone raised outside certain “acronym” circles, please? Also, how long does this process usually take and is there a number I can call or an email address I can write to in order to check on my packet?

    Thanks for the help

  157. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson,

    I was granted the clearance with DHS with no poly about 4 months ago, but was denied a clearance with a poly about a week ago from what I believe to be a three letter intel community agency (it was a contractor position, the “customer” was never actually told to me). Both levels of clearance I imagine are the same. What do you see happening at that point?

  158. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson,

    I currently have an active TS/SCI clearance with a DOD intel agency and I have applied to a job with a DOJ agency.
    Would I be undergoing a PR, SPIN or is this a totally new investigation? My original investigation was based on an OPM investigation 4 years ago and I was cleared 3 years ago by DOD. After this new investigation (according to my opm investigator) will I get another investigation in a year for my current DOD clearance if I do not get the job at DOJ?


  159. Avatar

    William Henderson,

    You said, “If you were granted a security clearance (at any level) by DHS even though you never had any access, the 2 year clock would have been reset to the date you left the DHS internship for reinstatement of a collateral clearance at any level.”

    I don’t know that I was granted any clearance at DHS, I just had to submit a SF86 for what I believe they called a suitability check. Would that still reset the 2 year clock?

  160. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson,

    I was told today in a somewhat sly way that since my TS/ SSBI has not completed adjudication, I may be ask to leave in the very near future. What does that mean for my clearance?? What are all of my options at this point? It’s really sad to see over 2 years of my life just vanish down the drain! Seems that there’s little Admin work to do around my office to keep me busy for another month or so.

    Really could use some positive solutions now!

    Thank You

  161. Avatar

    I’m trying to detremine the timeframe for receiving an interim secret clearance. I was offered a position with DHS back in July pending investigation. I filled out E-QIP in submitted on August 24th and sent the hard copies which were received on August 26th at DHS/FEMA HR Security Processing in Winchester, VA. I was interviewed, as well as my staff and employer, by an investigator on September 10th. My question is, what is a realistic timeframe to hear about outcome? My understanding is that an interim determination is a fairly quick process. Should have heard something by now?

  162. Avatar

    I just got my background investigation from OPM today, and there are a number of things that worry me.

    In 2000 and 2001 I was issued traffic citations for failure to maintain control–careless operation. I paid a $110 dollar fine each time. On the SF86 it states that have you been convicted of any other crime not listed on this form, leave out minor traffic infractions $150 or less unless they involved alcohol.

    Well, they didn’t involve alcohol. And I didn’t list them on the form. Now I’m extremely worried and annoyed.

    Another thing, I put a derogatory account on the form as well. I put that i satisfied the collection in July 04 and I’m quite sure that the agency was called. It was listed as open on the ivestigative report, but on every credit report that I’ve seen it says its closed.

    Also, something was blotted out for the FOIA exemption (b)(3) and Privacy Act exemption (j)(1). What does this mean. I’ve searched it on the Internet but didn’t get the statutory jargon.

    Finally, the DA was called and told the investigator that my simple assault charge was expunged. What does that mean for investigative purposes?

    As always any help or insight that could be given would be greatly appreciated

  163. Avatar

    What happens where there are no neighbors who remember you? This surely must happen quite often in places like apartment buildings with a lot of coming and going, where people don’t talk to each other, or where there is a high foreign population.

  164. Avatar

    I have been tentatively offered my first federal job–it’s DoD civilian, and it will apparently require a Secret clearance. On the SF-86 they sent me, neither of the following issues came up, so I certainly didn’t have to lie, but I would like to know just if/how they might come up in the ANACI:

    1. 18 months ago, I began working for a sandwich shop. As that semester of college came to a close, my grades weren’t good, and I just quit by no longer reporting to work–not an uncommon occurrence there. Wouldn’t have done it any place else, and I didn’t see it as a big deal at the time, but, there you go.

    2. In my current job, my supervisors the first and second level above me like me very much, but our department gives out written warnings very frequently, and I’ve had a few, the most serious of which involves a third manager (between the ranks of the aforementioned two) saw me entering my boss’s (one level above me) office. The boss whose office I entered never thought anything of it–but such was recorded on the written warning.

    I guess the nature common to the two questions regards how the surveys for the ANACI are distributed. Do they go to supervisors, HR departments, etc. Also, what do they say? Your opinions about the two above incidents would also be appreciated. Thanks.

  165. Avatar

    The investigator doing my clearance told some of the people she interviewed that their answers would be available online somewhere. Is this true? If so, how can I see how people responded to questions about me??

  166. Avatar

    Site B:
    Based on your post, I assume that your SSBI has been completed and sent to the appropriate adjudication facility (probably DISCO). If you loose your job while your case is pending adjudication, all processing will stop and your case status will change to “loss of jurisdiction.” If you establish an employment relationship with another employer who hires or offers to hire you for a job that requires a clearance, they can take ownership of your case and have the completed SSBI adjudicated by DISCO. Alternately, if your current employer must lay you off because they have no work for you without a clearance, you can offer to go on an unpaid leave of absence until the clearance is granted. When did you submit your SF86 and when was the SSBI completed? If your SF86 was submitted 2 years ago and your case has been pending adjudication for a few months, what has your FSO done to get them to act on it?

  167. Avatar

    Former ICBM Missileer:
    No. To reset the clock a clearance must be granted. It is unusual to require an SF86 for anything other than a security clearance. There are other forms that are used for suitability determinations and Public Trust positions—SF85, SF85P, & SF85PS.

  168. Avatar

    John Doessss:
    If you were polygraphed by an IC agency, but you don’t know the identity of the IC agency, how did the polygraph examiner identify himself? Did you apply for this mystery clearance through a different employer than the DHS clearance? Did this employer tell you that you would receive formal notification of the clearance denial later? If you are in fact denied SCI eligibility (more probably SAP eligibility) by an IC agency, it could result in having your DHS clearance revoked—it just depends on the reason the IC agency denied your clearance. Some SAPs have some special restrictions that don’t apply to collateral clearances and SCI eligibility.

  169. Avatar

    It seems to me that the SDR is a document used internally within DHS for an adjudicator to communicate an adjudicative recommendation to a senior adjudicator or supervisor for a decision to issue or not issue an SOR. (See my response to Mack on 12 Nov at 12:55am about adjudicators) I don’t think a final decision was made your case. More than 20% interim clearance decisions are unfavorable and the interim clearance is not granted, but in the vast majority of these cases a final clearance is granted. Not being granted an interim clearance or having an interim clearance withdrawn is not considered a clearance denial, because the decision regarding an interim clearance is based on either an incomplete investigation or a case than has not gone through the entire adjudication process. In your case once the preliminary unfavorable decision made (as documented in the SDR), a “due process” SPIN (Special Interview) is usually scheduled to afford you the opportunity to respond to the allegations. With or without a SPIN, a final decision to deny a clearance is not made until an SOR is issued and the applicant’s response to the SOR is taken into consideration. At some stage after the SOR, the applicant has a right to a hearing or a personal appearance before an Adminstrative Judge. In both federal security clearances and federal Public Trust clearances, there are “due process” requirements and disclosure requirements. You can not be denied a clearance without being notified and without certain due process rights.

    I don’t know the exact procedures at each of the 100+ federal agencies that process clearances. There are probably lawyers out there that have had experience with DHS clearance matters, who may be able to provide an authoritive answer to your question for a reasonable fee. Some lawyers who specialize in clearance law answer questions by email through their websites.

    Whether or not the allegations are significant depends how long ago they occurred. Most investigations have a 7 year period of coverage for employment. If these employments occurred more than 7 years ago, they will fall outside the timeframe of the questions on the application form (10 years for a Top Secret clearance). If the jobs fall within the timeframe, I would explain on the form what I was told by the employer and what I learned through the Privacy Act request.

  170. Avatar

    The Privacy Act (which is concerned with maintaining privacy of informaton about individuals) is an exception to the Freedom of Information Act (which is concerned with making government records available to the public). There are exceptions to the Privacy Act—the most important of which is the right of an individual to obtain information about himself. There are also excepts to an individual’s right to obtain information about himself. For investigative reports these exceptions include: some information from mental health practitioners, information from confidential sources, classified information, and information held by the CIA. Both the FOIA and PA are amended from time to time and sometimes the paragraph numbers change. FOIA (b)(3) refers to laws like the Privacy Act. In the version of the Privacy Act I looked paragraph (j)(1) indicates an exception for CIA records.
    You were not required to list the traffic tickets (less than $150) on your SF86 because they are not adjudicatively significant. That doesn’t mean that the investigator will not report the existance and disposition of traffic violations that surface during the course of his police records checks. Just because they are in the investigative report doesn’t mean that they had any adjudicative significance. There are often differences between the records of collection agencies and the information in a credit report. If the applicant’s explanation of the debt and the credit report agree, the collection agency’s record is usually considered incorrect.
    The investigator knew of your assault charge (either through your SF86 or other sources), failed to find the court record because no record of it existed, and contacted the DA’s office in an attempt to determine whether or not the matter was ever heard in court. It sounds like the investigator did everything correctly. Reporting that the DA’s office told him that the record was expunged, is the investigator’s way of telling the adjudicator that he did everything he could to locate the record, but it no longer exists. If no court record exists, the matter is adjudicated based on what the applicant says happened and on what other sources indicate.

  171. Avatar

    Nothing happens. The investigative report is submitted indicating what attempts were made to interview neighborhood references and that they could not be found. The residence must be verified through records and corroborated through secondary sources. You think apartments are tough, consider military barracks and college dormitories.

  172. Avatar

    Another secret clearance question with strings:

    I’m 38 and I will be finished with a degree in IT in a little over a year. Most of the jobs I am looking at require secret clearance. Here’s my dilemma:

    1. In the process of chapter 7. Reason: owned a business for 2 years and lost a lot of money. The good news is I have 8 accounts that are in good standing, but needed bankruptcy protection because of the business failure.

    2. I owe a combined $18,000 in state and federal income/withholding taxes (I have a payment plan in place).

    3. I owe back child support of $12,000 (I’ve had a payment plan in place for the past 5 years).

    4. I served 3 1/2 years Navy Reserve, 9 months active Navy (Desert Shield/Storm), but did not fulfill my commitment when I came home. Although I’ve got a DD214 that says my character of service was “Honorable”, I was discharged back to the Navy Reserve where I didn’t finish. It also says separation code is LBK and reentry code is RE-3R.

    Will I be able to acquire Secret clearance next year or is it completely out of the question?

  173. Avatar

    Mr Henderson,

    Thank you for your timely reply! The requested info is as follows:
    Investigation Summary

    SSBI from OPM, Opened: 2006 03 22 Closed 2008 05 20

    CNAC from DSS, Opened: Closed 1998 01 15


    Adjudication Summary

    PSI Adjudication of SSBI OPM, Opened 2006 03 22, Closed 2008 05 20, determined Eligibility of

    PSI Adjudication of CNAC DSS, Opened , Closed 1998 01 15, determined Eligibility of Interim Top Secret on 2006 02 15 DISCO

    Mr. Henderson, As for trying to get an answer or any information on my adjudication timeframe; my FSO says tough luck bud!!!!! She says…. why bother with something I could never give you an answer about!!! She says; Don’t even think of asking me to call them (DISCO) and apply pressure!!! She says never to call her again…..She will send me an email when my clearance has been blessed.

    So Mr. Henderson, there you have it! I have such a helpful and friendly FSO to deal with!



  174. Avatar

    My fiance is MI and holds a high TS clearance; he will lose his job if clearance is ever denied. If we get married, will my past credit (everything prior to our marriage) be scrutinized, and will it affect his TS clearance?

  175. Avatar

    I previously submitted SF86 forms for a clearance through the DOE. That clearance has not come through yet at 1 year, 4 months. I am now submitting forms through the DOD. Drug use in my history was very minimal. On my first SF86 I answered no to the question of illegal drug use in the time frame. After contemplating on it longer this time I feel like its possible that one of the times could’ve been and will be in the time frame they want to know about. But it also may not be…I just can’t remember because it was so far back and so minimal. I was thinking I would list yes this time and say that it is possible to be in the time frame and that it was not previously listed because I did not remember it then. Will this look badly? Also, on the question of tickets over 150 dollars…how are you supposed to remember or have a record of that if they occurred long ago? I obtained my driving record, but what I paid is not on there. How do I find this information out at this point or does it not really matter? Thanks!

  176. Avatar

    NOTE – We will be closing this thread later today (11/14). Please look in a newer thread for answers to your questions. Thanks

  177. Avatar

    Site B:
    Why would your employer be hinting about terminating your employment if you have an interim TS clearance? Are there some aspects of your job that you can’t do with only an interim?

  178. Avatar

    Mr Henderson,

    Thats exactly my point. I never had a SPIN. Can the Adjudicator have one done before a final decision is rendered. Can and will my enlistment waiver be used to in this process? What or the other viable sources?

  179. Avatar

    Your type of exception is a foreign national “waiver.” Investigators only ask the same type of questions that appear on the specialized forms for foreign national immediate family members used by IC agencies. In the past waivers were granted by the adjudicative (IC) agency based on the completed investigation, a compelling need statement, and a risk assessment. So, no the exception is not process by the folks who do the SSBI (investigative agency). The compelling need statement can be written by anyone, but must be signed by a Senior Official of the Intelligence Community or a designee. The risk assessment is done by the adjudicative agency or it’s counterintelligence office.

  180. Avatar

    Karen Wilson:
    Chapter 1 of my book, Security Clearance Manual (which is posted on my website at ) describes the components and period of coverage of NACLCs and other security clearance investigations.

  181. Avatar

    No. Whatever investigative checks are needed for your investigation will be done by the investigative agency. I think there are more important questions, such as: How old are you? What other countries did you live in prior to coming to the US. Why did you choose to live in a country other than the US? How did you obtain US and Canadian citizenship. I recommend you read Guideline B (Foreign Influence) and Guideline C (Foreign Preference) of the Adjudicative Guidelines.

  182. Avatar

    Intentionally providing false information on a security form is a potentially disqualifying condition. There are mitigating factors for intentionally falsifying a security form. The degree to which such factors apply to you will determine whether or not you are granted a clearance in the future.

  183. Avatar

    Clearance processing in the federal government is not done within a single monolithic structure. Every agency in the federal government has the authority to adjudicate their own clearances. OPM conducts security and suitability investigations for over 100 different federal agencies. There are other agencies that also conduct clearance investigations. There are 4 basic levels of national security clearances and 2 levels of Public Trust clearances, as well as other suitability determinations that some people think are clearance but are not actually clearances.
    So, what agency is adjudicating your case, who conducted the investigation, what type of clearance is involved, what type of investigation was conducted, and how serious was any unfavorable information that may have been present in your case? All of these factors will influence the time it takes to adjudicate your case. Information about adjudication time is only available for a limited number of federal agencies.

  184. Avatar

    Clarification Needed:
    Are you a federal employee in DOD applying for a federal employee position at DOJ or a DOD contractor applying for a DOJ contractor position or a DOD employee applying for a DOJ contractor position or a DOD contractor applying for a federal employee position at DOJ?

  185. Avatar

    Not everyone is considered for an interim clearance. Your investigation does not appear to be only for a Secret clearance, because a Personal Subject Interview (PRSI) and in person reference interviews are not routinely conducted during an ANACI for a Secret clearance. These investigative actions are normally conducted during Limited Background Investigations and Background Investigations for Moderate- and High-Risk Public Trust positions that also require Secret security clearances. When it comes to interim Public Trust clearances, federal agencies do things their own way. I don’t know the exact procedures for interim PT clearances at DHS. There are no government-wide rules for granting interim PT clearances. Some agencies may require a completed NAC plus credit report before an interim PT clearance can be grant. In which case it could take 2 to 3 months from the date your case was opened at the investigative agency.

  186. Avatar

    I’m afraid that others will view your termination of employment at the sandwich shop differently. Your employment record at the sandwich shop probably indicates that you were fired for job abandonment, since you did not tell them you were quitting. I can’t comment on the written warning because you did not say what rule you violated. The letter inquiries in an ANACI for employment are sent to the name and address of the companies you listed on your SF86. The company decides who in the company will respond to the letter, but it’s usually someone in HR. Other letters are sent to schools and character references you list on your SF86. The questions on the letters are tailored according to the type of person who will receive it. For employers the questions include: dates of employment, reason for termination, work performance, recommendation, comments, etc.

  187. Avatar

    Tom Smith:
    No, it is not true. However, after your investigation is completed you can request a copy of it under the Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts (FOIPA) from the agency that conducted the investigation. Every agency posts information on their website about FOIPA request procedures.

  188. Avatar

    There are very few situations were a person definitely will not be granted a clearance. Your situation is not one of them, but yours will be an uphill struggle. The most important thing for you to do is to get the bankruptcy completed as soon as possible and consistently do everything you are obligated to do from here forward. I recommend you read my 3 part article on “Personal Finances and Security Clearances” at

  189. Avatar

    Yes. If your fiancé is in Military Intelligence and his clearance is revoked, he will be reclassified into a specialty that does not require a clearance. If he is an officer or NCO, he may be separated from the military, because all officers and NCOs must be eligible for a clearance. Generally your premarital bad debts will not affect your future spouse’s security clearance, unless it appears that he can be influenced to do something stupid to alleviate the financial pressure on you.

  190. Avatar

    If you don’t recall the amount of your traffic violation, list it on your SF86 and indicate that you don’t recall the amount.

  191. Avatar

    In the past I have answered questions like yours when it seemed that the person asking the question intended to tell the truth and only wanted to know the possible mitigation and outcome in advance. Your questions regarding drug use are phrased in such a way that it seems to me that you want information to help you decide whether or not to tell the true on a clearance application. I’m sorry I can’t help you in this way. It is your choice to apply or not apply for a position that requires a security clearance; you do not have a choice when it comes to telling the truth.

  192. Avatar

    William Henderson:

    I’m sorry that it came across that way that I was trying to decide whether or not to tell the truth. Of course I am going to tell the truth. I am inquiring whether my circumstance will appear as an attempt to deceive when it was simply a difficult event to remember. The fact that you misunderstood my question is the very reason for my concern. Thank you for your time and I appreciate any further feedback.

  193. Avatar

    I just was notified that I was picked for a GS-12 job pending security clearance. It is not top secret but the one down from that. I had a bankruptcy in 2001 and I have a tax lein for 5000 due to bouts of layoffs. I also cosigned for a car for my son and he had it repossessed and now they want me to pay. I have excellent job references,landlord references and no record at all. Everything is stellar except for my credit. What are the chances of me getting security clearance.

  194. Avatar

    William Henderson:
    Interesting. What I am looking at is a civilian position with the DIA, holding a TS/SCI. In my previous life I was an intelligence analyst with the US Army. My background remains more or less the same as it did when I held a TS/SCI before, minus being marred (and yes she is a US citizen with no foreign travel). We are very boring people, so I don’t think there is any “unfavorable issues” that would be a factor. That’s why I’m very confused as to why I’m into the second month with no word. As I said, everything went very quick up to this point. Now the kicker is that we live no where near the DC area. Like not even within 1000 miles of the DC area. So everything is on hold right now, and with the holidays coming up…. I can’t even begin to define for you the issues and ramifications of planning here or trying to figure out what to do there, who’s family are we going to visit, and forget about buying air plane tickets now, because where are we going to fly from??? I’m buying Rogain to fill in the hair I have pulled out.

    So that’s why I was looking for an average time, or some contact information I could get in order to ping someone for a “yea we are working on it and it should be complete by….” So the wife and I can move on and not live on pins and needles about planning the next month and a half. Thanks again for the help.

  195. Avatar


    I’m a previously uncleared civilian going for her full (not interim) TS/SCI. My investigation just closed (it took about 2 weeks). The investigator told one of my neighbors that the adjudication process takes about 30 days. That doesn’t jibe at all with what I’ve read here or anywhere else.

    Anyone have any ideas? Thank you.

  196. Avatar

    Mr. henderson,
    Thank you!

  197. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson,

    You’re correct….With only an interm TS, I’m only allowed to do certain sensitive work. This answer is referring back to your post (13 Nov 08-11:28am).
    UPDATE: Now it seems (as of Friday); I can go back doing the sensitive work like everybody else is doing even without my final TS adjudicated!!! I’m all confused now! Is it legal???
    Please review my post on (14 Nov 08-10:56am) for the correct way to handle the situation. Are most adjudications NOW being pushed to the back burner because of the new administration clearances???


  198. Avatar

    I posted this a week ago on a separate thread, but never received a response, so I am re-posting this again. Hopefully, someone will reply.


    I would like to know my chances of receiving a top-secret clearance given the following circumstances.

    I have been working as a contractor in a government research lab since January of 2007. I applied for my secret clearance in April of 2007 and received it in October of 2007. My supervisor mentioned that I have the option to apply for a top-secret clearance and therefore this would allow me to work on more interesting research projects.

    My wife is from China and she came to the United States as a graduate student in 1997. After getting married in the summer of 2003 she obtained her green card later that year. She will receive her US citizenship in November 2008. She has no family members that are living in the US. During 1999, 2001, 2003 she visited China 2 to 3 weeks on average respectively. After I received my secret clearance, in 2007 she visited China for 4 weeks and in 2008 for 3 weeks. The purpose of visiting China is so she could visit her parents. However in 2008, her parents had the opportunity to visit us for 3 and a half months. In the future my wife would like to visit her aging parents once a year.

    I am natural born citizen who has never traveled outside the United States and do not speak any foreign languages.

    Let me re-iterate, since obtaining a top-secret clearance is a serious issue, I would like to know your opinion regarding my chances of receiving a TS before applying for one.

    Thank You.

  199. Avatar

    I have a LBI, what it means is it a confidential. haveing PR, and dont know what to put in Q18,(a) of my SF85p, (Your investigation Record)

  200. Avatar

    If i’ve been arrested more 10 years ago will customs grant me a security clearence? 2 dui’s, theft by recieving stolen property and transporting liquor across state lines. Do i have a chance of becoming a CBPO?

  201. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson,

    I am a current contractor and former fed employee.
    I was interviewed for the DOJ fed job several years ago and they did a BI on me at that time. I heard nothing from them and went on to a contractor position with DOD. However, I have also been a fed employee for another exec branch agency during this time period and I am currently a contractor again.

  202. Avatar

    I have been told that WHS holds Government employees at a higher level than contractors that holds a same security clearance. This is an unfair practice of WHS. Why does WHS revoke clearances based on fear that the government employee will sell the government out, but contractor employees in the same circumstance are being granted clearances.

    I do know the adjudication guidelines and worked in a facility that grants security clearances to contractor individuals. Myself and others had to clear individuals that clearly should not have gotten a security clearance. The guidelines are bent to clear individuals just so the backlog to be brought up to date because the pressure that was put on our facility to get them cleared. I have seen clearances granted on individuals who has thousands and thousands of dollars in debt (up above the allowed threshold) and was told to clear them because garnishment of wages is an intent to repay their debts. I think that garnishment is an involuntary repayment of what is owed. So how is that an honest way of paying bills? There are others cases in which loyality is an issue but based upon the subject interview the individual tells a good song and dance, and does not produce evidence, the adjudicator must clear them.

    I had a security clearance for the past 30 years of my work life is in jeopardy of being revoked. I spent over a year of honestly and responsibility paying my debt (in which the total amount was far below the threshold). I clearly showed that payment of the few small amounts of debt was in process of being repayed back and showed a plan, and based on my professional experience in adjudications, I can mitigate everything successfully. It is unfortunate that things went bad, but the way that the economy has became, somethings must suffer. I had to prioritize what is more important to pay and go down the list. But everyone is getting their money.

    The system is unfair and inconsistent. There are many loyal government employees that had their clearances revoked for many reasons, not just financial. They come to work everyday and have many job appraisals and awards that shows they do their jobs proudly because they are dedicated to the US government. But the government dumps them based on “fear”.

    I hope that there is a high level government official that will read this and look into it. They will find out what is wrong and will correct the processes.

  203. Avatar

    I am not sure why the investigator discussed any thing about your case with this neighbor of yours. Your investigator shold have only asked the required questions for a source and said thank you and have a nice day. Adjuducation times can vary depending on many variables such as the work load of the adjudicator. Your investigator should have said nothing to your neighbor about your case.

  204. Avatar

    I live in an area where more than half the people have TS/SCI clearances and this thing is very par for the course. My neighbor is also a bit on the nosy side, and probably asked. Three members of her family are TS/SCI with full-scope poly.

    I have a pretty clean SF-86 (experimental pot use in college, more than a year ago. In the remarks section I said I wouldn’t do it again, that I’ve disassociated from contacts who did it/I don’t go to parties where it’s offered, and that I regret my actions). I told my investigators everything and never denied a thing.

    The investigator who spoke to me was former DEA and had been a contract investigator for many, many years, and I think he was used to doing things like this. Whether or not he was supposed to talk to my neighbor, I was just a little curious. He was extremely kind to me. He told me my drug use wouldn’t be a problem and that he was impressed with how honest I was. My main question is: is it possible for a TS/SCI to be adjudicated in 30 days?

  205. Avatar

    i need to do sf85p, i used to register an self corp. without activities since 2005 but not closed, should i file unemployment or file self employee from 2005 to present.

  206. Avatar

    Yes, it is possible for a TS/SCI to be adjudicated in 30 days. Keep in mind that depending on who the investigative agency and the adjudicative agency are, it can take up to 14 days just to transfer the case file after the investigation closes. BTW an investigation does not close until all the field reports and all components of the NAC are done and have been reviewed by a case analyst. It’s hard to imagine an SSBI being completed in 2 weeks. The minimum time for the NAC portion (which is totally out of the control of the investigative agency) of the SSBI is about 4 weeks.

  207. Avatar

    If you previously had an LBI based on an SF85P, it was for a Public Trust position, not a security clearance. On the other hand if you had an LBI based on an SF86, it was for both a Public Trust position and a Secret security clearance. If you don’t know which agency did the investigation, ask your security officer to look it up in the appropriate investigation/clearance database. Public Trust clearances are coded 7 for other. Previously most LBIs were done by OPM (code=3), but recently different divisions (CBP, ICE, TSA) of DHS have been doing a lot of them.

  208. Avatar

    Clarification Needed:
    Because yours is not a “crossover case” a new investigation could be required for employment suitability purpose, not for a security clearance. To have your TS/SCI transferred from DoD to DOJ might have the added requirement of a polygraph, but nothing else. For employment suitability purposes DOJ can require whatever they want, including an investigation, drug testing, psychological evaulation.

  209. Avatar


    I just read some cases where security clearance was denied because the applicant filed late tax returns for a couple of years.

    Could you tell me if the following circumstances mitigates security concerns. I am in a similar situation. Thank you.

    I didn’t tax file from 2004 to 2007. I filed in Nov 2008. I didn’t document the late tax filings in the SF86 however, online cases show that this info goes under the delinquent debt questions. I will tell the investigator about this when I am contacted.

    – laid off in summer 2002, unemployed until Sept 2003 then worked part time until fall 2005
    – Economy was real bad for IT. A tax prep from HR Block was doing my taxes at the time.
    – between summer 2002 and spring 2005 I only made about 15G. both years, I thought I didn’t make enough to file.
    – I attempted to file on my own however, I had issues finding the appropriate docs and records to file accurately. I moved 2005, 2006 and 2007 and docs may have been lost or thrown away unintentionally. I hardly can file my own taxes and have taken steps to receive counseling.
    – I didn’t think I owed taxes and was unaware of my tax obligations. I honestly thought you had 5 years to file and you just took a penalty if there were late filings.
    -Ever since my interim has been denied, I have been stressed about making sure I was aware and advised of all my financial issues.

    – I hired a tax preparer to file my taxes. I paid fed 300 and state 200 for 2007. I didn’t owe the other years. I had a refunds for 2005 and 2006.
    – HR block rep counseled me on how to prepare for future filings and proper record keeping.
    – I am also going to attend a tax prep course that will be available next year so I can be better educated on tax filing.
    – HR Block rep will contact me during tax time via email and phone to go over tax file for 2008.
    – I have also coordinated regular appointments with HR block financial adviser to ensure I stay on track throughout the year.

  210. Avatar

    I am about to fill out the sf 86 form for the first time. I have a very clean record, except for one issue. I recently got fired from a job, accused of embezzelment, which I denied (in writing) that I wasn’t aware of. In other words, I was not aware that I was breaking the company’s policy. Which I plan on taking them to court for down the road.

    My question is, is it even worth pursuing the DOD clearance, if it’s going to be denied hands down by just looking at this issue. I plan on stating my case with 100% truth on the forms.

    Thanks in advance for any help

  211. Avatar

    Thanks for your response.
    My clearance is not being transferred to DOJ as far as I know I am under a new investigation as if I never had one completed before by DOJ or as if I have not held a clearance. Suitablity is still to be determined according to my HR POC at DOJ after my clearance investigation is complete. The poly is not an issue as I am currently with a DOD IC agency and have been subject to the poly before. I guess I am confused about the duplication.

  212. Avatar

    William Henderson:
    In your recent article on the ClearanceJobs site, you state that DISCO grants 75% of the received clearances without referral to DOHA, but in your book you give the figure of 94%. Does this reflect a change in policy or is one of the figures incorrect? You also state in the article that DISCO processes 150,000 a year, but one of the lead articles here says that they received 586,000 in 2007. Using the larger figure, 6 per cent would be about 35,000 which is consistent with figure of 35,000 to 40,000 DOHA cases you quote. Can you clarify this?

  213. Avatar

    You’re right! My investigation has gone on a little longer than this. It took about two weeks from when they first started calling my contacts to the end of the investigation. I’ve lived in the same house since I was a baby and went to college only a little bit away. All of my old friends are still in the area. Boring, I know.

    I did submit my SF86 some weeks earlier, but not by more than a month or so. Today I got a call that my paperwork was being submitted to the adjudicators this afternoon. Things have moved very fast. I was just surprised to hear that the adjudication period could be as short as 30 days.

  214. Avatar

    Hi, I have been offered a position with the DOI. My positiion is assigned the sensitivity level designation of Moderate Risk. A Preliminary Background investigation/NAC must be favorably completed before appointment can be finalized.

    In 2002, I was arrested for a total of 2 hours before bailing out and charged with Misdemeanor Disturbing the Peace. Do you expect this occurrence with the law to cause me any issues with obtaining the background investigation?

  215. Avatar


    Did I read somewhere in the blog that a FSO can contact the CAF at the 120 day mark and request a status check on an investigation. This would include a tentative time frame on when the investigative file would be adjudicated.

    If so, is this just an “understanding” between FSO’s and CAF’s or is it “policy”?


  216. Avatar

    I was in for a TS/SCI and Full scope poly recently. I just found out I was denied (no clue why yet). It was through one of the “alphabet soup” agencies. I have three questions:

    1) How will they tell me I was denied? I found out because some work I do is at a defenese place and the FSO there had access to JPAS and looked it up for me. The place I went for the clearance through, has not contacted me yet.

    2) How long does the appeal process take?

    3) I currently hold a SECRET level clearance. How does being denied the SCI effect this? The clearances are both under the same umbrella (ie same place sponsered both).


  217. Avatar

    I don’t know why nobody is replying to my question. Others who have posted after me have received responses, so it seems like I my question was skipped.
    Note: I entered a different email address. I am not allowed to give out any information regarding my work email and address.

    Let me try again.


    I would like to know my chances of receiving a top-secret clearance given the following circumstances.

    I have been working as a contractor in a government research lab (classified) since January of 2007. I applied for my secret clearance in April of 2007 and received it in October of 2007. My supervisor mentioned that I have the option to apply for a top-secret clearance and therefore this would allow me to work on more interesting research projects.

    My wife is from China and she came to the United States as a graduate student in 1997. After getting married in the summer of 2003 she obtained her green card later that year. She will receive her US citizenship in November 2008. She has no family members that are living in the US. During 1999, 2001, 2003 she visited China 2 to 3 weeks on average respectively. After I received my secret clearance, in 2007 she visited China for 4 weeks and in 2008 for 3 weeks. The purpose of visiting China is so she could visit her parents. However in 2008, her parents had the opportunity to visit us for 3 and a half months. In the future my wife would like to visit her aging parents once a year.

    I am natural born citizen who has never traveled outside the United States and do not speak any foreign languages.

    Let me re-iterate, since obtaining a top-secret clearance is a serious issue, I would like to know your opinion regarding my chances of receiving a TS before applying for one.

    Thank You.

  218. Avatar


    The blog article (Length of OPM Investigations) stated that OPM received 586,569 initial security clearance investigations. If you add in the periodic reinvestigations, the number exceeds 700,000 investigations. But DISCO cases only represent only a fraction of the investigations conducted by OPM for many federal agencies.

    I appologize for the error in my book. This error was based on the fact that the vast majority of DOHA adjudicators are collocated with DISCO adjudicators in Columbus, OHIO and on my misunderstanding of the exact stage/level at which cases with derogatory information transfer from DISCO to DOHA (DOHA also has a small staff of adjudicators at its headquarters in Arlington, VA). Industrial cases adjudicated by DISCO/DOHA (like other adjudication facilities) go through multiple levels of review before an SOR is issued, then additional review before a Letter of Denial/Revocation is issued. I didn’t recognize my error until fall 2007 when DOHA made some case data publicly available.

  219. Avatar

    If the case was processed through DISCO and if the case has been open for over one year and the status has not changed in 120 days, you can call the DOD call center at (888) 282-7682 and ask that a case file be written up. This should result in some positive action. I don’t know if this is a matter of written policy or not.

  220. Avatar

    The adjudicative criteria for collateral Secret clearances and collateral TS clearances are exactly the same; only the investigations are different. So, if there is no significant difference between the SF86 you submitted for your Secret clearance and the SF86 you will submit for a TS clearance, you should have no difficultly getting a collateral (a clearance that does not involve any special access authorization) TS clearance.

  221. Avatar

    William Henderson:
    Thank you for the clarification. The reason I asked is that there are some mitigated concerns in my case, and I figured that if 6% go to DOHA I will probably not be among them but if it’s 25% then I probably will be (interim denied is probably a good tip-off).

    Do you happen do know how much time DOHA adds to an adjudication? This is quite important to me because I’m supporting myself pending adjudication. This is for TS. I suppose there’s no problem in getting a temporary job meantime, but this is hard without knowing how long I will be available and of course I have to work for the sponsor within 30 days of it coming through.

  222. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson,

    It seems my last message did not post here like promised…So, here goes again……

    You’re correct….With only an interm TS, I’m only allowed to do certain sensitive work. This answer is referring back to your post (13 Nov 08-11:28am).
    UPDATE: Now it seems (as of Friday); I can go back doing the sensitive work like everybody else is doing even without my final TS adjudicated!!! I’m all confused now! Is it legal???
    Please review my post on (14 Nov 08-10:56am) for the correct way to handle the situation. Are most adjudications NOW being pushed to the back burner because of the new administration clearances???


  223. Avatar

    Site B:

    An interim TS clearance is valid for access to all collateral Secret and Confidential information, plus all collateral TS information, except RD, NATO, and COMSEC at the TS level. So unless your job requires access to RD, NATO and/or COMSEC at the TS level, an interim TS is just as good as a final TS. You didn’t say anything about SCI/SAP, so I am assuming no special access authorization is needed.

    The number of Presidential Transition Team clearances are so small compared to the overall number of clearances that they really don’t have any affect other applicants and absolutely no effect on DISCO cases because DISCO only handles contractors.

  224. Avatar

    I recieved my TS clearance update in April 2001. I retired from the Army Oct 2005. Is my TS clearance still active?

  225. Avatar

    It’s probably not wise to make any significant distinction between cases adjudicated at DISCO and those adjudicated by DOHA, except that the potential exists for a protracted adjudication time if the case goes to DOHA. On the other hand, some DOHA cases are probably adjudicated in just slight more time than the average at DISCO. It’s better to think of DISCO and DOHA as two parts of one Central Adjudication Facility (CAF) with lower level adjudicators assigned to the DISCO part and higher level adjudicators assigned to the DOHA part. CAFs can have as many as 4 levels of adjudicators–adjudicators, senior adjudicators, supervisory adjudicators, and senior supervisory adjudicators, although they may not be known by these titles. DISCO has adjudicators and supervisory adjudicators, but their supervisory adjudicators have less adjudicative authority than the adjudicators at DOHA. It’s better to think about adjudication as a continuum with the simplest cases being granted clearances at the lowest level and the most complex cases being either granted or denied at the highest level. The time required to adjudicate a case depends on the level at which the decision is made. During FY07 the month by month average adjudication time for all industrial SSBIs ranged from 28 days to 132 days (if you throw out August, the range was 28 to 66); whereas NACLCs averages ranged from 35 to 89 days. The average adjudication time for the top 80% of industrial cases (NACLCs & SSBIs) during the first quarter of FY08 was 50 days (30 days for all CAFs). You can’t draw any conclusions from these figures because they are only averages, and they become even more irrelevant when the averages represent only the top 80%. By way of example in the 1st quarter of FY07 adjudication of all initial investigations averaged 39 days and the adjudication of the top 80% of initial investigations took 17 days. If you do the math, you will see that the average adjudication time for the bottom 20% of initial investigations took 127 days or roughly 7 ½ times longer than the top 80%. And, the 127 is only an average—for every case that took 37 days there was one that took 217 days. Averages mean nothing when you are trying to predict how long your adjudication will take. It’s probably better to try to calculate the range of possibilities (i.e. best case of about 1 month and worst case of about 8 months), then try to gauge where you case fits in the continuum of simple to extremely complex cases).

  226. Avatar

    DISCO Columbus Ohio are granting clearances to individuals that clearly should not be granted to. DISCO has been under the gun from higher ups to get old cases processed. DOHA complains that they are receiving investigations for further adjudication that DISCO should have adjudicated. The adjudicative guidelines are being stretched into the gray zones to clear individuals. Many of DISCOs decisions are based upon what the subject tells them in the subject interviews and not from actual evidence.

  227. Avatar


    I have a great job offer with DHS that requires a TS/SCI. I am very concerned that my drug history is going to stand in the way and they need an answer soon as to whether I will take the position.. The position will require the SF-85P to get hired on, which I believe will not be a big problem. I have good credit, never been arrested, and never had a DUI. When I was in college I did my fair share of smoking pot. My real concern was when I showed very bad judgment in July of 2007, a friend wanted some pot, a guy I worked with at a bar was a smoker and sold me $20 worth to give to him, I sold it to my friend for $30, I justified it in my mind as it was a hassle to get out to his house, that is defined as trafficking with intent for profit. I realized that I really did not want to be around that environment and left the bar a few weeks later and have cut off contact with my friends who are on the sketchy side. For my public trust clearance I needed for my current job I declared it already (SF85P). My drug history is as follows.
    2006/12 – I ate 2 pot brownies as a Christmas party
    2005/05 – I smoked pot 8-12 times
    2002/09–>2003/05 – I smoked marijuana daily
    2003/01 – I smoke 1 marijuana joint with a tiny bit of cocaine sprinkled on it
    2001/10–>2002/09 – I smoked Marijuana 25-30 times
    2001/12 – I smoked 1 joint of marijuana with opium in it. I figure I have smoked about 275 times

    Do I stand a chance of getting this clearance with a background like this?

  228. Avatar

    I had a child with an ex-girlfriend. My name was placed on the birth certificate. My ex stopped contact with me shortly after the child was born and recently I was served with a Termination of Parental Rights summons for the state of North Carolina. Through my attorney I learned that she had remarried and her husband wanted to adopt. My attorney represented me stating that I would not contest the Termination. Could this hurt my chances at a security clearance?

  229. Avatar

    I had a clearance for more than 25 years. By the virture of a divorce, hardship of raising kids, and the fastly raising costs of living, Iam now losing my security clearance because WHS thinks that Iam a risk to national security.

    For more than two years my life has been in a turmoil and I have been taking care of my financial business the best way I can. I showed WHS a business plan on taking care of past and current responsibilities. The total financial reponsibilities was below the financial threshold that has been set. WHS has seen where I have been taking care of everything. I have mitigated successfuly every issue that came upon me.

    Well, I found out that WHS revoked my clearance and the appeal upheld it. Now I Would like to know where to go from here and I want to still fight it this decision. Where do I go from here.

  230. Avatar

    I posted yesterday morning and it still hasn’t shown up. When I tried to post it again, it said it was a duplicate post. Am I missing something???

  231. Avatar

    I have a current DISCO TS clearance. I want to start working in nuclear plants. I understand reciprocity but how is it implemented? How does one have his clearance transfered? What do I tell my employer to bypass the initiating of a new DOE clearance?

  232. Avatar

    William Henderson:
    I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the detailed information you have given. Looking at a range of one to eight months does make things very difficult though. At two months my medical insurance will run out, and this is not a risk I can take on behalf of my family.

    As one last question, can you confirm that it is OK to take temporary work for another company while waiting for adjudication, provided I am willing to comply with the terms of the conditional offer and start work for the sponsor within 30 days of clearance? The FSO seemed to indicate that I could not do this, but I don’t see why not.

  233. Avatar

    Hey guys, I posted a question a bit ago, with an anonymous email address.. That address expired. I am updating my address with this message..

    Thanks in advance for all of your help!

  234. Avatar

    I am married to a non US resident, we have retained an attorney to arrange residency but it is only in the beginning stages. Also I have a bankruptcy discharged almost three years ago. Will this impact my chances of receiving the Confidential clearance for a civilian project?

  235. Avatar

    When you apply for employment at a DOE contractor that requires a DOE Access Authorization (clearance), there will probably be some form on which you will provide data concerning your DISCO clearance and last investigation. This may occur either at the prospective employer’s HR office or security office. The prospective employer’s security office will know how to process your paperwork to have your clearance transferred to DOE. Basically DOE must verify the DISCO clearance and the date/type of your last investigation. DOE will then reciprocally grant you the clearance you need (either Q or L) and either create or update a record on you in the clearance/investigation database that they use. Rules regarding reciprocity can be found at DOE M 470.4-5, Chapter II, paragraph 2. This manual does not state exactly who does what or what form is used, but the company security office will have an SOP or other internal guidance document that covers it.

  236. Avatar

    I am not aware of any government rule that prohibits a person from obtaining employment while waiting for a security clearance at another employer.

  237. Avatar

    I think my post was skipped. Could a moderator take a look at this for me. My investigation is currently in progress.

    Go to:
    pins and needles on 18 Nov 2008 at 1:29 am


  238. Avatar

    To All Investigators/Adjucators:
    I’m going to try posting this again beacuse I really need some first hand knowledge, I have an interview for a position that requires Secret clearance on Tuesday.

    My situation is that I have a substantial amount of credit card debt (about $28,000) due to a period of time when my fiance was laid off and we had to rely on credit cards in order to get by (food, utilities, some bills, balance transfers for rent, etc). Nothing is or has ever been deliquent (inc. car, house, etc). I am going to a credit counselor to get a handle on everything and establish a solid plan, as well as seeking employment with a high salary/2nd job and am more than willing to disclose all of this during the process. I take full responsibility for my debt and am working very hard to pay it back. Do you think that I have a chance at being cleared (interim and final)? Or will my debt disqualify me?


  239. Avatar

    I am currently going through the process to get a clearance as a prerequisite for a Job with DHS for which I have received a Tentative Offer. All paperwork has been submitted, a number of friends and colleagues have been interviewed and I have had two personal interviews with two separate investigators, one to review the SF86 and another that was more detailed. At this point in the process what impact will my leaving my current employer and getting another job have on the clearance process? Will it hamper the ongoing background investigation? I really want the position with DHS, but my current situation is very fluid.

    Also I am hearing rumors that Background investigations in general are taking a back seat to pre employment background investigations for the new administration. Is this correct? If so how long will the delays be?

  240. Avatar

    Another question about past adultery. I spent 23 years in the Navy. I’ve cheated on my wife twice, and each one was a one-time deal. I’ve got a TS/SCI. In the military I never had to take a polygraph, but now I’m retired from the military and working for another part of the federal government. I recently took a polygraph and admitted to the two incidents. The last of the two was eight years ago. I hate to say it but unfortunately these kind of one-time things aren’t all that unusual for guys on temporary duty (TDY) to exotic locations. I regret it very very much, but now I’ve got to see how badly it’s going to affect my clearance and my job. Do agencies generally revoke a security clearance for this kind of adultery? The polygraphist at first acted like he didn’t even care about this kind of thing, but then he started to act more interested.

  241. Avatar

    There is no threshold at which non-delinquent debt becomes a security/suitability issue. Debt-to-income ratio rarely becomes an issue unless there is something that triggers closer examination of a person’s finances, such as delinquent debt recent bankruptcy. If you continue to pay all your debts without becoming delinquent, you should have no problem with a security clearance (interim or final). I recommend that before you complete a clearance application form, you review a current copy of your credit reports (Experian, TransUnion, & Equifax) to make sure there is no unfavorable information in them.

  242. Avatar

    Pins and Needles:
    There are 3 potential issues in your case: Personal Conduct (Guideline E), Financial Considerations (Guideline F) and Criminal Conduct (Guideline J). If your total income tax debt for tax years 2004 through 2007 was only $500, I don’t think Guideline F will be a major factor in your case. Whether or not you can migate Guideline E (failure to list delinquent debt on your SF86) and Guideline J (failure to comply with tax law) will depend on how plausible your explanation is for not knowing you owed $500 in back taxes and not knowing the law. What is particularly troubling is that you appear to have resumed full-time employment in fall 2005 but failed to file tax returns until Nov 08, apparently after you learned that you were not granted an interim clearance. I can’t tell you if merely claiming ignorance of the law will be sufficient migation for Guideline J.

  243. Avatar

    Need assistance please:
    If you received written notice from your Personnel Security Appeal Board (PSAB) that the decision to revoke your clearance was upheld, there is nothing else you can do. PSAB decisions are final.

  244. Avatar

    I posted a question a couple days ago and hope you help me with a tough decision I have to make. I have a position with DHS pending me passing a BI to get in the door and TS/SCI to keep the position.
    While I was in college I made some very dumb decisions with my experimentation of drugs. I for the most part smoked weed but it was very excessive. During that time frame I smoked pot with (January 2003) Cocaine sprinkled on top of it once and (December 2001) pot with opium mixed in with it once too. The bulk of my smoking pot was in 2002 and 2003. In 2005 I smoked 8-12 times, and in December I ate 2 pot brownies. In July 2007 I worked at a bar with a bunch of sketchy people and made some bad decisions. I worked the front door and pocketed a little money ($140) one night. I also had a friend at the time that wanted some pot, and knowing some of the people at the bar smoked, I got some for him and made $10 off the deal.. I stepped back and did not like the decisions I was making there and decided to leave the bar and not be around my friends that were not on the up-and-up. I realize this looks terrible to anybody that would process my paperwork and I plan to do the right thing and tell the truth. I want to make sure I am not automatically disqualified from the running or my chances or getting this are not below “Terrible” I have never been arrested, never had a DUI, and have great credit. I really try to be a good person as I believe in karma. I have every intention to not touch drugs again and have made every effort to distance myself from the situations that got me into this mess.

  245. Avatar

    Based on what you stated and absent any other factors that might complicate the matter, I see no reason why your situation would be a security or suitability issue.

  246. Avatar

    Let me clarify, the brownies were in December 2006

  247. Avatar

    Thanks for the quick response, At what point do you think my chances will be better? Do you think it would be wise for me to wait 2-3 years, and not get denied the clearance now, or will that really make much of a difference?

  248. Avatar

    Joe the Plumber:
    I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of being granted a TS/SCI, but in my opinion your chances are poor.

  249. Avatar

    Myria Samuels:
    Using the commonly accepted terminology, your clearance went from “active” to “current” on the day you retired from the Army and it “expired” two years later.

  250. Avatar

    all I have at this point is a Level 5 Public Trust.. Do you think waiting 2-3 years would have a big effect on my chances?

  251. Avatar

    George Paul:
    I’m not sure what you mean by a “Preliminary Background Investigation.” Normally for a Moderate-Risk Public Trust position a “Minimum Background Investigation” or a “Limited Background Investigation” is required. Both investigations include a NAC. Every federal agency interprets and applies the rather broad OPM guidelines on suitability decisions differently. So, I can’t say whether an 6 year old misdemeanor offense would be significant in a suitability determination. If you were being adjudicated for a security clearance (which has better defined adjudication standards), I would say that your 2002 offense would not result in a security clearance denial, provided there are no aggravating or complicating circumstance, like alcohol, drugs, weapon, etc.

  252. Avatar

    Next Steps:
    Denial of SCI eligibility could result in having your collateral Secret clearance revoked or it could have no effect at all. It depends on the reason(s) for the SCI denial. I recommend you read my article on rebutting and appealing clearance denial at

  253. Avatar

    Here’s my recommendation. If you didn’t have any other employment since 2005, you should list that you were unemployed since 2005 and add a notation in the comment section that you own a business but you have not engaged in any business activities since 2005. If you had other employment during that time, then in addition to the other employment list self-employment for the entire period that your business existed and add a notation in the comment section that you have not engaged in any business activities since 2005. Include the exact month with the year.

  254. Avatar

    Are you claiming that you did not misappropriate company property/money? Or, are you claiming that you misappropriated company property, but did not know that what you were doing was embezzlement or otherwise against company rules? Also, I can’t respond to your question unless tell what happened and why you were accused of embezzlement.

  255. Avatar

    So, your saying that DISCO is adjudicating cases that should be referred to DOHA and referring cases that should have been adjudicated at DISCO. Sounds like they’re defeating their own efforts to reduce their backlog. I’m surprised they haven’t started sending more cases with deficiencies back to OPM for additional investigation. That would get the cases off their inventory and temporarily reduce a small amount of the backlog at DISCO.

    OPM has always pointed to the low percentage of cases returned to them for deficiencies as a measure of the quality of their work. But everyone knew that to some extent the CAFs accepted and adjudicated substandard investigations, because they did not want the clearance process to drag out longer than it already had. But now that OPM’s investigation time has been reduced, it seems like a good time to reevaluate what the CAFs are willing to accept in terms of quality.

  256. Avatar

    Joe the Plumer:
    Although it is possible to reapply for a security clearance (even SCI) in one year after being denied the clearance, there is a potential downside to being denied and reapply as opposed to waiting a while before applying the first time. That downside is the possibility that you will be screened out by prospective employers because of a clearance denial and not get the chance to reapply.

    I think your chance of getting a security clearance would be much better in 2 or 3 years.

  257. Avatar

    – How important is the PRSI investigator’s opinion of the applicant in the adjudicator’s final decision? Are they allowed to make a character judgment, or do they just present facts?

    – When you list mitigating conditions in the Remarks section of your SF86, such as passage of time/remorse/acknowledgment of bad judgment/maturity/disassociating from former bad contacts, does this improve your chances of a favorable decision?


  258. Avatar

    Thanks for the info.. I appreciate your time!

  259. Avatar

    To any adjuticator i have a question, i was granted access authorization for a q clearance for the doe in nov 08. Due to a one time drug epierment while i was on terminal leave fromt he military 5 years ago, i might not be able to get signed off for the hrp program, i was told to re apply in 2 years, which would be more than 7 years, which i understand. My question is when i reapply will i have to go thru all the paper work againfor my clearance or will my clearance disappear. How does this work?

  260. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson,

    I appreciate your quick response. Hopefully all will go well tomorrow and I can move on to the next step. I can’t even describe how excited I am!


  261. Avatar

    I do not have a question but simply want to express my gratitude to Mr. Henderson and the other adjudicators who selflessly answer our questions time and time again. It is greatly appreciated.

  262. Avatar

    Thank you for the response. I DID misappropriate the company but was not aware of it at the time. I even made a couple of phone calls to verify that what I was doing was not wrong, and was told that I’m in the clear. But, the company accused me off embezzlement regardless, and let me go. Also, the “terms & conditions” for the handling of the “property” at the time I was doing this NEVER mentioned this being against the policy or company regulations.

    Thank you in advance.

    on 22 Nov 2008 at 6:50 pm # William Henderson

    Are you claiming that you did not misappropriate company property/money? Or, are you claiming that you misappropriated company property, but did not know that what you were doing was embezzlement or otherwise against company rules? Also, I can’t respond to your question unless tell what happened and why you were accused of embezzlement.

  263. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson,

    per our discussion before, with my known history, would you think my chances of getting a secret clearance are significantly higher?


  264. Avatar

    JPAS now shows:

    “Pending Adjudication by ANACI OPM”

    I thought that ANACI was a type of investigation and records check not a “type” of adjudication. Any help would be welcomed.

  265. Avatar

    I have another question that pertains to my previous question, after 7 years do i have to list it on my sf-86 again.?

  266. Avatar

    Mr Henderson

    You would be shocked on what happened in between the lines of DISCO and DOHA.

  267. Avatar

    Looks like a typo. Probably means that your Secret clearance is Pending Adjudication of a ANACI conducted by OPM.

  268. Avatar

    Unfortunately no. The adjudicative standards for Secret and Top Secret are the same. One additional thought. If you receive or have already received a Moderate-Risk Public Trust clearance from DHS, your chance of getting a TS/SCI from DHS might be slightly better than I opined. Every adjudicative agency interprets the Adjudicative Guidelines differently and my knowledge is based primarily on DOD cases. If you can secure a position that only required a Public Trust clearance and later apply for a TS/SCI clearance from the same agency, there wouldn’t be a downside if you were denied the TS/SCI because you would already have a job with an employer who could sponsor you again in a year or two.

  269. Avatar

    What did you do? Do you have a copy of the company policy that covers your actions? Do you have proof of the “verification” you obtained and did it come from some authoritive source?

  270. Avatar


    An investigator’s opinion is never included in his/her report and they are not normally allow to communicate with adjudicators except through their reports. Background investigators only report on what they hear or see (although I wouldn’t rule out smell, touch, or taste).

    Providing mitigating information in the SF86 only makes a difference for: 1) an interim clearance at any level and 2) an adjudicator’s or case analyst’s decision to expand an investigation for a Confidential or Secret clearance.

  271. Avatar

    Regretful III:
    Adultery is not a security/suitability issue unless it was charged/prosecuted under the UCMJ or unless it suggests susceptibility to blackmail, pressure or coercion. So, if you can’t be blackmailed and your conduct was not handled as a UCMJ offense, no problem. Some agencies may want you to prove this by having you tell your spouse about it.

  272. Avatar


    The company has a product that we, as employees, purchused at a discounted rate. We (employees) then would either give the product to a family member OR sell it making profit. Like I mentioned, in the terms & conditions at that time it NEVER said we’re not allowed to do that.
    No I don’t have copy of the company’s policy. And, no I don’t have proof of the “verification” either. But, if this does hinder my obtaining clearance, I plan on filing a lawsuit against the company, and I am sure we should be able to dig out the terms & conditions (which have been altered since so many employees did that) from back then.

  273. Avatar

    William, of my whole background, what do you see at the main stop up that would prevent me from being “Suitable” for the clearance? I was told I could do the job with a secret, and for higher lever positions I need a TS/SCI..

  274. Avatar

    I am an attorney. I accepted an offer of employment w/DOJ, which is “pending my ability to obtain a waiver of a full-field background investigation.” (Quote from my to-be boss.) I filled out the SF-86, plus other forms, releases, took the drug test, etc. (All clean so far!) What does this “waiver” process consist of?

    HR has stated that it takes about 4 weeks to approve the waiver. Any guidance will be appreciated!

  275. Avatar

    Your original question was “is it even worth pursuing the DOD clearance, if it’s going to be denied hands down by just looking at this issue.” I don’t think a clearance would be denied hands down in your situation. The only criterion under the Adjudicative Guidelines that could be cited in your case is the “catchall” paragraph in Guideline E: Personal Conduct—“credible adverse information that is not explicitly covered under any other guideline.” Neither your former employer’s rules nor the Adjudicative Guidelines can cover every conceivable situation. Guideline E includes the phrase, “evidence of significant misuse of Government or other employer’s resources,” which may not directly apply to you, but which contemplates any employee conduct that may be detrimental to their employer.

    An experienced adjudicator would need the results of a thorough investigation the allegation against you in order to make a decision, and even then the adjudicator would probably have to ponder over it for some time.

    There are factors an adjudicator would have to consider, such as: Did your activity harm your employer? And if so, then how much harm and should a reasonable person have realized that the activity was harmful to the employer? Harm can include loss of revenue or damage to the employer’s relationship to customers. To your credit you made sure that it was not against written company policy and sought the advice of others at the company before doing it. If there was no damage to your employer or if a reasonable person could not have foreseen the damage, I think your chances of getting a clearance are fair to good.

  276. Avatar

    There is no one thing. The problem is your past involvement with illegal drugs that started in Oct 01 and did not end until Jul 07. Passage of time is the most common mitigating factor for illegal drug involvement, because it is suggestive of a person’s likelihood of future involvement. There are no firm rules about how much time must pass. The amount of time depends on the length of time a person was involved with illegal drugs and the degree of involvement. Any lifestyle changes are also taken into consideration. In many cases that have significant derogatory information where some degree of mitigation exists, two adjudicators at the same adjudication facility can arrive at two different decisions. Weighing mitigation is a very subjective process.

  277. Avatar

    Thanks so much for the response. Now maybe I can get some sleep at night. This blog is an awesome service. You should be very proud of it.

  278. Avatar

    I have a current SSBI (granted TS by DoD earlier this year) and was put in for an SCI last month. Besides a possible polygraph exam, will there be any more investigations for the SCI?

  279. Avatar

    I filled out the SF86 and received an interim security clearance. After receiving my interim clearance, I found out that I put incorrect information in the SF86 regarding a past judgment against me. The action began in 2000, so to me, that is over 7 years ago so I checked the box “NO” for “In the last 7 years, have you had any judgments against you that have not been paid?” However my wife found our most recent credit report and it says the judgment was in 2003. I don’t know why there is a discrepancy on my credit report of 3 years, unless my memory is truly that bad which I don’t believe it is. I just don’t want to be perceived as being a liar and end up losing my job. Let me be clear, when I filled out that SF86, I honestly believed everything I put on there was the truth.
    In the mean time, I am trying to find any papers besides the credit report which can confirm the correct date. In the meantime, what is the correct action for me to take regarding this?

  280. Avatar

    I’d like to second (or third, fourth, fifth…) the comments of thanks here. This blog really is great. Thanks to Mr. Henderson and all the professionals here.

    I’m not a professional, but I’d like to offer some advice: stop reading security clearance decisions! Oh sure, you start with a couple to educate yourself and find some that are like your situation, but then once you think you’ve satisfied yourself you think of something else and you’re back for more, and before long you’re waking up at night going “Oh god! What if they deny me for exaggerating on a dating application?!? I’d better read some more decisions!”

    …or maybe none of you have that problem, and it’s just me.

  281. Avatar

    I was qorking in Japan for the army from 99 to 03 as a civilian. I was not offered another tour because I did not get along with the new comander. No bad record on my part, just had priority placement back to the states. My new job was in VA on the army base, but it was a mix up with job desriptions. I was terminated, but faught it through office of special console and we made an agreement were they changed it to resignation, I got a lump sum of money, and we were not supposed to talk about it with anyone. in 04 I opened a business that failed and left me with a lot of dept. I sold the business in 05 and paid off a car but continued to pay all the dept. I got a new job in 07 with the Gov and got a public trust clearance. I had decent credit still, but it seemed I was not paying the dept down by making regular payments so I spoke to an attorney and he recommended a chapter 13. Now I’m a year into it and have a few delinquent medical bills, but can pay them off now if i need to. I am trying to get another job that requires a secret. SO, should I tell them about the job that I wasn’t offered an extensions over seas with? Should I tell them about the agreement made when I changed a termination into a resignation? I didn’t put this on my public trust because knew it wouldn’t be looked at like a secret. Also, I’ve read all the other chapter 13 stories, but do you think I should even go through with this at all?

  282. Avatar

    I recently accepted a job and submitted my SF 86. I was just told my interim secret clearance was denied. I have not started work yet, but my employer told me it will have some unclassified work for me. I have a few questions: 1) Is there another step for the interim clearance process to be reviewed or will I have to wait to for the full investigation? 2) If I switch companies will I be able to transfer the clearance application to the new company or will I have to start a new investgation? Thanks.

  283. Avatar

    Waiting for Waiver:

    Full-field background investigation is a generic term. Since you submitted an SF86, your investigation is for a security clearance and a full-field background investigation for a security clearance is an SSBI. An SSBI is the basis for granting Top Secret clearances and special access authorizations. The most likely explanation for why you need a waiver is that your future position requires a final TS clearance before you can be hired. A final TS clearance can not be granted without a favorably adjudicated SSBI, which could take a few months. An interim TS can be granted in a month or so based on the a partial investigation, and an interim Secret clearance can be granted in a matter of days. The rest of the investigation would be completed and the final clearance would be granted after you are hired. The waiver would probably allow you to start work with only an interim clearance. Interim clearances are very common. What confuses me are your words, “my ability to obtain a waiver.” If it’s a matter of getting a waiver so you can be hired before a final clearance is grant, that would be based on the ability of someone at DOJ to justify it.

    There is another possibility, if they were talking about a waiver for a person does not meet the eligibility standards of the Adjudicative Guidelines for Determining Eligibility for Access to Classified Information. This waiver is based on a written justification (Certificate of Compeling Need) that the security risk presented by the person is outweighed by the benefit to the government of having the person work in a cleared position. Waivers are very rare for collateral clearance, but are less rare for clearances that require access to Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) or some other Special Access Program (SAP). The most common SCI waiver is for foreign national relatives.

  284. Avatar

    There shouldn’t be any other investigation for SCI, but there could be a new investigation if you are moving from contractor to federal employee or as a federal employee from one agency to another. In any event they can require you to submit a new SF86 or SF86C.

  285. Avatar

    Question 27d of the SF86 (Sep 95 version) is a superfluous question. If a person had an unpaid judgement during the past 7 years, they also have a debt that’s currently over 90 days delinquent (question 28b). So, it seems that you answered two questions incorrectly. Go to the security office that processed your clearance application form and give them something in writing about your error. Have someone at the security office sign and date your copy and keep it in your files in case you need it later.

  286. Avatar

    Waiting for Waiver:
    I reread my response to your post and I need clarify one thing. In the first situation the waiver is based on the position and in the second situation the waiver is based on the applicant.

  287. Avatar

    Mr Hendeson I posted a question earlier and have not recieved a answer. My question is that i recieved a q clearanceabut i might not be able to certify under the doe’s HRP program, which means i wont get the job as a courier, my phsych told me to apply in 2 years, let me back up i made a mistake 5 years ago while i out processing out of the army, i expiermented one time with cocain, i had to go to a security hearing and finally after almost two years i got my clearance, so now i might not get the job even though i was cleared. My question is if i wait and re-apply in 2 years techniquley it will be beyond 7 years, so do i have to list it agin and go thru all this again or will it be ok for me to say no?. Also when i do my Interview again will they have trecord of me being investigated or will it be just like i never did?. Anyways will it nnot take as long for me to get my clearance again?, Sorry for the long question i just need some advice.

  288. Avatar

    Jason Wilson:
    I did not previously respond to your question, because I have never been an adjudicator and I have no idea what the DOE HRP program is or why it has higher standards than a “Q” access authorization. I can tell you that if more than 2 years go by from the time your clearance is terminated and the time you reapply, everything will have to be done from scratch. When you reapply answer all questions accurately and truthfully. The application form change and will probably be significantly different within the next 12 months. Information regarding your prior investigation & adjudication will be available during any future adjudication.

    Whether or not you have to list your prior drug use will depend on the exact wording of the drug question on the future form. Bear in mind that there is a difference between using drugs and using drugs while holding a security clearance. Did you have a security clearance in the military?

  289. Avatar

    If a subject resigns or withdraws from a position requiring a security clearance, during the investigation, does the investigation continue?

  290. Avatar

    I am 36. I worked for a defence contractor 98 – 00 which required and obtained a secret level clearance. From late 2003 to late 2006 I used marijuana 4 or 5 times at social events and parties. I was in the process of getting divorced (or just gotten divorced) and I allowed my personal life degrade a bit. Bad times.

    I have just started a job and they want me to get another secret. Aside from the above there is nothing interesting about my questionnaire. I have *no* debt except for a mortgage and my credit is clean. No criminal record.

    1) If I want the investigator to consider an affidavit as a mitigating factor how can I make that intent known. Do I notify the security officer?

    2) Can I prepare an affidavit or should I just provide a signed letter of intent? Is there a standard one?

    3) Is the security officer the investigator? Does the interview happen with the secret? I don’t remember that in my last secret.

    Also any opinions about how an adjudicator might view my circumstance would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  291. Avatar

    I am just graduating college (American citizen) and have received a job offer where I need secret clearance. I have good credit for how young I am, never have been arrested, never had any run ins with the law etc. I am just curious, I may have done a couple things online that are not ethical/may be illegal(I’m not sure) about 2 years ago. Like I said I haven’t been arrested or anything but I am just a little paranoid that if the FBI had something on them it would hurt my chances at security clearance. I don’t want to go through the trouble of requesting my file when it would probably take longer to get it than it would take for my clearance to go through. I am just curious how paranoid I should be about this. I figure if I haven’t been arrested yet it probably isn’t bad enough to ruin my chances at clearance haha, but then I saw in the adjudication guidelines the line “whether or not the individual has been prosecuted.” Basically, since I’m new to this I’m wondering if I really have any reason to be worried. Thanks.

  292. Avatar

    I should specify, when I was around 19 on a few different occasions I had some illicit conversations online with some people that were under 18. I doubt this attracted any attention but you never know and I’d hate to lose a job because of this. Can anyone put my mind at ease?

  293. Avatar

    Mr Henderson
    I am not aware of any clearance i might have held, doe’s security department could not find anything on me as far as a security clearance. Also what is considerd a public trust position regarding the drug usage question. Does the goverment always change the sf-86 form every few years or is this something new?. Any way thanks fro the info. By the way the hrp program is known as Human Reliability Program, Basically it’s the honor system.

  294. Avatar

    I listed on my SF-86 a degree from a unaccredited university that I believed to be a ligitimate college, evidence being it was licensed by a state’s department of education. Turns out that the college lost its license several months after I completed my SF-86. There is NO college requirement at all for the job. My clearance was originally passed but then re-opened to investigate that issue. I have since resigned to move onto other things. Would OPM continue the investigation or would my departure end it?

  295. Avatar


    I have a doozie.

    I am applying for a Top Secret clearance for the DOD. I was a legal prostitute in Nevada for about a year. It was 100% LEGAL

    I dont want the company knowing my previous profession, so I used the Self Employed route. Which was my actual profession when I filed taxes. I dont mind the investigators knowing the truth; I am just concerned about the security personnel finding out and it affecting my workplace. If I put self employed on the SF86, but tell the investigator in the interview, will I be disqualified? Will I be disqualified anyway because of the profession? Please help. I have never done anything illegal, but I am scared that this will cause me to lose everything and suffer unbearable embarrassment.

  296. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson:

    I recently accepted a position that is based on obtaining a SECRET level security clearance. I am about to relocate across the country and am curious if my past will “catch up with me”. I am squeaky clean except for three terminations in the past 4 years! I have had a run of bad firms in the unethical city I live in (hint..hint…Vegas). The first two terminations were personality conflicts – and I have numerous professional character references (the second of the two terminations – which happened back to back, the project team threatened to quit because I was let go because the office manager & I couldn’t see eye-to-eye and she had seniority…so I have all those people willing to speak on my behalf). Then I held a position for 2 years – left there for an unethical firm that fired me just prior to my getting this position. There, I have two colleagues to back me up, however, my boss was a ‘smooth operator’ and a lawyer (but a shady one) who I think will trash talk me. Upon my termination they had a 6 or 7 page doc full of lies and/or info out of context that my boss claimed things like I was going over his head to the executive team/not following his directives/basically not doing my job. I was told to sign it – I said I wanted to contest it, they said I would have to do that in writing and submit later (stresses of being unemployed/etc – have never submitted anything) and they told me to sign the doc that they reviewed it with me. Unemployment office granted me unemployment for they had never done a review or formally discussed any performance with me in the 8 mos I worked there.

    I am relocating across the country – – – signing a lease – – – paying for reloc myself… is this a risk I should take.

    Like I said – otherwise my life is squeaky clean,… never done drugs, don’t drink, zero run-ins with police, blah blah blah…even a credit score of 799 (have never paid a bill late or anything).

    Thank you for your candid (& priceless) insight.

  297. Avatar


    It took me about 4 months to receive a TS SSBI clearance and the company (a contractor) that sponsored it is currently on a hiring freeze. So technically I do not have a position.

    My question is how can I receive documentation confirming that I do in fact have the clearance, and can I use this clearance to seek employment elsewhere?


  298. Avatar

    I’m confused. You previous said you received a Q clearance. Now your saying that your not aware of any clearance you might have held.

    Anyway, I’m more familiar with DOD than DOE. In DOD HRP is known as PRP or Personnel Reliability Program. If you are granted a Q clearance but rejected from the HRP, I don’t think it will be for drug involvement, but rather based on their evaluation of your mental or physical condition.

    This is the first time in 12 years that the SF86 has been changed.

  299. Avatar

    Dear Mr. Henderson,

    Thank you for your response. I appreciate your insight. It is my impression that everyone DOJ hires must be brought on through this waiver process because, as you noted, the SSBI takes several months to complete(although I have been at this process for…hmmm…several months already!). I think you may be right that someone at DOJ has to justify my waiver, since they are reviewing my application materials. One interesting observation is that I signed a document that says that, during the SSBI is performed, I won’t have access to Sensitive and Critical Sensitive material (S & TS, I presume), so I wonder, then what this waiver gets me.

    I am pretty sure, based on DOJ’s statements that the first possibility is the right one–a waiver based on the position, not on the applicant.

    PS- This is a great resource!

  300. Avatar

    Scott Fallen: No.

  301. Avatar

    An investigator will ask you specifically what your “self employment” was because he/she needs to get verifiers for this self employment as well as any business licenses or records that may exsist. Also, do your friends know what you did for a living? With a TS investigation friends who have social contact with you will be interviewed and they will be asked what you do and did for employment. All of the information obtained will be put into the investigator’s report of investigation so eventually an adjuducator and/or security official will find out. You did nothing illegal since your previous profession was legal in the state you resided in. As for being automatically disqualified I can not say as I am not an adjudicator. I am just letting you know what will happen on the investigations side.

  302. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson what i ment when i said i wasn’t sure if i had a clearance, was when i was in the military,do you known what kind of changes the new sf-86 might have? also i passed my physch eval, and medical screen. I’m just getting ready for the final word from the HRP certifying afficial, in case the decision is not in my favor. I am trying to go over seas with a security company and need a secret clearance will i have to redue the sf-86 again?.

  303. Avatar

    Mr. Unwise Decisions:
    A Subject Interview is not a standard component of the NACLC investigation for a Secret clearance. If the SF86 lists or the investigation surfaces significant suitability/security issue, a Subject Interview (also known as a Special Interview or SPIN) will be conducted to address the issue. In all likelihood using marijuana 4-6 times between 2003 and 2006 is serious enough to warrant a SPIN. One of the mitigating factors in the Adjudicative Guidelines (AG) for drug involvement is “a signed statement of intent with automatic revocation of clearance for any violation.” The AG does not specify a format. If and when you are contacted by an investigator for a SPIN, prepare the statement and take it with you to the interview. The investigator can have you attest to the truthfulness the statement and sign the statement. In the statement you should say that you do not intend to illegally use any drugs in the future and that you understand that any future illegal use of any drugs by you will result in the automatic revocation of your clearance. The investigator should add a “jurat” to your statement or otherwise sign it as a witness. Make a copy of the completed statement for yourself.

    If you want to submit a statement with your clearance application because you need an interim clearance, then try submitting the statement as an attachment to your SF86, but put more mitigating information in the statement than just your intent not to use drugs in the future.

    Generally a year or so of abstinence and some lifestyle changes after using marijuana a few times is sufficient mitigation.

  304. Avatar

    Unless this is something you feel you could be blackmailed for, forget about.

  305. Avatar

    Patrick Gordon:
    No, OPM will terminate the investigation as soon as they are aware that you no longer employed by the federal government or a government contractor.

  306. Avatar

    Being fired from a job per se is not a suitability or security issue. Violation of company rules and other type of work-related misconduct are issues. Secret clearances for federal contractors are based on a NACLC. Secret clearances for people applying for federal employment are based on an ANACI. The ANACI includes written inquiries to former employers and an NACLC does not. An NACLC can be expanded to include subject interview, employment records and employment interviews, when necessary to resolve your type of issue. Explain your employment terminations on the SF86 (question 27) as accurately and concisely as possible. Unless there has been a pattern of rule violation or other misconduct at work, it is highly unlikely a person would be denied a security clearance.

  307. Avatar

    That guy:
    Yes, you can use your clearance to seek employment with a different federal contractor. You don’t need any documentation and there really isn’t any official documentation that you can obtain. Any potential employer (cleared federal contractor or federal agency) can verify your clearance within minutes by going to an online security clearance database.

  308. Avatar

    I had an Interim Secret for the last 11 months, last week I got an email from my company security officer tell me that “DISCO posted a Loss of Jurisdiction”. My questions are what that means? What options do I have? Also and how long do you think it will take for this to resolve

    Appreciate the help