Background InvestigationsObtaining Security Clearance

Ask Your Clearance Questions: Part 5

Our popular series of Q&A regarding security clearances continues in this thread. Before you ask your question, please navigate to view threads one through three to see if your question has already been asked and answered. When asking a question, please include all relevant details to your case. Avoid using acronyms when possible, and do not publish your email address in your posting. Thanks

Comment Archive

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    When the Army CCF makes a eligibility decision of no determination made what is the result of the persons access to the system or information?

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    I am an Army Veteran. During my short 7yr stint I held a Secret then TS/SCI (SBI,PRP qualified)clearance. I finished up my service obligation 1991 and was discharged honorably.I have since lived in two other states while my spouse was active duty military. NC and Texas (I have been in Texas for the last 12 years). Have worked in 5 other organizations since. I am currently employed DoD Army Civilian and have a standard NAC on file with OPM.

    I’ve been tentatively selected for a position with DHS/ICE as an Investigative Assistant in OCT 07. I finished up the e-QIP electronic submission in 1st wk of NOV 2007 and mailed off same hard copy next day along with fingerprint cards.

    I checked in with HR in Jan 08, HR said its still in ‘pending security status’.

    I’ve never been arrested. My credit report is squeaky clean. I have no medical/mental issues. I don’t do drugs, however I did annotate on the e-QIP that I tried marijuanna when I was 17 or 18. Its all documented in my DoD Army Dossier (DIS…I know that’s pretty old school)

    I have a stepson whos been in serious trouble but I don’t have anything to do with him and really wouldn’t give him the time of day, he’s on his own. My bother was jailed for 3 yrs DUI now out and working.

    My husband just got his CBP suitablilty completed and done about 3 weeks ago and is EOD’ing in April.

    It’s now been 5 months, 14 days and 11 hrs since I submitted everything.

    WHAT could possibly be holding this up??? Good grief.

    Thanks for any insight you might share.

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    I was granted an Interim TS on September 30 2007. I have had my personal interview and some of my family and friends have been interviewed. I suspect an investigator visited my residence looking for me. I have no delinquent debts and no criminal history. I am 24 and my background exists entirely in the DC area. I have no foreign influence and have never been out of the country. How much longer can I expect before my clearance is final? I have been told my case is in ajudication.

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    I am filling out my SF 86. In the your investigations record section they ask if you have previous US government investigations. I presently work in the airline industry which requires an FBI fingerprint check and a 10 year background check for a SIDA badge. Should I put this down on the form. I don’t think any any clearance code was involved. Should I list this somehow in this section? Thanks

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    I recently made a trip down to MEPS to do my physical and pick my job. The job I wanted required a TS/SCI clearance, and the security officer at the Army Liason office conducted the interview (for an interim clearance.) After I filled out the security forms, the ruling came back unfavorable for me (due to marijuana use – approx. 15 times from 20030701 to 20061001.)I can still join the Army, but I will not be able to get the job I want.

    Am I forever fated to not receiving a security clearance and getting to do the job I want?

    Thank you, Mr. Henderson.

    -David Dukes

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    Foreign Preference Issue

    I am a dual-citizen but have not done anything with my non-US citizenship since I became a US citizen. The only exception to this statement is that I registered/recorded the birth of my recently-born infant daughter with the embassy of the other country; but due to applicable law she automatically became a citizen of the other country because she is my descendant. Now I am worried that the act of registering her may raise foreign preference issues for me?

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    A new co-worker of mine has been awaiting is secret clearance. we work with a goverment contract company. The FSO checked on his status and was told an old warrant was found for him in another state. He is still in investigation. My question is is he given the info on the warrant and will he be given an opportunity to fix it? He says the only thing it could be is when a friend borrowed his car and had a fender bender and did not stay at the scene. He no longer lives in that state and says he has never heard anything about the warrant.He has had background checks done before and nothing ever came up. What should he do at this point? Can he fix it and get the clearance? His credit is good and no other illegal activities.

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    Yes Sir,

    I have a question….I have been in the military for 22 years, active and reserves, and have a Secret Clearance. In July 2003, I was involved in an accident involving alcohol. I was orginally charged with DUI and Leaving the scene of an accident. When the Attorney General got to it, I went from 2 misdemeanor charges to 8 charges, 2 being felonies. After fighting it for 3 years, I was offered a plea bargin and I took it. I am not state funded like they are.

    I plead guilty to 2 counts of Reckless Battery, No contest to DUI, guilty to leaving the scene and guilty to reckless driving. Since then, I have not had a traffic ticket and all my fines, restitution and probation has been completed. My unit never counseled me or put it on paper, they did however, give me a bad NCOER, pulled my promotion packet and pulled my mobilzation award. But they never reported it to the CCF.

    Now…2008, I have been selected to return to active duty, but I had to enlist all over again. When asked about my arrest record, I was honest and explained what had happened. The Recruitng Command stated that I needed to get my clearance updated becaue all of this happened after my clearnce was granted in 2002. I contacted the S-2 and th ball got rolling.

    Now….five years later, my Brigade Commander has now suspended my clearance, which I don’t think is fair. This has denied my chances of returning to active duty because now I have no clearance. As a backup, I submitted a mobilization packet that was approved, but the Brigade Commander had it also pulled. I had just demobbed from the same unit after 3 years of being mobilized and I also served in Iraq. I have since been promoted, (2006), and completed my Masters degree, (2005).

    My question is now that the incident report has been submitted to CCF, what are my chances of getting adjudicated and retaining my clearance? And how long will it take? With all that has happened, can my Command punish me now for something that happened 5 years ago and if not, do I have any legal options? I think I have been unfairly treated and now I am being punished all over again.

    Thank you for your time.

  9. Avatar

    I am in a similar situation to John F (part IV). Being a Fed employee for years, then suddenly finding myself in a “moderately risk” position and being subject to security clearance under public trust standard (SF85P form).

    What if I am denied of clearance? Does OPM give my agency the specific reason why they failed me?

    What if I find employment elsewhere in private sector and resign my current post with the FED while my clearance is being decided? Can I request for the clearance process be terminated so that I won’t have to deal with a rejection (if any) in my record?


  10. Avatar

    Hi, I became a US citizen little over 3 years ago. I recently started a job which requires a DoD Security Clearance (and the company will be starting the process soon). I was wondering if there is a time requirement that I have to be a US citizen for a certain duration before I am eligible for this clearance. Thank you.

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    I am asking for your opinion because I am sick to my stomach with a decision I have to make. I am a retired military man, and during the course of my retirement I took a part time job with a local public transit system in the city I live in. Well after a year on the job I made a terrible mistake. I was driving long days and began taking “caffeine pills” that an individual at my local watering hole said would help with the fatigue. Well lo and behold no sooner than a week later I failed a mandatory drug test. I tested POSITVE for cocaine. I went on trying to live off my retirement. But I couldn’t. I took a job with a security company working nights for about 5 years now. Now the security company is accepting a military contract and wants me to work there. But in order for me to accept this job I have to get something called a public trust clearance. It is not a secret clearance but the paperwork looks the same. My nightmare mistake was over 6 years ago. I guess the question I am asking is this? Besides my telling the company of my mistake which I cannot believe I am on the fence about, Can the government find out about this drug test failure. I am stricken with sadness because this old guy needs this job. I am not asking you if concealment is a choice because I know it is wrong, I just want to know can the Government find this out. I know this sounds paranoid but am I on some list with the dept of transportation. Any information would help this guy out. Thanks

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    I’m curious if anyone can explain the following to me in regards to my TS investigation? Where does this fall in the process, how much longer can I anticipate to wait?

    I was quoted the following:

    “Pending PSI Adjudication of SSBI OPM. Opened ” ” “; Closed 2008 02 10, DISCO”


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    Are polygraph adjudications done in parallel to overall clearance adjudications or in series (i.e. one after another)?

    I took a poly about 8-9 weeks ago, but it still hasn’t been adjudicated. My background investigation was complete and the report was finalized last month.

    My question, then, is whether after waiting all of this time for the poly to be adjudicated when the rest of the investigation is complete I’ll get put in the back of the adjudication line for the overall clearance?

    In other words, am I going to have to wait 3 months for the poly to be adjudicated, then then after that the clock starts on the overall adjudication (which will take another few months, according to the adjudication timeframes posted around here)?

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    Mary Ash:
    Army CCF only adjudicates for security clearances. If the investigation was submitted for some other purpose (i.e. Public Trust, ADP, child care, Army Education Program), the investigation is usually forwarded from CCF to the servicing Civilian Personnel Center for adjudication.

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    I’m fairly sure ICE contracts directly with an investigative service provider (they don’t use OPM) for background investigations. I know that CBP contracts directly with USIS. I don’t know average turnaround time for ICE background investigations. Neither your past use of marijuana nor your relatives present any significant problem for a clearance. The record of your DIS SBI was probably purged a few years ago (they only retain it for 15 years). When did you have your Subject Interview?

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    It depends on who is adjudicating your background investigation and whether or not any special access authorizations are involved. Are you federal or contractor? When was your investigation completed and sent to adjudication?

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    If you know which federal agency requested the investigation (probably FAA), you can list Agency Code 6 and write it in under “Other Agency.” Otherwise just explain your situation in the comment section of question 26 on eQIP or in the continuation space of the paper form.

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    David Dukes:
    The Army security officer at MEPS did not deny you an interim TS clearance. He/she screened you out for any position that requires a TS/SCI. You could have just as easily been found acceptable by another interviewer. The screening process lacks standardization. Absent any aggravating conditions or other unfavorable information, I believe you have a good chance of getting a TS/SCI if someone sponsors you for the clearance. Shop around. The other services may offer a similar position to the one you want, and you may be acceptable to them.

  19. Avatar

    Yes it may. Exercising any “right, privilege, or obligation of foreign citizenship after becoming a U.S. citizen. . .” is a potentially disqualifying condition for a security clearance. Your act to secure foreign citizenship for your daughter, based on your foreign citizenship, could broadly be interpreted as exercising a right or privilege of foreign citizenship.

  20. Avatar

    Something doesn’t sound right. Investigative information is protected under the Privacy Act and can not be disclosed to anyone not involved in the investigation or adjudication (with very limited exceptions). I don’t know how the FSO could get access to this investigative information (i.e. outstanding warrant). This type of information is not posted to any database the FSO has access to and neither the government customer nor the investigative agency is authorized to disclose this information to the FSO.

    To answer you question, have your friend contact the court that issued the warrant and request information about the warrant. If it exists, take care of it. If it is of concern to the adjudicator, your friend will be given an opportunity to explain what happened. It would be nice if he has already taken care of it before he is asked.

  21. Avatar

    Your Brigade Commander did not suspend your clearance, he/she probably just suspended your access. Only CCF has the authority to suspend your clearance.

    When CCF suspends a clearance, they concurrently request that an investigation be initiated if the person still requires a clearance. Once the investigation is complete, CCF adjudicates it and either reinstates the clearance or issues a Letter of Intent—LOI (with a Statement of Reasons—SOR) to revoke the clearance. The individual is given a certain number of days to rebut the LOI/SOR in writing. CCF requires an endorsement to the rebuttal from the individual’s commanding officer. If your clearance is subsequently revoked, you will review a letter from CCF advising you of this and of your appeal rights.

    My best guess is that you will ultimately have your clearance reinstated (provided there are no other aggravating circumstances or other derogatory information in your case), but it may be a long protracted process and you will need to arm yourself with as much information about the process and the adjudicative standards as you can.

  22. Avatar

    OPM only adjudicates these cases if there are grounds for disbarrment from federal service. Most likely, your agency will adjudicate. You have due process rights. You will have the right to receive an explanation of why you are denied the clearance, a right to rebut their finds, and finally a right to appeal an adverse decision.

    If you resign from federal service, whoever processed your investigative request has an obligation to notify OPM so your investigation will be stopped. If you want to make sure your investigation has been stopped, you can send OPM a letter advising them that you withdraw your authorization for the investigation due to your separation from federal service (see the general release at the last page of the SF85P). If you resign after the investigation is completed, but before a final determination is made on your case, a final decision will not be made. Agencies don’t like to make adverse decision and will avoid doing so whenever possible. They don’t have to make a decision if you are no longer employed by them.

  23. Avatar

    No. There is no time requirement.

  24. Avatar

    Yes, the government can find out simply by checking with your past employer. Depending on the type of investigation involved for your Public Trust position (these investigations have a 3, 5, or 7 year scope), a check of your previous employer may be a routine part of the investigation and you will certainly be asked about drug-related problems during your Subject Interview.

    Absent any aggravating circumstances or other unfavorable information, your problem may be fully mitigated by passage of time and lack of intent.

  25. Avatar

    Your investigation (Single Scope Background Investigation—SSBI) was completed by OPM on 10 Feb 08 and sent to DISCO for adjudication. If you are not being considered for SCI eligbility, DISCO will adjudicate the case for your final TS clearance. If SCI is involved DISCO will send it to another government agency. If no SCI is involved and if it is a completely clean case or contains only minor derogatory information, DISCO should be able to grant your clearance in less than 60 days. If there is significant derogatory information in the case, it will be referred to DOHA for adjudication and will take significantly longer.

  26. Avatar

    Polygraph exams are not “adjudicated” as such, because there are only three possible results: DI, NDI, Inconclusive. The results of your polygraph exam will be taken into consideration at the time your background investigaton is adjudicated for your TS clearance and SCI eligibility.

    Only your FSO or security manager can tell you about how long adjudication takes at the agency where you are being considered. Most of the investigative and adjudicative times posted at this blog are for OPM and DISCO, not the IC agencies.

  27. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson,

    What is the average length of time an individual has to wait for a level 6 public trust investigation? I had a buddy who was in the military and had to wait up to a year for a secret clearance. Is the PT investigation pretty much the same as in terms of scope and time length? Thank you for your time.

  28. Avatar

    My employer wants me to upgrade my clearance from TS/SCI to TS/SCI w/ lifestyle poly. Is it possible that I could lose my entire clearance if they think I am lieing on the poly? I don’t think it will be a problem, as I have a pretty clean past, but I am a pretty anxious person and don’t know how well I will do during the poly. I don’t want to jeopardize losing my entire clearance simply because I am anxious!

  29. Avatar

    Thanks for providing all this info. I recently was offered a position in a VA Medical center where I would be a department chief. The best I can tell, this would be a medium or high risk public trust position. This would be a job very similar to my current job but with the VA. 5 years ago I was in the National Guard as an officer and was in charge of a unit. My unit was activated for OEF. While on active duty, some of my soldiers stole some military equipment and then tried destroying some of it to cover up what they had done. I found out about it and had some conversations with them. During the course of the investigation, the cops found out that I knew what the soldiers did and I was charged with accessory after the fact. To make a long story short, I resigned my commission and left the Army. The Army let me go under honorable conditions and the Guard with an honorable discharge. This has been the only blemish ever in my past and I still have issues with the way it was handled. I know I need to report this, but would like your opinion on where this might fall. The VA says I can come to work before my investigation is launched, but I cannot afford for this to not come through 6 mos down the road as my family relies on my income. I hold a very responsible position in the private sector and am involved in the community on boards and volunteer, etc. Also should I include this under the “leaving a job under questionable circumstances” section as well as the “have you ever been charged” section? The whole thing was surreal. I never was even arrested or attended a hearing or anything, but I did have formal charges against me, two of which were felony. Your insight is much appreciated.

  30. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson,

    Sorry for posting again. I forgot to mention: I believe she called down to OPM on the decision, and the person said no. I have no idea what the process is for the security officer MEPS is… but does this sound right?



  31. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson,

    Thanks for your guidance.

    I am rapidly approaching the 60 day plateau (2 weeks away). I can not forsee that I have any major derogatory informaiton on my file. Only thing I have that’s minor is some brief marijuana use in college. Other than that, never been arrested, excellent financial record, etc.

    Once it passes 60 days, is there anything I can do??

  32. Avatar

    Please help!

    I have been going through a top secret clearance process. The background investigator already did a personal interview with me, my references, neighbors, etc. This was back in January. I got a letter a couple weeks ago about some credit problems and got them resolved asap. They granted me an interim clearance this past Friday.

    My dilemma is, a couple weeks after I met in person with the background investigator, I started couseling sessions with a therapist. Although, on the SF86, I did answer yes to the mental health question for PAST counseling, do I have to do an update for the sessions I am having now?

    I scared this will delay me even more or cause problems, but I don’t want them to think I am hiding anything. What do I do?

  33. Avatar

    I’m just out of college and am a good candidate for a security clearance with a gov’t contractor.

    The only thing I’m worried about is very slight (less than 5 times) cannabis use over the past few months and which has ended one month ago.

    Is this a dealbreaker? If so, is it too risky to deny previous use?


  34. Avatar

    I am the security manager for a rural base. Problem is, our HQ SM left, w/o a replacement. My SSBI is up for renewal. I am the ONLY ONE who is managing security clearances. Knowing that I cannot manage my own clearance, how do I go about getting my own renewed?

  35. Avatar

    Just a quick question about my status:

    I originally received a Secret clearance while attended the U.S. Naval Academy (’00-’04), but did not graduate. I was required to enlist for two years (feb ’06 to feb ’08) and during that time of service my clearance was still listed in the ship’s/Navy’s system, though I was not ‘using’ it in any of my duties. I have since separated (honorable) and want to clarify my clearance status. Can anyone shed light on this?

  36. Avatar

    How does marriage to a foreign national from Russia influence the status of ones established clearance? Is the clearance automatically canceled?

  37. Avatar

    In early February, I was let go from my job because Sandia, who is the prime contractor(Held Q clearance), told my company that they did not want me on the contract. So my company had no jobs that were not under the Sandia contract, so due to this I lost my job. Since then, I have not been able to make my house payment for 60 days and now I am in the process a short sell on my house. I am wondering if I put in for another job with a clearnace under DoD, if this is going to prevent me from getting a clearance and a job. I am not late on any other payments except the house payment. Thank you for your time.

  38. Avatar


    I have had a security clearance for 8 years, but never had to use it until recently. Upon starting to use it I informed my FSO about 2 police records that happened 3.5 and 6 years ago (drunken disorderly and DUI). Also, I filled out the online eQIP forms recently. I’m wondering what will happen now? I have always been a hard worker, and a person of good character, and got employee of the year last year. Can I lose my clearance? Will there be a review/investigation?

    Thanks for any info.

  39. Avatar

    I had a OPM investigation that resulted in a SSBI approved 8 Feb 2005. Last September I left DoD and had my clearance converted to a DOE “Q” clearance that was granted about 10 Oct 2007. I am trying to determine when I will be required to complete a reinvestigation. Will it be Feb 2010 based on the SSBI date or Oct 2012 based on the date I got the “Q” clearance?

  40. Avatar

    It is a secret clearance with a government contractor.

  41. Avatar

    The investigation for a level 6 (High Risk Public Trust) position can be either LBI or BI. I am not aware of any published turnaround times on these investigations by OPM. OPM only did a total of 47,000 MBI, LBI, and BI last year. A couple of years ago it was not unusual for a secret clearance to take one year. Today they are being done in about 4-5 months (TS clearances are being done in about 8 months). The scope of LBI is greater than the scope of a NACLC (for a secret clearance). The scope of a BI is greater than the scope of a LBI, but less than the scope of an SSBI (for a TS clearance). So my best guess is that LBIs and BIs are taking about 6-8 months.

  42. Avatar

    I don’t think there is any possibility of losing your TS/SCI because of anxiety during a polygraph exam. If deception is indicated on a relevant question, the examiner will try to rephrase the question to help you get past it. The instrument parameters are different for each person, so they compensate for anxious people. Even polygraph examiners get a little anxious during their own annual exams. You should be told prior to the instrument phase of the exam, the exact questions you will be asked. If there are any questions you don’t like, you can decline to take the exam. A declination can never be used against you. Of course you won’t be given an access authorization for the program that requires a polygraph exam.

  43. Avatar

    David Dukes:
    I don’t know who the security officer at MEPS spoke to, but he/she did not speak to OPM. OPM does not adjudicate clearances for the military and would not even consider talking to anyone from MEPS regarding such a matter. As a former investigator for DIS, DSS, and later OPM, I interviewed hundreds of servicemen at DLI (i.e. Army 98G, Navy CTI, etc.) who used marijuana 1 to 20 times and were being processed for a TS/SCI.

  44. Avatar

    You never know what others may say about you that could cause your case to be sent over to DOHA for adjudication. At any rate, after your case has been stuck in adjudication for more than 90 days, your FSO should be able to ask DISCO for a status check. That usually gets things unstuck.

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    Most agencies require a cleared individual to self-report conditions listed in the Adjudicative Guidelines. Although the Guidelines address “Psychological Conditions,” your specific situation is not listed. I strongly recommend you discuss this matter with your security manager or FSO. He/she should know the specific self-reporting requirements of the federal agency concerned.

  46. Avatar

    I have a couple of questions related to higher level security clearances (i.e. TS/SCI and above).

    The TS investigation normally goes back 10 years. For someone close to 50, how much would drug use be held against them about 30 years ago, if they were applying for a position that required something like a lifestyle polygraph?

    “Experimentation” with drugs would not be an accurate description – more like daily use of marijuana for 2-3 years, a handful of times using LSD and other drugs.

    Are some federal agencies and/or DoD agencies more sensitive about old “sins” than others?

    Thanks, Pete

  47. Avatar

    If you were involved in simple use only, you need a minimum of six months of abstinence and up to two years of abstinence depending on your total past use of marijuana. Even after the appropriate period of abstinence, you will need to show that you have no intention of using illegal drugs in the future and there is little likelihood that you will. Do not try to conceal your past involvement with illegal drugs. The consequences are far worse for lying than for low-level drug use and could have a long-term negative effect on your career.

  48. Avatar

    Tom Gritter:
    The underlying investigation for a Secret clearance is a NACLC and it is good for 10 years, provided the clearance has not been terminated for more than 2 years. If your NACLC was completed in 2001 and you were last cleared at the Secret level until Feb 08, you have until Feb 2010 to have your clearance reinstated by securing a job that requires a Secret clearance. On your resume you can indicate that your Secret clearance is “current.”

  49. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson,
    After 24 years I retired last year (2007)from USAF. I had an unblemished military career. I never been in trouble of any kind until now including my dependents. Before my deployment 1/2006 my Unit Security Manager informed me my Secret clearance was expired. To renew my clearance an investigation was opened on 23 Dec 2005 and was discontinued 23 April 2007 prior my retirement 30 April 2007. Now I’m working as a federal contractor but after 6 months of working I was informed by the Security Manager of the company I’m working with that my clearance was out of scope. My JCAVS summary indicate the Category “Industry (Contractor) 0NLE0-I”, US Access “Secret” and Investigation Summary are NACLC from OPM,Opened:2005 12 23 Closed Discontinued 2007 04 23 and ENAC from DSS,Opened: 1983 03 11 Closed 1983 03 11. After 6 months of waiting I redid the e-QUIP again for the second time with no Errors but Warning on Section 14/15 requesting Proofs of Citizenship of all my siblings who are naturalized American citizens. Some of my brothers and sisters I’m unable to contact or never respond back to me due to family misunderstanding. I cannot force them to provide me their information which causing me of obtaining a good employment. Due to this situation do I have to wait another 6 months to find out another snag on my clerance or my clearance will never be granted?

  50. Avatar

    If you have a collateral security clearance (no SCI or SAP access), your clearance will not be automatically revoked. Your clearance could be temporarily suspended or just your access could be temporarily suspended. If you marry or cohabit with a foreign national, you must immediately report it to your FSO or security manager. In some instances it is necessary to report close, continuing contact with a foreign national, when a bond of affection, loyalty or obligation exists. An investigation will probably be initiated and you will be questioned about your cohabitant/spouse/close foreign contact. Your case will be readjudicated taking into consideration the risks of foreign influence.

    If you have SCI eligibility, it will be immediately revoked, but there will be a possibility of getting it back.

  51. Avatar

    During my 30 years of federal service and 5 years in industrial security, I had no hands-on experience with Public Trust (PT) investigations/adjudications. Everything I know about them is through research and is primarly about the mechanics of processing. Each federal agency adjudicates its own PT clearances. Some agencies use the same Adjudicative Guidelines used for security clearances. There are national standards for PT position adjudication but they apply only to career and career conditional civil service appointment (which probably applies to you), but they are fairly worthless the way they are written. The standards are listed at 5 CFR 731, but they only lists areas of concern and do not list any mitigating conditions, except passage of time. There are no training standards for PT clearance adjudicators. There is probably very little consistency in adjudicating PT clearances from one agency to another. On top of that, your situation does not fix neatly into any adjudicative criteria, except one of the “catch all” criteria. I recommend you discuss this matter directly with someone at the VA who has adjudicative authority for PT positions.

  52. Avatar

    I have a friend of mine that had a security clearance of SECRET and now he was terminated from his job about 2 years ago. He has been in a alcohol rehab center a couple of times to come off the physical effects of alcohol and get help to stay off of it. He has had a couple of relapses and had to go back into the rehab center but now has been sober for 6 months. Will he be able to get a job with a Secret clearance again? The reason I ask this is because it’s on the sf86. Thanks

  53. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson

    From your experience could you comment on some of the ramifications for lying on a sf 85? Is this a felony that might require an individual to do hard time? Thank you.

  54. Avatar

    no contact has been made with or any of my references or neighbors.
    I was required to go back minimum 10yrs on the eQIP too.

  55. Avatar

    I meant to say no contact has been with me or…..
    thanks for response.


  56. Avatar

    Hello –
    I’ve held my DoD secret clearance for 6 years and SSBI clearance for 6 years. I recently went through a renewal process. My question is the following: Approximately, how much did cost my employer to get me cleared for both DoD and SSBI? Also, how much does it cost for the clearance renewal?


  57. Avatar

    I got a job offer from three letter fed government agency in VA back in Sep. 2007 with lucrative pay and bonus. And I did TS Lifestyle poly including mental health assessment in the beginning of Jan. of 2008. And the agency sent me a letter dated March 4, 2008 saying that they determined to rescind the orginal offer with the reason being my suitability for the agency employment rather than security considerations.
    The say I may reevaluate my situation after one year and reapply. They also say I may affirm insofar as this decision is concerned, on future security applications and forms, that I have never had a security clearance denied. I can only assume the reason why I did not get this job was because I was admitted to the hospital in Korea 2000 and 2005 for depression. I am still taking medication prescribed by my doctor in the US and doing perfectly fine in my life. I am a naturalized US citizen and lived in the US for 5 years after naturalization and then lived in Korea(I was born in Korea) for 11 years and have been back in the states for 1 year and 3 months at the time of the poly and security clearance investigation. What could have been true reason that I did not get the job ? And will I be able to get the job if I reapply in a year or so ? This agency did not require the 5 recent year residency in the US.

  58. Avatar

    One more question – Was my security clearance cleared by the agency or not ? I asked some one at the agency and she said no, I did not get my security clearance. Will this affect other fed government jobs which require TS lifestyle poly that I am applying now ?

  59. Avatar

    Anthony & Mr. H,

    Last known by me is, DOHA maintains a 90 day window. If there is any further investigation required, the clock stops. This case could still be at DISCO, but it’s getting old.

    I hope this helps?

  60. Avatar


    I question how long ago was this incident? That could be a factor, also along with your resignation papers/ orders. Adjudication would be could be lenghty, due to obtaining the all information concerning files.

    I hope this helps?

  61. Avatar


    Yes, charges could be brought up against you. You could be sentenced or required to go to jail, probation etc… However, it has been my experience that the government does not normally pursue these types of cases (depending on all circumstanses of course)and a denial to access is very likely.

    I hope this helps?

  62. Avatar


    Mr. H., is correct again or still… Also, this case could be investigated and adjudicated favorablly (pending your diagnosis, prognosis and your care givers recommendations).

    It is always better to reconize, seek and recieve treatment when it is needed or required, than it is to need it and not obtain it.

    I hope this helps?

  63. Avatar

    Mary Ash,

    The No Decision Made is similar to Loss of Jurisdiciton. Most of these cases are maintained on file for a period of time, (in case another access request is forthcomming)

    May I ask, are you the Mary Ash of the ADP Mary Ash?

    I hope this helps?

  64. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson,

    Thank you for your insight! So, I imagine it’s just the issue of getting the people there in the liason office to sponsor me – which looks like it’ll be a major no-go.

    Looks like I’ll have to enter an MOS that doesn’t require a security clearance, then apply for one while I’m in service; then reclass to MI at reenlistment.

    Thank you very much!

    -David Dukes

  65. Avatar

    Thank you edge141 and William.

    The interim clearance I got is for a new job. Who should I contact with my updated info? The investigator I met with in January or someone at OPM. Since I got my interim clearance already, I am not too sure where my casefile is within the process.

  66. Avatar

    I had a TS/SCI clearance a few years ago in the navy and after I got out it went to inactive. I have since then had a few run-ins with some controlled substances and have a time period where I can’t verify my residence for a few months at a time due to the fact that I was staying in hotels cause I lost my apartment. I am looking at trying to get back into the field and was wondering if there was any chance that I would be able to get my clearance back. I never used any drugs while my clearance was active though. any answers would be great.

  67. Avatar

    I have two small questions.
    1. How long is a DoS secret clearance last?
    2. Who can I speak with to find out if it is still

  68. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson and Edge:

    Thank you for your comments. BTW, this occurred 5 yrs ago. I will see if I can do some more digging in the regs and talk to someone within VA about the situation.

  69. Avatar


    What does DOHA stand for? Also, what does FSO stand for?

    Thanks for your support!

  70. Avatar

    I have been offered a job that requires us to work at boeing a couple days a week. This means that i have to get security clearance. The position I have been offered is a warehouse position and really is not what I would call a high paying prestigous job. My question is what would prevent me from getting security clearance.

  71. Avatar

    Im applying for a job as a customs and border protection officer and i have a question regarding the background investigation.In about November 2004 at age 21 i was convicted of assualt and battery.I received a deferred sentence and was put on 1 year probation and after 1 year the charge was dismissed.I have completed an anger management coarse and completed my probationary fulfillments.My question is do i list the charge on my sf86 as dismissed or as a conviction? My next question is will this misdemeanor charge prevent me from passing this federal background investigation? I have no other criminal charges and have held a security job for and DCJS license for the past 4 years.Thanks in advance.

  72. Avatar

    Sorry about that. I usually try to spell out all acronyms at least once. DOHA is the Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals. FSO is a Facility Security Officer. Every cleared contractor facility must have an FSO, a person responsible for compliance with government security requirements. DISCO, the Defense Industrial Security Clearance Office, process the vast majority of federal contractor clearances and grants collateral clearance when cases contain little or no unfavorable information. DISCO refers more complicated case to DOHA for adjudication. DOHA and DISCO work hand-in-glove. When DOHA makes a favorable clearance decision, they communicate that decision to DISCO and DISCO actually issues the clearance.

  73. Avatar

    hey, quick question. I have a current, active TS/SCI (for the past 4 years) security clearance with a c/i polygraph. In the process of a renewal now. I’ve had a clean record for my whole time here with no security violations and an excellent work record and references. i realize now that i had an interview previously with a different agency before i took this job and was granted this clearance. they administered a polygraph in which i did fine on all the questions, except one, a questionable result for my answer concerning marijuana use – (which i had tried sparingly in my youth maybe a dozen times and not for 15 years now) Based on that, however, they did not offer me the position. My question is now, I had already met with the investigator for the renewal but honestly did not even recall this at the time and failed to mention this. What is your advice for me at this point? Should I call and let them know this?

    thanks for your help!

  74. Avatar

    Very few people are prosecuted under 18 USC 1001 for lying on an SF85 or to an investigator. The offense is an “alternate felony.” That is, it is a felony only if the judge sentences the person to a year or more in prison, otherwise it is only a misdemeanor. As in criminal cases, most judges feel it is enough punishment to be found guilty of the offense the individual lied about. In the case of security clearance determinations, the government feels it is sufficient to deny the clearance and it would be overkill to prosecute for “false official statement.” The very few people, who are prosecuted, are prosecuted because their conduct was so egregious that the government decided to make an example of them.

  75. Avatar

    Most federal investigative positions require an SSBI regardless of the clearance involved. Five and ½ months is not very long for an SSBI. Most of the time involved in an SSBI is queuing time. So, don’t worry too much that an investigator hasn’t started working on your case yet. Once an investigator starts working on the case, it will probably only be a matter of weeks before the investigation is finished. If neither you nor any of your references are contacted by an investigator within the next 30 days, it would be appropriate to check with HR again. Are you some distance from a major metropolitan area?

  76. Avatar

    As I said before, check with your FSO first. He/she should be able to handle it for you. If your FSO says it needs to be reported, but doesn’t know how to do it, you should try to contact the investigator who did your interview and tell him/her about it.

  77. Avatar

    I have a question for an experienced investigator. I have had a TS/SCI clearance for over 15 years. I have never had any issues at all until recently. My issues are of a financial nature and a behavior problem — I developed a compulsive gambling problem and have gotten myself into debt. I was able to pay all my bills in a timely manner until I lost my job a few months back. Now I have some 30 day lates on my credit history. What impact does being in debt due to gambling have on my TS/SCI clearance? Does it look better that I have stopped gambling and closed all my credit cards?


  78. Avatar

    Going into the military to be a commissioned officer. Never had a clearance before. In my situation, I am a US Citizen as is everyone in my family, however my fiance is not a US Citizen (Chinese). I am also putting an Form SF-86 together for her as well.

    I completed an E-QIP a few months ago without including information about her. However, after informing my recruiter, he was able to fail that E-QIP and allow me to go back and make the necessary corrections to add her information. Would the earlier mistake be fatal to my application to get at least Secret?

    I want to make sure a full disclosure is made of everything hoping to mitigate the Foreign Influence. Could being a lawyer (experience in handling client privileged/confidential information) factor in my favor or be considered irrelevant? Could there be hostility towards lawyers?

  79. Avatar

    I have had a TS/SSBI since 2004. I believe that they remain on file for 5 years. Is that so?
    I work now for a contract company Lockheed Martin on a federal civilian agency contract while only requires a BI.
    Lockheed did not pick up my TS clearance, when I started employment. I have been told that my clearance is still good for two years after it has last been in effect. Is that true?
    Last question, I have married an alien who has applied for citizenship. Would this have an effect on any future attempt to renew my clearance?


    Bagger Bob

  80. Avatar

    I don’t really consider the city across from Juarez a MAJOR metroplitan city. Some may differ a/ me. However there is plenty of intel work being done here the southwest
    so investigators are a dime a dozen around here. Maybe I’m just
    being impatient. Thanks for your insight William.


  81. Avatar

    Being less than 90 days late on a few debts will not be a problem. If you have a lot of debts that are 30-90 late, it will cause your credit report to be looked at more carefully to determine debt to income ratio. If you were able to pay all your debts on time prior to losing your job, that’s good. If a large portion of your indebtedness is due to gambling, that’s bad. If you have managed to abstain from gambling on your own, great. Otherwise you should seek counseling. If you have problems paying your debts on time, seek counseling for that too. Since you don’t have a clearance right now, your gambling debt has no impact. If you get another job that requires a TS/SCI within 2 years of your last job, as a minimum you will probably have to fill out a new SF86. There is a mantra for many security clearance issues (particularly financial and mental health): accept responsibility for your actions, get counseling, and follow the counselor’s advice. Delinquent debt due to gambling is much worse than other reasons for having delinquent debt. If you can manage on your own without counseling, it may not become an issue when you are considered for a future security clearance. If you seek counseling, you will have to list it on your SF86.

    Yes, it looks better if you stop gambling and close all your credit card accounts.

  82. Avatar

    A lot of people inadvertently fail to list foreign associates as required at item 18 under question 14 on the SF86. It’s good that you corrected it early in the process, but even if you didn’t and your omission was unintentional, it wouldn’t result in a clearance denial. Unless your fiancee’s immediate family reside in China, have important jobs in the government, and you have close and continuing contact with them, I wouldn’t worry about foreign influence.

    Positive attributes, like being able to keep a secret, are rarely taken into consideration, except when necessary to counter negative attributes under a “whole person” assessment. I’m not aware of any hostility toward lawyers. I enjoyed interviewing lawyers, as long as they didn’t try to parse every question and ask for definitions of common expressions.

  83. Avatar

    Bob Fitzgibbons:

    All clearances and their investigations remain a matter of record for 15 years. SSBI do not go out of date for 5 years and there is a 2 year window between the 5th and 7th year that they can be updated with an SSBI-PR. After that they have to be done from scratch. You have two years from the time you leave a job where you had a security clearance until you get a new job that requires a security for your clearance to be reinstated at the same or lower level. If I understand you correctly, you currently hold a Public Trust position (not a security clearance) with Lockheed that required a BI.

    Having a non-US citizen spouse raises an issue of foreign influence, but it does not automatically preclude getting a collateral security clearance. It is a disqualifier for SCI eligibility.

  84. Avatar

    I am getting ready to apply for a clearance with the Borfer patrol. I was in the military fot 8 years and was granted a secret clearance in 2002 and left the military in 2005. since then my credit has gone bad I have 2600 in debt that is either charged off or in collections. I have been unable to find a job that can pay me enought to pay these off. I do pay them when I have the money and work hard to get the cleared.

    I also was in a acar accident where my insurance had lapsed and I did not have a license. This was all do to not being able to afford everything i needed to pay. I was convicted of driving withou insurance onloy and have paid the fine and insurance companies back. I am slowly but surely paying all my debts and have not been in anyother legal trouble since my exit from the military.

    I really want this job and have recived a conditional employment offer based off the written test. Next is the background check and I a worried about my recent finanacila downs spirall and how it will effect me.

    This is allso couple with foriegn influence since my mother is an english citizen. it did not cause a problem in the navy but this is border patrol not EOD.

    Please help

  85. Avatar

    I have been tentatively offered a position with TSA that requires a security clearance. Naturally a background investigation, to include a credit check, is required. I have recently paid off and/or paid up-to-date all of my debts and accounts. Now the only negative items on my Equifax credit report, and I assume the other two reports, are a number of late payments that occurred over the past few years, a few of which were 60 to 90 days late. The only major debts are my two mortgage payments. And as I said all other accounts are either paid off or are current.

    Other than this financial situation, my background is perfect (I was in law enforcement for 28+ years and the Army prior to that).

    My question is, since I don’t have anything to compare this situation to, will this financial information affect my background investigation negatively, and could it jeopardize the job offer? Or will it be considered a relatively minor situation? Am I just worrying too much?

    Thanks for a your response.

  86. Avatar

    My husband just received an offer from the NRC with a “L” clearance. We just filled out the SF86 and are worried about two items. We filed Chapter 7 three years ago due to my poor judgement. How will this affect his interim and future clearance? We have been paying all of our bills on time and have since been working at rebuilding our credit. Will we be able to inform investigators that it was my fault and not his that made us filed bankruptcy if he is denied? Also he has been under the care of a psych dr. for ADHD and seasonal affective disorder for a few years now, will that have any effect on his ability to get a clearance?

    Thanks so much

  87. Avatar

    My Question: I have a Doe Q Clearance TS with a full scope polygraph and was told it is equal to a DOD TS Clearance. When company contact me about employment, I am told that Doe Clearance are not TS.

    I can’t understand that because, I completed SF86 and I had a OPM investigation completed to recieves my Q Clearance and what told by investigator that it is a Top Secert Clearance. Need more information has to why this is happen hat,I can do?.

  88. Avatar

    I don’t think that your mother’s British citizenship will be an issue with CBP. Most CBP positions require a Public Trust clearance, not a security clearance. Regarding your credit problem, if you can’t make steady progress toward paying off your debts, you should see a credit counselor. There are two articles posted at regarding financial issues. I recommend that you read the articles.

  89. Avatar

    You may need to explain why you became 60 to 90 days late on some of your debts, but I doubt it will become a significant issue for a security clearance.

  90. Avatar

    Yes, your husband may be denied an interim clearance, because of the bankruptcy, but it will probably not result in a final clearance denial. I recommend you read the two articles at regarding financial issues. ADHD and SAD are generally not conditions that result in a clearance denial, provided the patient consistently follows the treatment recommended by his psychologist/psychiatrist.

  91. Avatar

    My first job out of the Navy turned out to be a pretty awful one, and was a meager part time job I accepted out of a need to pay bills. I received a much better job (2x the pay for starters!) from Company B after a couple of weeks starting with Company A.

    So, faced with that situation I drafted my resignation letter but my direct supervisor wasn’t in the next morning to receive it. I felt it was important to wait until they were in. Much to my surprise that afternoon I was called into the section supervisor’s office where I was told I was being let go due to below-average productivity in learning the new job. Although I disagreed with their decision, I nevertheless presented my letter to the section supervisor who agreed to consider it a resignation and that the company would keep the letter in my employee record. He then wished me the best of luck at my new job, said this one was not for everyone, and I left. I contacted him the next week just to confirm that the record stated that I left voluntarily for a better job offer (which he did confirm).

    My concern is I’ll be renewing my TS/SCI clearance for my current job with Company B in a couple of years and am concerned about how nearly getting canned will matter during the SSBI/PR. I already had my letter drafted, signed and dated, so my intention to quit was clear. My working history is spotless and if I might say so, exemplerary save for this. The job with Company A was a poor match for my skills and the company has a very high turn-over rate.

    Should I be concerned at all?

  92. Avatar

    I have a couple issues that I am wondering if and when it would be possible to get a clearance. I held one in the past prior to these issues and would like to obtain a position again that requires one.

    I have had significant financial issues due to some poor business decisions as a real estate agent. I am in the process of filing bankruptcy and am wondering what the time frame is that I should wait prior to applying for positions that would require a security clearance.

    Also, is it possible for people who are currently in a substance abuse program (i.e. Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous) to get a clearance.

  93. Avatar

    Over the last several months, as I have been looking for a new job. I have noticed that there are a lot of jobs that I am technically qualified for, but require some kind of security clearance. The problem is the following:
    1: Starting around 2 years ago during my divorce I started to use cannabis and have occasionally used it since then.
    2: The most recent was about two months ago and when I smoked it was almost every day for about a month. More because I had it and less because I wanted to.
    3: I have no intent or desire to use again (getting a little too old for that crap)
    4: Those people in my life that were associates, I don’t involve myself with.
    My question is this: How long should I wait before applying for a job that requires security clearance. In the documentation that I have read, they say that the decision might be mitigated if the use has not been recent, but they don’t give any indication of what “recent” means. If I do have to wait and be “clean” for an extended period of time, how long is that?

    Should I just forget about it?
    Thank you.

  94. Avatar

    My wife and I are both interested in applying to the Defense Intelligence Agency, for which I believe we’d need SCI clearances.
    She became a US citizen last year after being born and living in Ukraine for the first 22 years of her life (she has not yet applied to revoke her Ukrainian citizenship but would do so before applying, in addition to turning in her passport). She still has family there who have visited us here in the States, and we also occasionally travel there to visit them.
    I also spent over 4 years in Ukraine, first as a Peace Corps volunteer and then working on my own.
    We’re wondering what our chances are of receiving the necessary clearances, or any government clearance for that matter, either together or individually?

    Thanks very much!

  95. Avatar


    It really doesn’t matter who initiated the job termination first. Being fired from a job for below average productivity is not a security/suitability concern for a clearance, unless the below average productivity was somehow related to violating rules or other misconduct.

  96. Avatar


    Thank you very much for the information! I didn’t do anything wrong there, I just wasn’t good at the job. Given the situation, what should I say on the SF86? I turned in my letter and it ought to be in my file indicating that I quit voluntarily for a better job. I just don’t want there to be any discrepencies when PR time comes along to verify my brief employment there.


  97. Avatar

    Generally you should remain clean and sober for three years following successful completion of a residential treatment program for drugs/alcohol before it’s possible to fully mitigate past substance abuse. This is not a written standard but only a very general rule of thumb. The exact amount of time will depend on many factors about the prior substance abuse/addiction and your conduct following the treatment, including your financial conduct.

    For information about the significance of financial issues, I recommend you read the two articles I wrote on that subject. They are posted at

  98. Avatar

    Since your question has been asked a few times in the past month, here’s the long answer for everyone benefit.

    The Adjudicative Guidelines do not contain any timetables regarding abstinence from drug involvement; however, there is a supplemental guide (that is not directive in nature) known as the Adjudicative Desk Reference (ADR). Adjudicators can (but are not required to) use the ADR to help them reach their decisions. The ADR contains the following definitions and guidance regarding the amount of time that should pass before drug involvement can be mitigated by time alone:

    1. Experimental Use: Initial use for a maximum of six times, or more intensive use for a maximum of one month.

    2. Occasional Use: Once a month or less.

    3. Frequent Use: Once a week or less, but more than once a month.

    4. Regular or Habitual Use: More than once a week.

    At Least Six Months: The only drug use was experimental or occasional use of marijuana, and there are no aggravating circumstances.

    At Least One Year: Marijuana was used frequently, or any other drug was used experimentally, and there are no aggravating circumstances.

    At Least Two Years: Marijuana was used regularly, or any other drug was used occasionally, and there are no aggravating circumstances. There was no evidence of psychological or physical dependence at the time subject was using drugs, and subject has demonstrated a stable life style with satisfactory employment record since then.

    At Least Three Years: Any drug other than marijuana was used frequently or regularly, or marijuana was used regularly with signs of psychological dependence. There are no other aggravating circumstances. Subject has maintained a stable lifestyle, satisfactory employment record, and a completely clean record in all other issue areas during the past three years.

    At Least Five Years: A minor involvement in drug trafficking for profit or failure to complete a drug treatment program. Subject has maintained a stable lifestyle, satisfactory employment record, and a completely clean record in all other issue areas during the past five years.

  99. Avatar

    You need to check with DIA. As a former Peace Corps member, you may be ineligible for employment at DIA and other Intelligence community (IC) agencies–definitely not in any humint speciality. Your spouse will be ineligible for SCI without a waiver, because of her immediate family members who are not US citizens. The IC is trying to remove the barriers to employment for first-generation émigrés but there hasn’t been much progress yet. The recent case involving former CIA/FBI employee Nada Nadim Prouty will slow progress in this area.

    Both you and your spouse have a chance of getting collateral clearances, but collateral clearances are of no value in the IC.

  100. Avatar

    At first I could understand why you were asking this question, because this should have been covered during your investigation when you were hired by company B. Then it occurred to me that your clearance was converted from a Navy clearance to an industrial clearance, so you did not go through an investigation when you were hired by Company B. If that’s the case, then just answer yes to question #22 and use code 5 for “left a job for other reasons. . . .” Then use the comment section to explain what happened. Listing this information on your SF86 will have no negative effect on your clearance. For a Periodic Reinvestigation it’s better to list it even though it doesn’t fit neatly into any the situations detailed on the form.

  101. Avatar


    I am currently waiting on a TS clearance from a member of the IC. In the meantime I decided to switch jobs, and was just hired by a contractor that works with the Homeland Security Department, and I’ll need a secret clearance. During this process, will I have to make it clear to my employer that I have another clearance pending, or do I submit the SF-86 directly to Homeland Security? I am worried that the contractor won’t want me if they know I will leave if I get the TS.

    Also, will the background investigation need to be done again?


  102. Avatar

    Hello, I have been visiting your website for about a month now because I am currently being “probed” for a security clearance. I was relieved to see that in February Kathy L. Dillaman had testified that in the first quarter of FY 2008, 80% of initial clearances took 118 days to process, end-to-end. You expressed some skepticism about this, however. After doing some googling, I found the full report to Congress – available at: The report says that some intell agencies do their own investigations/adjudications and the amount of time differs greatly from the 118 days. Specifically, 85% of NRO’s SSBIs reportedly take just 35 days, DIA’s take 62 days, and NSA’s take 94 days (in FY 2007). Mind you, these are also supposedly end-to-end. Regarding these smaller clearance times, is this likely true or possibly “cooked up” as the 118-day figure appears to be? Are these places streamlined somehow to process clearances that much faster? Thanks–I look forward to your thoughts.

  103. Avatar

    I’m currently working as a contractor w/ a Secret Clearance. However, I’m currently awaiting my TS, which is currently pending PSI adjudication.

    My question is, once I receieve my TS should it be expected that my “employer” will increase my salary in hopes of retaining me? Obviously with a TS my “market value” increases, therefore I was curious if it was common for my salary to be adjusted once the TS comes through. I don’t have plans on leaving, but knowing I could be compensated more, will obviously raise anyone’s eyebrow.


  104. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson,

    I have a Top Secret / SCI / SSBI, i obtained it from my service in the Navy, i used it when i first got out of the navy at a contracter position and then quit because i didnt like the position and i was tired of traveling, but i have had a job offer at a really good DOD contracter and i am up for my Periodic Investigation, my question is i have a few blemishes on my credit from various things like cell phones and a couple of medical bills and a vehicle that got repossesed i plan on paying all of these off and i have already payed a few off, but what are my chances that my clearance will be revoked?



  105. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson,

    I need your advice and fast. I have applied for a job that requires an interim security clearance for a future Secret clearance. They said it will take less than two weeks, and they need me to be fully functioning in a reasonable amount of time. Are they assuming that means there is not one negative response on the application? Specifically during a temporary lapse of good judgement, I used marijuana one time within the last 7 years (approx. beginning of 2003) (literally 2 puffs) at a social gathering with a handful of people. I had recently (within the year) lost a parent to an unsolved murder, and was not acting within my character. Immediately I regretted the action, and felt extremely sick about it. I am in my 40’s have an MBA, a great career, excellent credit, have never been arrested, and do have so much to lose by such a stupid mistake. I have no intent (regardless of whether marijuana became legal) to ever do it again. I have never been a regular user of marijuana, but did try it occasionally (less than 10 times in my entire life) over 15 years ago. I have matured and have realized that even one time can jeopardize everything I’ve worked so hard for.

    Questions: 1) is my future employer assuming when they say it will take less than 2 weeks to get a decision provided there is NO negative response on the application, or if there is one negative response and it appears to be mitigated would it be possible to get the interim? 2) Is it possible (likely) to be granted an interim clearance within a few weeks if you have admitted to one drug use within 7 years of the clearance application provided the issue is mitigated on the SF86—or will this slow down the process to a crawl while they fully investigate the incident? (Lying is not an option for me). 3) Will my employer know about the answer to the question? 4) Do you feel that if I explain it the way I did above I have mitigated the action?

    I have your book and didn’t understand what it means when it says a full investigation will be required and charged accordingly if there are any positive responses to certain questions (including drug use within 7 years). Does the fact that a full investigation will be required mean the interim clearance isn’t worth the time?

    Please help!

  106. Avatar

    Just an update. Low and behold the investigator contacted me today…finally. I will tell you this though….he’s a contract employee with DHS/ICE (a retired G man). He brought up the one and ONLY singular deragatory credit issue I had on my credit account, an account that is over 4 years old in which they are continually reporting that I was once 30 days late in paying. I have disputed this twice and its on the record. I explained to him that the payment evidently was sent wrongly or lost and once they notified me I paid the account off immediately and closed the account in 2004. He wants me to get a letter from them that states that. The only thing this (GEMB/JCP) organization will give me is a fax that says the account was closed by the consumer, is paid in full, and there is currently no balance. The same thing it says on my credit report. Is a one time 30 day late a big issue?

    Then he asked me about my ex-spouse. I told him I don’t have an ex-spouse. I’ve never been divorced, he proceeded to respond in a rather shocked manner “so you married again and you never divorced your first spouse????” I said “No sir, I’ve only been married once sir and I have remained married for 20 years to the same person.” He was genuienly confused. Then he asked me to give more detail on the mental health tx I said I received in the last 7 years as per the SF86. I explained to him that I personally did not receive mental health tx. I attended some sessions with my son to address issues of ADHD for my child. I wasn’t required as per the instructions on the SF86 (section 21) to further elaborate on it. But he insisted that I fill out a release so he could check the record out. I did. Is that standard procedure??

    My confidence level in this investigation has just taken a huge nose dive.

    Any advice?

  107. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson,

    I read your reply to Tim’s post regarding his previous Peace Corps employment possibly hurting his chances at IC employment? I can say from experience that during my first IC application process (the initial “information session”, specifically) I did see some people there who were former Peace Corps volunteers (at least I’m fairly positive of that given that they asked a question regarding it in front of our group). Out of curiosity, and not that this applies to me, why would IC agencies look down upon the foreign residency/potential language positives someone with Peace Corps experience might bring? Plus, isn’t it a USG-run program? Anyway, just curious…thanks.


  108. Avatar

    I believe that IC employees are prohibited from ever serving in the Peace Corps. Someome who served in the PC must wait 5 years after that service to be considered for IC employment. This is to protect PC workers from being suspected as spies by the host countries.

  109. Avatar

    If you were 30 days late paying a debt on one occasion four years ago on an account that is now paid off, it simply isn’t even close to having any security/suitability significance. I don’t know why the investigator even bothered to ask you about it. You don’t need to produce any documentation on this matter and if I were you I would simple tell him it is not possible.

    Did he explain why he thought you had previous been married?

    Actually, you did not have to list the contact with your son’s mental health practitioner. But once you did list it, you should have provided an explanation in the comment section of the form. Otherwise it’s your fault for confusing the issue. If it was possible to get the impression from your SF86 that you received mental health treatment, then it was appropriate for the investigator to have you sign a medical release.

    Unfortunately it sounds as if your investigator doesn’t have a clue about what he is doing or why he is doing it. I wouldn’t worry too much about the interview. He will probably recontact you at some point in the future with more questions that he forgot to ask and clarification of answers you previously provided—most incompetent investigators can’t do it right the first time through. At this point there really isn’t anything you can do except write a memo for the record about what happened during the interview while it is still fresh in your mind. If it’s important to you get it notarized.

  110. Avatar

    This matter has a long history going back to the 1960’s. The US Government does not want to taint the reputation of the Peace Corps with any IC contact. How would it look if a former Peace Corps volunteer reappears in a foreign country as an intelligence case officer. The foreigners who had contact with him are going to wonder, “was he an intelligence officer all along using the Peace Corps as cover?”

    When I worked as a case officer, my superiors made it very clear to me that I was to have absolutely no contact with Peace Corps personnel in the country where I was working (or any other country).

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    Mr. H & CG,

    I agree if the credit report reflects the account as being paid (not charged off) it should not have been a reasonable question. Another factor would be the amount (if it was over $2000.00 let’s say). The documentation concerning the debt reflecting the current status of the account would be fine.

    I would caution anyone from saying: “You/I don’t need to produce any documentation on this matter and if I were you I would simple tell him it is not possible”. This could be a dangerous statement and construed as not fully cooperating with an Investigator during the course of an investigation. Understanding that some company’s do go out of business… therefore, it would not be possible. Not many other scenarios would carry much weight on the mitigating factor scale. And, if you can’t contact a creditor, please be prepared to show how you attempted to contact them (names, dates and times of phone numbers or registered letters etc…).

    I would recommend obtaining the documentation if requested. The documentation that CG can obtain would be fine evidence showing the debt as satisfied.

    From what I can tell, CG should not have any problems with gaining the requested access.

    I hope this helps?

  112. Avatar

    Does DISCO use the same “whole person concept” and adjudicative guidelines in the interim clearance process as are used in the final secret clearance process.

    Is a positive answer to the drug question an automatic disqualifier for an interim clearance? You mentioned in another thread mitigating factors WOULD be considered in an interim clearance application, but it was in reference to financial issues. Do mitigating factors also apply to one drug use within a seven year period.

    Would you look at my situation and give me feedback on the explanation I plan to attach to my SF86? The only negative response I have on the form is “Yes” to “have you used an illegal substance within 7 years.” Will I have enough space to explain what’s below? Are there any other mitigating items I should respond to?

    SF86 Explanation:
    I am in my 40’s, have an MBA, a great work history, always had good credit (no bankruptcy ever), and consider myself to be a loyal, patriotic citizen. About 5 years ago, I had a temporary lapse in judgment while attending a social gathering at a neighbor’s and took a couple of puffs off marijuana. Emotionally I had been through a lot. One of my parents had been murdered (which is unsolved) the year before and this incident was near the anniversary of that death. I was very remorseful and stressed over my act for days. I take responsibility for what I did, and recognize that I have way too much to lose to ever do this again. In addition, I do not like the way it makes me feel and know with certainty if it were ever made legal, I would not do it. I’m ashamed of what I did, but in no way could it be used to blackmail me.

    Prior to that, it was one time 12 years ago, less than 5 times in my early 20’s, and a time or two in my teens. I have never purchased or sold any illegal substance. I have for many years stayed away from drug environments, and have told others never to bring anything like that to my house. This was incident 5 years ago was isolated and will never happen again. My career is very important to me and I recognize this behavior is unacceptable and cannot happen even once in the future. I would be willing to submit to a drug test at any time in the future as often as necessary.

    Thanks David

  113. Avatar

    I apologize for the ommision, but my prior post was intended to be addressed to Mr. Henderson. (Also want to point out I have your book)


  114. Avatar

    Hello again,
    I asked a question about my criminal history a few days ago and i seem to have been skipped, or just ignored.I’m really concerned about this issue and eager to hear your opinion on this matter.
    Im applying for a job as a customs and border protection officer and i have a question regarding the background investigation.In about November 2004 at age 21 i was convicted of assualt and battery.I received a deferred sentence and was put on 1 year probation and after 1 year the charge was dismissed.I have completed an anger management coarse and completed my probationary fulfillments.My question is do i list the charge on my sf86 as dismissed or as a conviction? My next question is will this misdemeanor charge prevent me from passing this federal background investigation? I have no other criminal charges and have held a security job and DCJS security license for the past 4 years.Thanks in advance.

  115. Avatar


    Yes, I would list it as both and explain that it was a deffered sentence. The more information you provide, will help in the investigation/adjudication process.
    They can’t comeback and ask: Why DIDN’T you list something?.

    It was a one time incident… A number of years ago… You have completed all orders from the court.

    Your case should be favorably adjudicated.

    I hope this helps?

  116. Avatar

    My situation goes like this…. I have had a TS/SCI for 4 years. Did my PR with no problem. 7 months ago my company showed a red flag in JPAS. “Loss of jurisdiction” due to incident report filed by NSA in 2003. I never worked nor was affiliated with NSA. AFCAF and Warner Robbins (so I am told) are working the issue but I only receive “no update” from my SSO. Anyone had this problem and if they did, how long does it take to reinstate your clearance?

  117. Avatar


    In your last response to KJ, you say “your case should be favorably adjudicated.” Do interim clearances go through adjudication, or are you referring to the final clearance? Would KJ be likely to get an interim clearance in light of the informtion presented?

  118. Avatar

    FYI – My Top Secret Investigation which was started in late September 07 was completed in late March 2008. A time frame of 6 months.

  119. Avatar

    Hello, this is just a follow-up from my initial question on part 4. Is the Adjudicative Desk Reference (ADR) used as a guideline for agencies to adjudicate NACI investigations for HSPD-12?

    I guess I am wondering hypothetically if my case could be favorably adjudicated if it were for a Secret or TS clearance, since I assume the requirements to obtain those clearances would be more stringent than those needed for HSPD-12 to obtain a PIV badge for a non-sensitive position. Other that a one time use of marijuana, and a subsequent drug test failing one year ago, there is no other adverse information (clean criminal record, financial, medical, foreign, and excellent employment records in the Navy and as a govt contractor)

    I would also really like to thank you, Mr. Henderson and all other adjudicators. I think it is wonderful that you are here helping people.

  120. Avatar

    For CG & edge141:

    Regarding edge141’s comment about my reply to CG, I have to disagree. There is a difference between cooperating with an investigator and doing his job for him.

    To cooperate fully Subjects of investigations are required to provide information to the best of their knowledge and belief. Subjects are only required to obtain information from others when necessary to provide complete and accurate information on the SF86. Subjects are also required to make themselves reasonably available for interview and to sign appropriate releases when necessary.

    Furthermore, investigators should always attempt to obtain record information directly from the business or organization that created the record. Documents from others that are provided by the Subject of the investigation should only be accepted as a last resort.

  121. Avatar


    I don’t know. Please don’t assume anything about how agencies in the federal government operate. And never try to apply logic to government policies or procedures.

    Consider this: At a time of hightened risk of terrorist activity in the U.S., the US Government Printing Office has outsourced the manufacture of US passports to foreign countries.

    No one seems to know how to fully and properly implement HSPD-12.

  122. Avatar

    Oops. I didn’t mean to imply there was any connection between passports and HSPD-12.

  123. Avatar

    William, edge141,

    I greatly appreciate both your valued opinions and very keen insight into this matter. I feel each of you are correct with very useful advice in proceeding in my situation.

    I did sign the release and I did contact GEMB/JCP and ask them to send that fax, and I smiled while I did it.

    I am most interested in completing this process so that I can continue a career path I left nearly 16 years ago to support my spouse’s military career. I feel its really in my best interest at this point to happily comply within reason with this investigators request.

    I’m banking on the fact that there will come a time,place, and or opportunity for me to report what transpired during my investigation. As far as me doing someone else’s job for them…well all I can say is that I’m no stranger to it. I’ve found it happens often in the work place and at least I’ll know that the job was done right. 🙂

    Whole new issue:
    Will I have to respond to what my crazy next door neighbor says about me? I of course have a biased opinion about her, because she’s a complete loon. So my esteemed investigator will probably hang on her every last word. The other 15 families that live on my street, to include the neighbor on the other side of us, the neighbors across the street and the ones to left and right of them would tell him she’s a loon too and probably contradict any thing she could possibly say. If I worry about anything in my invetigation it most definetly has to do with her. How do I explain to my investigator that my neighbor is completely off her rocker without sounding like I’m trying to..I dunno…I just need this guy to go talk to the other neighbors too so he can get a true sampling. If he only talks to her and no other neighbors I’m up a creek. I worry because as evident already he doesn’t seem to be very thorough.

  124. Avatar

    For an SSBI two neighbors must be interviewed at all residences during the past 3 years. In any event, if any unfavorable information surfaces during reference interviews or records checks, efforts must be made to corroborate or refute the information through other sources.

    I don’t know how ICE works, but in other agencies, the investigator does not make the decision about issue-oriented Subject Interviews. That decision is made by either a case controller based on some issue matrix or by the requestor/adjudicator (in your case the case controller and the requestor may be one in the same).

  125. Avatar


    Thanks much. I appreciate it. Eases my mind.

  126. Avatar

    Well then I’m good 🙂

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    Mr. H.,

    I do agree on the duties/responsibilities of an investigator. And knowing some are better than others…

    I would not want an investigator to send in my investigation stating; the applicant refused to cooperate on any issue, as this could and would be a automatic disqualifier.

    DOHA’s policy was to send a “second chance” letter asking for cooperation with an investigator’s/adjudicator’s request. Or, DOHA would have no other recourse and Deny the request.

    All these steps take time in the adjudication. Yes, the investigator should’ve, could’ve… bottom line is the applicant is the one being put in the line of fire.

    I was only trying to caution… You are still the BEST Mr. H.

    I hope this helps?

  128. Avatar

    Thanks i appreciate your opinion.

  129. Avatar

    The derogatory information given from one neighbor would be reviewed. Most likely, it would be viewed as; unfounded information and not an issue.

    I hope this helps?

  130. Avatar

    edge141, William,

    I just wanted to say thanks for all your insight. I’ve seen other postings expressing the same appreciation for the information this site provides. It really is a big help for those us going through the investigation process.


  131. Avatar


    I am currently waiting on a TS clearance from a member of the IC. In the meantime I decided to switch jobs, and was just hired by a contractor that works with the Homeland Security Department, and I’ll need a secret clearance. During this process, will I have to make it clear to my employer that I have another clearance pending, or do I submit the SF-86 directly to Homeland Security? I am worried that the contractor won’t want me if they know I will leave if I get the TS.

    Also, will the background investigation need to be done again?


  132. Avatar

    I hate to bug you, but I’ve had trouble with the ClearanceJobsBlog site. If there’s anyone who can help me with this question, I’d appreciate it.

    Does DISCO use the same “whole person concept” and adjudicative guidelines in the interim clearance process as are used in the final secret clearance process.

    Is a positive answer to the drug question an automatic disqualifier for an interim clearance? You mentioned in another thread mitigating factors WOULD be considered in an interim clearance application, but it was in reference to financial issues. Do mitigating factors also apply to one drug use within a seven year period.
    Would you look at my situation and give me feedback on the explanation I plan to attach to my SF86? The only negative response I have on the form is “Yes” to “have you used an illegal substance within 7 years.” Will I have enough space to explain what’s below? Are there any other mitigating items I should respond to?

    SF86 Explanation:
    I am in my 40’s, have an MBA, a great work history, always had good credit (no bankruptcy ever), and consider myself to be a loyal, patriotic citizen. About 5 years ago, I had a temporary lapse in judgment while attending a social gathering at a neighbor’s and took a couple of puffs off marijuana. Emotionally I had been through a lot. One of my parents had been murdered (which is unsolved) the year before and this incident was near the anniversary of that death. I was very remorseful and stressed over my act for days. I take responsibility for what I did, and recognize that I have way too much to lose to ever do this again. In addition, I do not like the way it makes me feel and know with certainty if it were ever made legal, I would not do it. I’m ashamed of what I did, but in no way could it be used to blackmail me.

    Prior to that any use of marijuana was sporadic, it was one time approx. 12 years ago, less than 5 times in my early 20’s, and a time or two in my teens. I have never purchased or sold any illegal substance. I have for many years stayed away from drug environments, and have told others never to bring anything like that to my house. This incident 5 years ago was isolated and will never happen again. My career is very important to me and I recognize this behavior is unacceptable and cannot happen even once in the future. I would be willing to submit to a drug test at any time in the future as often as necessary.


  133. Avatar

    Dear Mr. Henderson,

    I apologize for the multiple questions, I hope they are informative for others in similar situations.

    I had recieved a fellowship with the DoD that required a TS/SCI. After filling out the SF-86 I had a security interview. About a month later I recieved a letter stating that after a more thourough review of my qualifications I did not meet employment criteria. Since I had already been selected for the fellowship, I’m guessing that decision was based on the negatives that I reported on the SF-86.

    1. 2 trips to Cuba about 9 and 7 years ago (I was a dumb kid and thought I would practice Spanish on the cheap while checking out a mysterious country)
    2.) DUI at 5 years ago (Learned my lesson, now I won’t even have one and drive)
    3.) Marijuana use 8-10 times in Jr. High and High School (no drug use since then)

    I am now 27 and have multiple applications in with many government positions that will require clearances. My questions are these

    1.)If rejected for a TS/SCI clearance from one agency, is it possible to recieve it from another? I’ve read the adujicative desk reference and I thought the negatives I listed above would be mitigated by now.

    2.)Does time mitigate these types of negatives or are they pretty much deal breakers forever?

    3.) Will these types of negatives prevent me from positions that don’t require TS/SCI such as Border Patrol?

    Thank you for your time and insight

  134. Avatar

    I received a COE in July 2007 from an IC member. My TS/SCI finalized in January 2008. IC agency asked for list of relatives (US citizens) working overseas. I was being called on a regular basis on status. Then contact was broken off and none of my calls returned. The billet was readvertised.

    What is the result of something like this? A rejection letter?

  135. Avatar

    I need to complete a SF-86 for a top secret clearance within the Army. I was convicted of Public Intoxication over 23 years ago when I was eighteen. One of the questions is have you ever been charged with or convicted of any offense related to alcohol or drugs. Will this offense keep me from getting a clearance? Should I disclose this information on my application since it was only a misdermeanor offense? They want me to start work in an interim position signing a statement and I’m affraid that if I do and am denied because of this, then I will be out of a job altogether. Any suggestions?


  136. Avatar

    Also, if I list this public intoxication offense on my SF-86 and am 100% honest about everything else and am approved an interim secret clearance, can it be safe to say that it will be OK to sign the DoD statement and start work without worry of being denied the TS Clearance.

  137. Avatar

    One last thing — I ran a background investivation on myself with Intellius and it came back clean.

  138. Avatar

    Mr. Williams iam applying for a police job and when they do their background on me will they see if i was envestigated for a q clearance?.

  139. Avatar

    Any thoughts on:

    I’m currently working as a contractor w/ a Secret Clearance. However, I’m currently awaiting my TS, which is currently pending PSI adjudication.

    My question is, once I receieve my TS should it be expected that my “employer” will increase my salary in hopes of retaining me? Obviously with a TS my “market value” increases, therefore I was curious if it was common for my salary to be adjusted once the TS comes through. I don’t have plans on leaving, but knowing I could be compensated more, will obviously raise anyone’s eyebrow.


  140. Avatar

    Different part of DHS do things differently. The government (including the IC) handles things differently for contractors and employees/employment applicants. There are too many variables to answer your question.

  141. Avatar

    All federal agencies are required to use the same Adjudicative Guidelines for security clearances. Once denied a clearance by one agency, you will not be able to apply again for at least a year. It doesn’t sound like you were denied a security clearance—only non-selected for employment purposes. Everything can be mitigated by time (except insanity, current drug use, and possession/use of a foreign passport). If the marijuana use was more than 7 years ago, why was it even an issue? The two trips to Cuba are going to be the most difficult issues to mitigate. You have a pattern of rule violation with incidents 5, 7, and 9 years ago plus in high school and junior high school. But 5 years have elapsed since the last incident. Adjudicators will also look at what you have been doing during the past five years as part of the whole person evaluation. Some agencies use the Adjudicative Guidelines for Public Trust positions and most positions at CBP are Public Trust.

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    Yes, you must list all alcohol-related offenses on your SF86 regardless of how long ago they occurred. Absent any aggravating/complicating factors or any other unfavorable information, I can not imagine an adjudicator denying you a TS clearance because of a public intoxicaton offense that occurred 23 years ago.

  143. Avatar


    There Are too many varibles to your question however, the plain and simple version is if you have a completed investiagiton and or access… It/your access of eligiblity, would be eligable to be converted over to another agency. If your investigation is not complete, you would need to have the (required)investigation completed.

    I hope this helps?

  144. Avatar


    I couldn’t say what your employer will do about compensation… The higher eligibility of security clearance obtained, normally equates to some sort of compensation but, not always… It may just be “a requirement for the company to maintain its contract… Or it’s a requirement, for you to do your job!!??..”

    I hope this helps?

  145. Avatar


    Sorry for missing the reply… The ultimate goal is for the final clearance… With the information that was provided, I don’t see much issue, …

    I hope this helps?

  146. Avatar


    Sounds like you know more about your situation than most… RE-APPLY… The Re-posting could have been due to a million of things…

    I hope this helps?

  147. Avatar

    David Daniels,

    Yes, DISCO does use the “whole person” concept, in their adjudication… (remember, they only have a “snapshot” of that person…???)

    I hope this helps?

  148. Avatar


    Should they see about the previous clearance investigaton???????

    Lots of variables here, Many different agencys, some DO communicate. Some don’t… which brings me back to…. Should they??????

    I hope this helps?

  149. Avatar

    What is the difference between an SSBI and SSBI-PR?
    If one is up for a SSBI-PR but have had a positive answer to one of the questions on the SF-86 form, such as the alcohol treatment question; criminal record, debt, mental health etc (which occurred after or during their original investigation) do they then have to undergo a new SSBI or would they just have a SSBI-PR completed on them?


  150. Avatar

    I am wondering what kind of salary I could get in the DC area with a TS/SCI? I have 2 years experience in intelligence and I am very close to completing my BS in business information systems. I will be seperating from the Navy this September and hope to start working right away. Will I have trouble finding a job and hopefully starting right away?

  151. Avatar

    I have a quick question. I currently maintain a TS/SCI; however, it expires in mid-june time frame and up for renewal. I’m now leaving the mil in may on honorable discharge and been hired by a company that requires TS/SCI. Is the renewal process going to put me in a situation where I can not work for the contracting company? If so, what can I do to speed up the process so I’m not prevented from working? Thanks

  152. Avatar

    JD77 – You shouldn’t have much trouble finding a job. The BS degree is helpful, but even more important is some manner of IT certification. If you are a sys admin, consider boot camps that get you certified as an MCSE or CCNA. If you are a network security tech, look at CISSP, etc. If you go the intel route, on-the-job experience is best. Get your resume on immediately and list your available date to employers. Salary really depends on your job. Check out for the latest salary survey.

  153. Avatar


    The difference between an SSBI and an SSBI-PR is in the scope and period of coverage. Chapter 1 of my book details the components of each and the timeframes involved. You can read it at my website.

    The type of investigation required is not influenced by responses to any of the questions on the SF86; however investigations can be expanded. If you previously had an SSBI within the past 5 to 7 years and you have not had a break in service of more than 2 years, you will require an SSBI-PR to satisfy the period reinvestigation requirement for a TS clearance.

  154. Avatar

    You should have no problem going to work and having your clearance reinstated. Clearances don’t really expire; their underlying investigations go “out of date.” In your case this will occur 5 years after the completion on your last SSBI or SSBI-PR. Provided your military security manager does his/her job properly, on the day you are discharged from the military your clearance will terminate. When you start working at a cleared contractor facility, they will have your clearance reactivated. An SSBI-PR application should be submitted four months prior to the 5 year anniversary of your last SSBI or SSBI-PR, so they will probably have you submit one at the same time you inprocess with the company. Don’t worry about the timing of the SSBI-PR application. There is a two-year window between the 5th and 7th year during which clearances can be reactivated provided a new SF86 is submitted for an SSBI-PR.

  155. Avatar


    I hope the issue or incident (which occurred after or during their original investigation) was immediately reported to your security officer??? If not, this could present further complications…

    I hope this helps?

  156. Avatar

    Hello Edge141,

    I have a clearance matter I posted in question thread #4, and Mr. Henderson responded with his thoughts. He also recommended that I repost it here to get your impressions, given your experience as an adjudicator. I would appreciate any insights you could offer.

    I am 36 years old. In 1992, over 16 years ago at the age of 20, I was arrested once and charged with 1 count each of 1) Breaking and Entering; and 2) Possession of Burglary Tools. Both are felonies. The case had a somewhat unusual outcome. As part of a plea agreement, I pled Guilty, and the matter was taken under advisement (a form of deferred adjudication, I believe) for a period of 3 years. That means I was put on probation (no jail). After 1.5 years, the Court decided to let me off early, and both charges were Dismissed, with findings of ‘Not Guilty’ on both. Weird, huh?

    Short of it is, that is the only blemish I have I my record. Long story on why I did it (frat brother and I were being stupid), but that is the only problem I have ever had. Superior credit, all kinds of professional success, certifications, etc. Stable personal life. Anyone I know would be utterly shocked to know this event was in my background.

    Anywho…fast-forward to now, 16 years later. I work for a contractor to a federal agency (not DOD). I completed an SF85-P, and I did not disclose any of this because, as the form directs, it only relates to the last 7 years. I am a worry-wart, so I am still nervous about the whole thing.

    I have an interim clearance (equivalent of DOD Confidential). I am going for the Confidential level of clearance. My paperwork has been in process for 6 months now, which is far longer than any of my colleagues have been in progress. I assume the criminal matter is the reason for the length of time it is taking the clearance to be processed.

    Any thoughts on how worried I should be?

    Also, Mr. Henderson suggested that this matter might not really be a clearance situation, as my sponsoring agency uses the SF85P, and not the SF86 for my particular role. However, I am in a line of work where I will almost certainly be required to go for a Secret or TS clearance at some point in the near future (next 1 to 3 years). Can you offer any thoughts on my likelihood of being successful in obtaining such a clearance?

    Thanks in advance for any perspectives.


  157. Avatar

    Sorry, somehow I missed your post.

    The link you posted to the 2008 SCOG report is the same report mentioned in “Same Old Song and Dance.” I should mention that for some reason later changed the report at their link to the 2007 SCOG report. The 2008 SCOG ends abruptly at page 7. You’ll notice at the bottom of page 2 where it reads: “For all of FY07 (details in Attachment 1): . . .” but there is no Attachment 1. Last year’s report was 12 pages (they used a larger font) and it had 4 appendices for a total of 36 pages.

    Regarding the IC, this year’s report is fairly consistent with last year’s report (last year they reported 83% of all IC investigations and adjudications were completed in an average of 103 days). The problem is that no one previously had authority to audit the IC and no outside audits were conducted. Last month congress asked GAO to conduct an audit of IC security clearance processing.

    The most disturbing thing about the 2008 report is the table on page 3. It lists a column for “Processing Time for Requests Received in FY07” without any explanation of what the numbers represent. The average elspe time for investigations seem way out of line with other data presented in the report.

    Consider the following OPM stats:
    80% of initial investigation for 1st Qtr FY07=101 days
    80% of initial investigation for 1st Qtr FY08=60 days
    100% of initial TS investigations for all FY07=222 days
    100% of initial S&C investigations for all FY07=142 days

    All the IC agencies are contracting directly with investigative service providers, like MSM, Omniplex, Kroll, etc. By paying a premium, they can have their cases completed faster. OPM limits “Priorty” case requests (for which they charge a premium) to 10% of their total security clearance caseload.

    NRO’s stats are really questionable. How many people do they actually process and how many are processed by the USAF? The same with NSA and DIA (a large percentage of the people at NSA and DIA are military). I’m not sure how NSA is doing it now, but a few years ago, DSS conducted the initial investigations on NSA civilian applicants and NSA did the reinvestigations. Surprisingly there is no info in the report regarding the length of time it takes NSA to do a reinvestigation.

    My biggest complaint is that each year OMB/OPM/SCOG present information differently, so that it is very difficult to compare reports from one year to another or even to the IRPTA requirements.

  158. Avatar

    One other tidbit of info–Dillaman testified on 27 February that in FY07 80% of TS clearance investigations were completed in 92 days and 80% of Secret/Confidential clearance investigations were completed in 67 days. Compare that the 222 days and 142 days for a 100% of these investigations as cited previously.

    Do the math; you will see that 20% of the TS clearance investigations took an average of 742 days!!!!

  159. Avatar


    First of all, my experiences are through the DoD/DOHA.. So, this could or could not be true with your agency.

    With that said, in recent years there has been a change or clarification in the 10 U.S.C. §986 “Smith Amendment”. (DoD’s policy concerning granting/denying access when a felony arrest or conviction has occurred).

    The last stance (2005, I think?) of the 10 U.S.C. §986 “Smith Amendment” is;
    If you were arrested and convicted of a Felony charge and, you were sentenced and confined to more than 365 + 1 days (366 days or more) in jail or confinement. You are NOT eligible to be granted access eligibility.

    Basically, if you were convicted of a Felony and confined to 365 days or less, you ARE eligible to have access eligibility.

    Again, this may or may not be true for you and your agency???

    In your scenario, additional time would be necessary to investigate/adjudicate. From the information you provided, access could be possible. Make sure you disclose everything… even if it means disclosing something in the additional comments section.
    They are not going to come back and ask;
    Why did you list something?
    They WILL come back and ask;
    Why DIDN’T you list something?!?

    I am not sure on all the other agency’s policy’s but, I have heard of some agency’s using the SF85P where a SF86 should have been used.?? I don’t know how or why…

    I hope this helps?

  160. Avatar

    MR. H.:

    I think these stats are a little deceiving, and from completed “favorable” cases only. I do not believe the numbers are for ALL cases that were investigated and adjudicated… Are they? I would guess there would be much different numbers reported if every case was counted. As you can tell from this blog, some investigations go on for almost ever… (Especially, when your family, career and livelihood are hanging on, waiting for the completion of an investigation/adjudication.)

    I have seen some last longer than four years…

    I believe in years past, GAO conducted an audit of only completed “favorable” TS cases.

    I hope this helps?

  161. Avatar

    I have been tentatively selected for a position requiring a security clearance. I am concerned that I have an Agreed Judgment on my credit report that was filed in Jan 2003 for a credit card account for 12K. I have been making the agreed payments on this judgment since its filing. Will this prevent me from obtaining a clearance?

  162. Avatar

    Smith Amendment was repealed in Jan 08 and replaced with a less restrictive law that applies to everyone (not just DoD).

  163. Avatar

    I recently was working for the Air Force at a combined command in a temporary position as a GS-09. Prior to my employment with the Air Force I applied and was considered for a position with the DIA. I have only taken ONE polygraph my entire life. However, following my polygraph, I was advised I did not have a background suitable for their employment. I should be clear and stipulate that I did not lie during the polygraph. The Air Force (DOD) started a background investigation on me, and I worked in a SECRET environment with a SECRET interim for six months. At six months I was advised that all combined command intelligence positions would fall under DIA auspices. Within two weeks my boss advised me the DIA would be terminating me due to, and I quote “failure of multiple polygraphs”. This quote is from an UNCLASS email my boss shared with me. The following day, I to listened the DIA HR representative iterate that I failed their pre-employment polygraph (taken over 12 months prior to my employment with the Air Force) and as a result they were terminating me since my position was to fall under DIA responsibility and I did not meet their entry requirements. I was flabbergasted.1. I had no idea I had “failed” a polygraph. The letter the DIA sent in the mail does not stipulate WHY you do not meet their background requirements. I still have the letter.
    2. Since I have taken only one polygraph, I found it amazing to find out I had failed “multiple”.

    Needless to say, despite my excellent performance at this command I was terminated.

    A little bit of background on me:
    I have lived in a Latin American country for 10 years.
    I had dual-citizenship through my mother ( a German citizen) until March of 2007 when I renounced it to help any background investigation I might undergo. My second (and now only) citizenship is US. I was born here.
    I was an IS2 in the Navy for four years and worked in a SCIF with an interim TS/SCI for the duration of my service. I was discharged honorably. Following my discharge I found out my background investigation was not completed (after 4 years!). So I never “held” a clearance.
    My credit is fine.
    I have no felonies.

    I’m now unemployed and can’t work for the DIA because of a polygraph I did not lie on. I also can’t work at my former employer because the DIA controls that position now.

    I feel like I got shafted but despite all this I would still like to continue serving my country.

    Is there an expiration to pre-employment polygraphs?
    Is there a way I can get re-tested?
    Did they have grounds to terminate me?
    Can I re-apply to this agency?
    Are they sharing this information with other agencies, and if so is it grounds for not hiring me?
    Now that I have “officially” been told that I have “failed” a background investigation, do I answer yes if this comes up on a future E-QIP?

    I need some help and some concrete answers. Thank you in advance. I would be happy to provide any information or answer any questions you may have.

  164. Avatar

    Edge141 and Mr. Henderson,

    Thank you for your guidance. This is helpful information.

    Kind regards,

  165. Avatar

    Mr. H.:

    Thanks for the update. See, when your out of the loop, you miss alot!… I will check with my contacts at DOHA and take note.

    Sorry, VR…

    See, Mr. H., you are still the BEST!!

    BTW, How much is your book?


  166. Avatar

    Mr. H.:

    I must have just learned how to read or something… I do believe/agree with the math on the 742 days!!! I would still like to know if the “completed” cases counted were only “Favorable” ones???

    I also believe, many of the completed investigations / adjudications would take less time, If, (1) the applicants would simply disclose everything… (2) The government should allow and suggest this type of reporting some how…

    Most of the issues can be mitigated if reported. If an issue is not reported, a whole new can of worms is opened and needs to be investigated…

    Which is one reason why I think this blog site, is a worthy cause!!!


  167. Avatar

    First let me thank you for the extensive knowledge and Q&A you have on the site here. I have been reading and following along with this info for about 2 years now.I am in process for a TS SCI (SSBI w poly and SP access)

    I have been in process for what seems like forever:

    7/27/06 Paperwork recieved
    12/08/06 Paperwork processing, Interviews start
    3/14/07 Stand-by Poly list
    4/12/07 – 4/16/07 Polys completed (passed)
    10/10/07 All reports completed in adjudication
    —between april and oct I had 2 reports outstanding

    I have been in adjudication since October which is 5+ months. I see several post here that adjudication doesn’t take more than 30-60 days.

    What is the standard timeline for adjudication?
    Is my procss lasting longer than normal?
    Is there anything my FSO should be doing?
    Is there anything I can do?

    Thank you for your time.

  168. Avatar

    I think I may have run into a dilemma. I have gone on two separate interviews for two different jobs with two different defense contractors. I was offered both positions.One of the contractors is dragging their feet on getting me the necessary paperwork to submit my SF86 online. It seems as though it has taken them quite a while and I keep getting promised I will have it the next day but it has been over two weeks.

    The other contractor seems to be on top of their game and has already gotten me everything I need to submit my SF-86 online. I wish the first contractor was this quick as it is ideally the job that I want.

    My question is, if I start the interim clearance process with the second contractor, will I be able to also submit my clearance application with the first contractor (if they ever get around to sending it to me)?


  169. Avatar


    The book, Security Clearance Manual, lists for $19.95 but Amazon is currently selling for $13.57. It just got a 5-star review at ASIS’s Security Management magazine (April 2008). You can check out the review at their website.

    I think that all the CAFs (except DISCO) calculate their adjudication time from the date they receive the completed investigation until the date the clearance is granted or the date the SOR is issued. So it wouldn’t include any time beyond the SOR issuance. DISCO probably calculates from the time they receive the completed investigation to the date they grant the clearance or refer it to DOHA.

  170. Avatar

    Several out-of-statute bad debts, only months from being obsolete for credit reporting purposes, appear on a credit report pulled by OPM for a contractor personnel security investigation.

    On the credit report, it can easily be determined from the information in the tradeline notations that the debts are out-of-statute given the forum state SoL of the subject individual’s residence history in the SF86.

    Any out-of-statute debt, under DOHA law, can only be investigated as to the reasonableness of the behavior of the subject individual leading up to the time of non-enforceability due to SoL expiration.

    The SF86 documents that the subject individual was unemployed for an extended period of time during the time leading up to the non-enforceability of the out-of-statute bad debts, thus showing that circumstances were beyond the control of the subject individual and thus no non-reasonableness issue appears to exist.

    Only these out-of-statute debts are bad debts.

    Does OPM have the capability to investigate at this level of sophistication or is this poor soul in for a 2.5 year investigative drag on and on nightmare?

  171. Avatar

    I am asking this question second time, so I would appreciate if anyone could give me an answer. I got the conditional offer of employment from a Federal Government agency on Sep. 18, 2007. After TS/SCI, poly and mental health assessment, the offer was rescinded. The agency determined that I am unsuitable for Agency employment at the time. The agency says that the decision is based on my suitability for Agency employment rather than security consideration, on future security applications and forms I may affirm, insofar as this decision is concerned, that I have never had a security clearance denied. The agency also told me that I may consider reapplying to the agency as many circumstances or situations that cause a person to be determined as unsuitable for the agency employment may be mitigated by the passage of time. I assume the agency determined that I am unsuitable because of combination of 3 factors. I have been taking anti-depression medication for 2 years now without no counseling treatment which I do not need as I am perfectly fine with medication only. My doctor was of course contacted by the investigator. And he provided the investigator with all the records of treating me which prove that I am doing fine. My former boss at DoD agency did not renew my employment contract after 13 month probation. I had personality conflict with my former boss and was threatened to leave for unjustifiable reasons. I had to appeal the termination of my employment to the Union as it all resulted from power game. The background investigator was concerned about this and asked all my former colleagues that I wrote as references in the application, whether or not I had problem with anger management and I am taking medication. I opened up myself and told the mental health doctor at the agency at the time of poly and mental health assessment what happened at my former job and the fact that I have been taking anti-depressent with submitting the documentation of two time hospitalization for depression and its treatment. I also own a real property for rental in a foreign country. I can’t think of any other reasons for not getting the job at the agency. I would like to know how good the chances will be if I reapply after a year. I am working as a part timer now at the same industry, which I believe I will be able to recover from my former employer’s negative response to the investigator. I would also like to know this will affect my application for other federal government agency which requires the same level of security clearance, TS/SCI as I had a job interview a week ago. Do all federal government agencies share the infomation on TS/SCI clearance ? Do I have TS/SCI clearance ? or not ? I would truly appreciated if I could get a response to these questions.

  172. Avatar


    First off, I am not sure what type of eligibility you might have currently… IF you did not have TS/SCI previously, you probably don’t have the eligibility now…
    Secondly, you do have a few disqualifying factors under your belt… (They can be mitigated though).

    The government likes for you to COMPLETE treatment(s). If you stopped participating in the treatment and/or aftercare on your own accord, and YOU decided to only continue the meds, it’s not good for a clearance…

    Your circumstances for termination(s) of employment do not help. (Considering your treatment or INCOMPLETE history)

    Your foreign asset(s) can also present a problem… depending on;
    1) Where the real property is located,
    2) What the appraised value is,
    3) How and why the property was obtained,
    4) Your plans for the property,

    I hope this helps?

  173. Avatar

    With my experience in working at DOHA as an Adjudicator, I have found that Delinquent debts are bad debts… (If they are charged off, collections, etc… they are still a bad debt). If the bad debt is on your credit report, it counts… many creditors work around the “out-of-statute” by, reporting some sort of action (collections, charge off etc…) so the ding will remain… (If they are still on any of the credit reports they will be counted, no matter the age) The total amount due or high credit is what’s calculated. With several bad debts outstanding and a high bad debt total, this would be a disqualifying factor. Mitigating these debts is possible.

    Here are a few things to remember or take note on:

    1) Are/were they disclosed on the SC application SF86/SF85P etc??? (If not there is another problem)
    2) What has the applicant done to rectify the bad debt? (Normally waiting for them to “fall-off” the report is not sufficient)
    3) The government does recognize hard-ship situations (the loss of employment for an extended period of time and other sad situations). This does not relieve the applicant from owing the debts.
    4) Did the applicant at any time, attempt to make good on the debt? A circumstance beyond the control of the subject/applicant at the time is just that “at the time”. What have you done lately?

    I am not sure where you received the information on “DOHA law”??? I recommend you go to the DOHA’s web site and review some of the past financial issue cases…

    So, to recap…
    *If the applicant did not disclose the bad debt,
    *If the applicant is simply waiting for the debts to fall off the credit report,
    *If the applicant has not attempted to work with the creditor to satisfy the debt, (past or present)

    It could be a disqualifying situation… The length of time required to adjudicate the application could have been or would be shortened by a little effort on the applicants’ part… (Disclosing, and attempting to pay)

    In this case, the investigative drag on and nightmare of the case appears to be self inflicted…???

    I would recommend the applicant, contact the creditors and make arraignments to satisfy the debts.

    Remember, the creditors would like to have the money(s) that is owed to them. They are normally willing and able to work with people to satisfy the debt.

    I hope this helps?

  174. Avatar


    There are a few variables in your situation, The agency, the disqualifying factors (if any) etc…
    It appears you are on top of the application, the time line to adjudicate will vary on your variables…

    You may ask your congress man/women to check into the status. This normally speeds things up a bit… Not always though, due to the variables.

    I hope this helps?

  175. Avatar


    You too, have many variables. Such as, the type of SC required, the different agency’s etc..

    Remember, a bird in hand is worth more, than two birds in the bush…

    I would take the oppotunity at hand and let the paperwork work it self out…

    I hope htis helps?

  176. Avatar


    Most of the time with a judgement, (or any debt for that matter) if you are making the agreeded upon payment(s) (and you have proof of the payments)… You should not have a problem…

    Just disclose it and maintain your proof! It may take a little time to adjudicate but, if you are making an effort it goes along way!!!!!!!

    I hope this helps?

  177. Avatar

    I do not have much to help you with today, (very little experience with DIA)

    Is there expiration to pre-employment polygraphs?
    I am sure that most poly’s do not expire, as they are part of an investigation. There will / should be some sort of record of the status or outcome in your file.

    Is there a way I can get re-tested?
    I am not sure, normally only with the need.

    Did they have grounds to terminate me?
    I am not sure or I don’t think it’s this blogs main realm of function to make that type of call, and your agency normally follows the rules pretty close… (If you do not have the eligibility of access and the agency/employer can not maintain you without the eligibility, yes, it sounds like grounds to me). And make sure you disclose the termination on future requests for SC.

    Can I re-apply to this agency?
    Your letter or agency should be able to tell you if can and how long of a period that you would be barred from employment with that agency.

    Are they sharing this information with other agencies?
    And if so is it grounds for not hiring me?
    In most cases, it would be reflect as a negative and the information would not help with employment.

    Now that I have “officially” been told that I have “failed” a background investigation, do I answer yes if this comes up on a future E-QIP?
    Yes, you should answer “Yes” where/when requested or that would be questioned and possibly disqualifying.

    I hope this helps?

  178. Avatar

    Thanks for the help, a little clarification

    “I am not sure or I don’t think it’s this blogs main realm of function to make that type of call, and your agency normally follows the rules pretty close… (If you do not have the eligibility of access and the agency/employer can not maintain you without the eligibility, yes, it sounds like grounds to me). And make sure you disclose the termination on future requests for SC.”

    It was suggested I resign rather than be terminated. I worked for the Air Force (DOD) for 6 months with a SECRET interim (while the DOD conducted a background investigation) prior to the DIA assuming responsibility of the position. One would think that would mitigate such a straight forward decision.

    “Your letter or agency should be able to tell you if can and how long of a period that you would be barred from employment with that agency.”

    The letter (dated in 2006) says simply “This is to advise you that based upon a thorough review of your total qualifications, we have determined that your background does not meet the Agency’s overall employment criteria”.

    Thanks for the answers to my intial questions.

  179. Avatar

    Several experienced contract investigators were unlawfully suspended for security concerns that were never proven, did not exist, which included a process to defame their characters; disrupting livelihoods; and were judged as a Federal Employees, which they were not. The suspensions were conducted by Kathy Dillaman of OPM FISD, her staff to include those of USIS who were contracted by Dillaman to review the work of contract investigators.

    Contracting Companies conducting backgrounds for OPM FISD and other agencies for years QUIT the OPM FISD contract (MSM & Omnisec) which caused a loss of over 4 thousand contract investigators and knowledgeable staff, because of OPM FISD abuse of power…

    Those wrongfully accused of unproven criminal acts, made every effort to obtain proper due process, but OPM Officials failed in every sense of the word to provide fair and impartial justice, and purposely disregarded all responses and correspondence. The offices included: Director of OPM; OPM Inspector General; OPM FISD and the OPM General Counsel.

    Dillaman, Director of OPM FISD purposely delays all inquiries against her, and her office, by ignoring all requests and appeals, which in it self is the route to the delays of security backgrounds. All those of OPM FISD had deliberately ignored our Constitutional and Federal Laws, Regulations and OPM Notices. Even the OPM General Counsel’s Office to include the OPM IG ignored all responses for a request of due process.

    OPM FISD continuous deception and delays, is an endless road. The lack of fair and impartial justice not given and abuse of power, by those within OPM is the real reason for the backlog. Those great man and woman, with extensive experience, that have been conducting security backgrounds for years, under contract, are leaving the business, because of Dillaman and her staff’s unethical practices of abuse and injustice..

    There are people in the business that can correct the backlog of security backgrounds in months, but because of the reputation of injustice and abuse of power, to include deception of OPM FISD, it will never be corrected.

    This country depends on our soldiers and agents in the field, to protect us. Since the 80’s those soldiers and agents continued after retirement, as contract investigators, conducting Security Background Investigations for little money and got the job done, out of patriotism, and loyalty, but now we have those that are greedy, incompetent running our country’s security, like OPM FISD who has over 90% of the Security Background Investigative duties and can’t get it done – we deserve everything we get, if this country and those in our government don’t wakeup NOW.

  180. Avatar

    Dear edge141:

    I have read hundreds of Guideline F DOHA cases.

    When a bad debt (a bad debt is an IRC section 166 bad debt tax deduction by a creditor for a charged-off account.) is shown to be time-barred, the AJ is only allowed to consider the behavior of the subject individual in regards to actions prior to the debt going time-barred, such as:
    ( Did the subject individual just wait for the SoL to expire rather than make a good faith effort to pay the debt?; Were circumstances possible for the subject individual to make a payment plan? )

    After showing up on the initial credit report pull by OPM, the bad debts disappear as obsolete and don’t show anymore on later credit report pulls by OPM/DISCO/DOHA.

    Putting a simple two and two together, if a bad debt is obsolete for credit reporting purposes (the 7 year FCRA reporting limit), it more than likely is time-barred given the multitude of states with less than 7 year SoLs on contract-related causes-of-action.

    Given that bad debt credit card accounts are almost exclusively sold within days of charge-off to pennies-on-the-dollar junk debt buyers, and that junk debt buyers violate the FDCPA if they commence a legal action on a time-barred debt, and that junk debt buyers are really non-injured, scavenging investor/profiteers who typically receive a 5000% Return-on-Investment on the pennies-on-the-dollar purchase of the credit card charge-off if they receive face value of the debt, and actually can get much beyond 5000% ROI by tacking on high rates of default interest to the charge-off balance (the mountain of debt paradigm of credit card accounts),

    is it reasonable to demand, in order to obtain a clearance, that a subject individual who suffered significant (2-3 years) unemployment due to being unable to obtain a job in their profession while these debts were not time-barred due to the requirements of a ability to obtain a clearance of those jobs, provide, in essence, financial windfalls to non-injured parties on time-barred debts????

    “With my experience in working at DOHA as an Adjudicator, I have found that Delinquent debts are bad debts… (If they are charged off, collections, etc… they are still a bad debt). If the bad debt is on your credit report, it counts… many creditors work around the “out-of-statute” by, reporting some sort of action (collections, charge off etc…) so the ding will remain… (If they are still on any of the credit reports they will be counted, no matter the age) The total amount due or high credit is what’s calculated. With several bad debts outstanding and a high bad debt total, this would be a disqualifying factor. Mitigating these debts is possible.

    Here are a few things to remember or take note on:

    1) Are/were they disclosed on the SC application SF86/SF85P etc??? (If not there is another problem)
    2) What has the applicant done to rectify the bad debt? (Normally waiting for them to “fall-off” the report is not sufficient)
    3) The government does recognize hard-ship situations (the loss of employment for an extended period of time and other sad situations). This does not relieve the applicant from owing the debts.
    4) Did the applicant at any time, attempt to make good on the debt? A circumstance beyond the control of the subject/applicant at the time is just that “at the time”. What have you done lately?

    I am not sure where you received the information on “DOHA law”??? I recommend you go to the DOHA’s web site and review some of the past financial issue cases…

    So, to recap…
    *If the applicant did not disclose the bad debt,
    *If the applicant is simply waiting for the debts to fall off the credit report,
    *If the applicant has not attempted to work with the creditor to satisfy the debt, (past or present)

    It could be a disqualifying situation… The length of time required to adjudicate the application could have been or would be shortened by a little effort on the applicants’ part… (Disclosing, and attempting to pay)

    In this case, the investigative drag on and nightmare of the case appears to be self inflicted…???

    I would recommend the applicant, contact the creditors and make arraignments to satisfy the debts.

    Remember, the creditors would like to have the money(s) that is owed to them. They are normally willing and able to work with people to satisfy the debt.

    I hope this helps?

  181. Avatar


    I have adjudicated and writen hundreds of DOHA’s cases including the drafting of “Statement Of Reasons”.

    You can take my response or if you like your ideas better, that is okay too….

    I hope this helps?

  182. Avatar

    Hello everyone,

    First I would like to say thanks for all the time and effort put into clarifying the security clearance process.

    I recently got offered a job with Secret Level Clearance requirements.

    The main worry I have is with the mental health part.

    7-8 years ago I voluntarily went to see a psychiatrist and was diagnosed with depression, social phobia, and paranoid schizophrenia.

    For about four years, I saw the psychiatrist and counselor, and took the prescribed medications. The treatment was not effective. There was also one violent incident while I was under the meds. So I stopped the treatment. After the treatment stopped, I actually got better (felt better, grades improved, applied to college).

    Now, four years later, the social phobia and mild depression is still here, although I am trying to solve the problem by myself. The problem is I do not think this is a mental defect that can be solved by medications, this is more like an undesirable personality trait that takes time, experience, and knowledge to change. In the four years since I stopped the treatment, I’ve gone through college, become more mature, and moved away from my parents (a major cause of stress at the time). Now, I am reading books on social anxiety, learning coping techniques, and trying to reason my way through daily life.

    I am quiet, shy, person lacking social skills and close friends but I am not “insane”. Like I said above, I am trying to fix these problems.

    What are my chances? And what I can I do to improve my myself further?

    Once again, I appreciate your valuable time and input.

  183. Avatar

    MR. H.:

    I have just checked out the review of your book “Security Clearance Manual”, by ASIS / Security Management magazine, (very nice!)

    The article convinced me to go out and purchase your book. I did not see any information on where I could obtain a signed copy!?!

    Thanks for sharing your time, energy and experiences.

    You are the BEST!!!


  184. Avatar

    I am 22 and applying for a secret security clearance and have a history with drug use. I used MJ from 03-06 on a regular basis while in college and used occasionally till april 07. i have also used cocaine 2 times in nov 05 and 06. i tried mushrooms once in july 06. is there a chance i would get a clearance? i have had a job all throughout college and graduated in dec. 07. I have no criminal history and no aggravated circumstances. My financial history is also very good.

  185. Avatar

    Your chances at a clearance depend alot on what your former mental health practitioners say about your condition. Chosing not to follow “doctor’s orders” is a big minus. If you didn’t agree with your doctor, it would have been best to find another one with a different treatment plan. Adjudicators like to see people seek professional help and follow their advice. Ultimately, your case could be decided by a government-approved psychologist/psychiatrist’s evaluation and report.

  186. Avatar

    See my posting on this thread dated 30 March 2008 at 11:18PM. Hopefully that should answer your question.

    Care to comment on the ADR?

  187. Avatar

    Contact me through my website re: signed book.

  188. Avatar


    I agree with Mr. Henderson’s response. He hit the nail directly on the head… (He normally does!!)

    I hope this helps?

  189. Avatar


    I agree with Mr. Henderson (again). You do have a few mitigating factors in your favor. However, due to the recency of use, gaining access eligibility may be difficult…

    I hope this helps?

  190. Avatar


    I have adjudicated and writen hundreds of DOHA’s cases including the drafting of “Statement Of Reasons”.

    You can take my response or if you like your ideas better, that is okay too….

    I hope this helps?
    edge141 ”


    Financial Risk management principles are at work by the subject individual in this kind of scenario.

    I just don’t think OPM/DISCO/DOHA grasps that.
    They simply apply the same old “all debts are equal” DOHA formula and drag out the clearance process imstead of understanding that from a risk management standpoint, some debts are more equal than others.

  191. Avatar


    Look, I am not going to debate this issue… I have provided you with my knowledge and experiences on the subject.

    If your “thinking” is going to change the Executive Orders and Directives. Please, let me know.

    I hope this helps?

  192. Avatar

    Mr. H.:

    Would you care to comment on Luciles’ senario?


  193. Avatar

    I received an initial job offer with an agency with DOJ and my clearance was suppose to be on priority. Intially my top secret clearance was suppose to take maximum of 6 months because I was a critical hire. In August I received a starting date, the agency took back the clearance in September and I am now waiting once again. I do have relatives who work in the government back home, and I am not sure about what to think about this situation. Is this typical?

  194. Avatar


    Where is back home?


  195. Avatar

    I have been made an offer by a company that requires a TS/SCI clearance. My credit is spotless, no issues with the IRS, foreign nationals, etc…but I do have a history of drug use (not abuse). I’ve used marijuana off and on (frequent use and times of no use at all) since high school (I am now 40). I’ve have since quit using marijuana for good (approximately 7 months ago), but I did use cocaine at a party one time 4 months ago. Am I wasting my time attempting to get a TS/SCI clearance.

    Thank you in advance.

  196. Avatar

    Dear Sirs:

    I will be graduating from school in the fall and have been offered a position requiring a SSBI for top secret clearance. I will not find out if I have attained clearance until after I graduate and will be patiently (without working) waiting to hear.
    This is a very unsure future for me and I was wondering how many “negatives” are usually permitted before a “denied” is certainly handed down.
    I will be saying “yes” to:
    infrequent cannabis use (

  197. Avatar

    “on 13 Apr 2008 at 6:05 pm # edge141


    Look, I am not going to debate this issue… I have provided you with my knowledge and experiences on the subject.

    If your “thinking” is going to change the Executive Orders and Directives. Please, let me know.

    I hope this helps?

    Dear edge141:

    My ‘thinking’ is really just 21st century thinking given the financial ‘services’ landscape that has emerged in the past decade.

    It really does not conflict with the Executive Orders or the DoD Directive and the Adjudication Criteria. I think a simplified formula has been followed without considerations of the changes in the financial landscape.

    There are now ‘non-injured’ parties that self-injure themselves willingly and assume the risk of non-collection in pursuit of that massive ROI windfall on the pennies-on-the-dollar purchase through common law assignment law.

    This is a completely different dynamic from the classified information fiduciary relationship that the DOHA ‘law’ equates to the non-payment of debt.

    The government most definitely would be an injured party on a fiducial breach. Thus, the government and this new kind of entity are not similar.

    I am not talking about in-statute debt involving any party, this is strictly the case of time-barred and involving these ‘non-injured’ junk debt buyers, who are investor/profiteers and are not creditors, but are only mere assignees. They own the debt and the choses in action of the predecessor(s)-in-interest. This JDB phenomenom exploded in the past decade.

    If the debt was in-statute at the time the initial application for the clearance was made, I would not argue that the debt should be paid, regardless if it was owed to one of these ‘non-injured’ junk debt buyers.

    This is the case of all debts being time-barredand owned by these non-injured parties prior to the application for the clearance, which would be when the unemployed person is hired and finally has financial resources again after an extended period of almost no financial resources.

    There no longer is any financial overextension or duress, as recognized by DOHA, on the subject individual to these old debts since they are no longer legally enforceable, but making payment on them would then re-expose the subject individual to this additional financial risk and re-open financial pressure on them.

    The subject individual has to focus on getting those obligations to real creditors paid off, since his/her employment is contingent on obtaining the clearance within 45 days, before considering any diversion of funds to provide financial windfalls to non-injured parties on time-barred debts that are now obsolete for credit reporting purposes and off the credit reports.

    Yet, OPM/DISCO/DOHA forces the clearance process to drag out for years because they only seem to be applying the simplified formula, ignoring the more sophisticated aspects of financial risk management in the concrete, systematic financial plan of the subject individual.

    So the subject individual is shackled, unable to the do the job he/she was hired to do, waiting in agony two and a half long years, having no idea why it is taking so long since there is no one to contact to find out, then gets an SOR on the old debts (the ones time-barred before the application was ever submitted and that have not been on a credit report in 2 years).

    That’s the reality for those poor souls in the Guideline F clearance process.

    And, of course, a half million dollars of the government’s money is wasted since this person is sitting around, shackled by the lack of a clearance, humiliated, demoralized, depressed, waiting for 2.5 years unable to do the work they were hired to do.


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    Also, getting those obligations to real creditors paid off takes time. This subject individual is eliminating obligations without creating new ones during this 2.5 year period. These obligations do amount to significant financial damage if not paid, so they are high proirity items and it takes 2.5 years to pay them off even for the subject individual with a six figure income due to the job contingent on the clearance. The subject individual makes no major purchases during this 2.5 year period, drives a 10, a 20 and a 30 year old vehicle which were all purchased 10 years or more prior. So the subject individual is living a Dave Ramsey beans and rice existence during the 2.5 years and just paying off financial instititions that would suffer a pecuniary loss if not paid and providing financial support to aged parents.

    The subject individual who was near indigent prior to hire now has a six figure income dangerously imperiled by the drag out of the clearance process.

    The clearance process system should recognize that the only posssible issue here is behavior prior to the non-enforceability of the old debts now in the hands of the non-injured parties and get this resolved of get it quickly to an adjudication hearing, but they don’t. They sit on it. They realize that the longer they sit, the more likely the subject individual will get fired for lack of clearance and the problem of this case will go away.

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    Yes, the location and the position(s)held by your relatives “back home”, do have a bearing on the adjudication of SC eligibility.

    I hope this helps?

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    I am a natural born citizen of the United States and back home is Thailand. As of right now, any advice you give me is help, thanks!

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    Fabulous resource here…just put my order in for the book too and am very much looking forward to reading it. My situation:

    I am currently employed as a career federal employee (since April 2003) with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) and am in the midst of upgrading my clearance to secret.

    E-QIP was submitted late August 2007. Interview with investigator held shortly thereafter.

    The latest I hear from OPM is that my investigation is ‘closed/pending’ and that the only remaining hurdle to a final determination is the FBI name check.

    Now, working with CIS has allowed me a certain level of familiarity with the FBI name check process in regards to the immigrant applicants I deal with on a daily basis. We, the general public, have heard the horror stories of FBI name checks taking years (in some instances) to clear. It is such a problem that now many applicants have taken CIS to court (via a ‘mandamus’ action) to try to expedite the process. See here for more information about the mandamus process:

    Given that CIS, in my experience, generally moves a little quicker when prompted, might the same hold true for my pending FBI name check? I am thinking about enlisting the aid of my Senators and/or Congressman to see what, if any, assistance they can provide.

    Is this advisable? If so, would it be beneficial in any respect?


  202. Avatar


    The location and the position(s)held by your relatives “back home”, do have a bearing or impact on the adjudication of SC eligibility.

    I hope this helps?

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    Quick question about cases moving between investigation and adjudication:

    Initial TS for contractor. Currently hold active final Secret/interim TS. Submitted paperwork November 2007. Had subject interview January 2008.

    I had no contact for 3 months so I corresponded with the investigator who did my interview. He said that my case was deleted from his records because the case had been closed and the 30 day record-keeping required in case adjudicators needed more information had passed.

    Does this mean my case is now in adjudication? The reason I ask is 3 of my sf86 references and 1 additional developed reference were abortively contacted for interviews but the investigators canceled/didn’t return calls. These references would be in different offices from the one of my SI investigator. Is everyone listed on a sf86 for a TS/ No-SCI required to be interviewed or is it at the investigator’s discretion?

    When a case is closed in one office of the OPM investigators does this mean it is globally closed and it is being adjudicated by DISCO?

    Hopefully this would mean I would receive clearance (I’m positive there is no derogatory information) before June? (3 mo. adjudication?)

    Thank you for your time!

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    With regard to Lucile’s posts, I have always maintained that a good adjudicator should look at conduct, not outcomes. If you commit a crime but are not caught; if you commit a crime but beat the charge due to a technicality; if you borrow money from a friend but the debt is unenforceable because there was no written agreement—you should still be judged by your conduct even though no action could be taken against you.

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    Hello again:

    Not sure what happened to the rest of my comment from yesterday, most of it was cut off. I am basically wondering if there is a secret number of “yes” responses before the application is denied. Is this where I should carefully explain my case on the application and in the interview? I would like to be honest and hope that has some merit, versus lying as I have heard some people do. Thank you and apologies for the technical difficulties.

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    After reading many posts and replies about foreign spouses I remain confused about the impact on SCI eligibility of a foreign spouse. Because after all, the foreign spouse becomes a US citizen after three years. What if there is just one year remaining for the spouse to become a US citizen? If the application was made when the spouse is a US citizen it would seem nothing to worry about. But 1 year prior to gaining citizenship is the foreign spouse permanent resident considered a much higher risk? Similar concept regarding elderly foreign relatives. What if, in the current year the application has a permanent resident spouse with elderly foreign in-laws. In the near future, it is inevitable that spouse gains citizenship, relatives pass away, and everyone in the immediate family is a US citizen. Isn’t this different than someone who has ongoing foreign connections that persist into the future?

  207. Avatar

    Clarification of my previous post: I meant to say “SCI eligibility of an applicant that has a foreign spouse.”

  208. Avatar

    Mr. H.:

    I agree, thus the “make an effort” and, not “let fall off” advise. Actions do go along way!


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    I recently received a job offer from a federal agency pending a security clearance. I am in my mid-twenties and have not used marijuana for 2 years and 2 months. Before I stopped using I had some mental health issues associated with its usage and LSD which I used twice when I was 18 / 19. I also worked a few months as a contract employee to a government agency when I was 21 and used marijuana a few times when I was employed in that capacity, but had no clearance for that position. I had counseling after that briefly and decided to quit totally. Also I briefly dabbled in selling marijuana to my friends when I was 18, though I was never in trouble. I intend to fully disclose EVERYTHING in the clearance process. Mitigating factors would be my two years and two months of a drug free lifestyle, the whole time which I have been employed at a reputable company and successfully completed a college degree. I have excellent credit and reputation in the community (I even have approached many youths and tried to talk them out of using drugs and alcohol) and only run in with the law was a ticket for underage alcohol consumption when I was 19. What are my chances?

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    Lying can only bring trouble, as the truth normally surfaces.. It is best to tell the truth and let the chips fall as they may…

    I hope this helps?

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    In November 2007 I applied for a Secret Clearance. I had been treated for depression in 2003-2004; I put this on my e-Qip questionare. My interim clearance was denied; the company security officer said this was likely due to my history of depression. In the 5 months since my interim was denied, I have heard nothing. No interview and my references have not been contacted. Other employees in my companywho started about the same time did have their interim clearances denied, but had an interview within 4-6 weeks of application. They now have their clearances. What gives? Should I be concerned?

  212. Avatar


    I didn’t have an interview and none of my references were contacted before I received my final Secret clearance. It took November 2006 – July 2007.

    Subject interview and interviews with references is only required for TS (what I’m doing now).

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    Also, just a general comment. For those of you who are talking about lying or are proud to be disclosing everything: shame on you.

    Anyone who doesn’t write absolutely every small thing down on their forms should be put into prison. It makes me sick to think people receiving clearances, who are supposedly extremely patriotic, would do such a thing.

    LIST EVERYTHING. Period. There is no place for half-truths. When you don’t list something, even something small, represent a blackmail/security risk and could do irreparable harm to the country, everyone reading this blog, and their families.

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    If your and your work associates’ clearance investigations are/were being conducted by OPM, you should understand that there are five or six different investigative organizations conducting these investigations. Each operates independently. Some are completing investigations sooner than others and there are also differences by geographic location. Some of your work associates’ investigations could have be done by a different investigative organization than the one that has your case. Usually when an interim Secret clearance is not granted, the reason it was not granted can be a trigger for a Special Interview (SPIN) and additional investigative actions. For some government agencies OPM automatically conducts a SPIN based on written guidelines from the government agencies. For others OPM sends the completed investigative report to the government agency without a SPIN, and the government agency then decides whether to send the case back to OPM for the SPIN. This all takes time.

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    Your past use of illegal drugs probably can not be fully mitigated by “passage of time” alone because your mental health/drug counseling is an aggravating/complicating factor.

    Selling marijuana when you were 18 (depending on the details) may also impact the amount time you must be free of any drug involvement before a clearance can be granted. See my 30 March 2008 11:18 PM post in this threat about illegal drug involvement vs. passage of time.

  216. Avatar

    Thank you for your insight.

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    For a collateral clearance the type of information you bring up is taken into consideration by adjudicators because of the wording in the Adjudicative Guidelines under Foreign Influence. However for SCI eligibility, current DNI/CIA regulations prohibit granting SCI to anyone who has immediate family members (including spouse or cohabitant) who are not US citizens. It is possible to get a waiver.

    This is an issue of risk avoidance vs. risk management that is currently being hashed out at the highest levels of government. The fact that a large percentage of recent espionage cases have involved foreign influence will not help those advocating greater reliance on risk management.

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    Investigators are required to destroy their field records a certain number of days after they have submitted their report. This is an administrative policy. It allows enough time to insure that the completed ungarbled report reached the “case control” office of the government agency conducting the investigation (not the adjudicative agency). One investigator could submit his report three months before another investigator in a different location. Consequently field records in one location could be destroyed/deleted long before the investigation is completed and sent to the adjudicative facility.

    The only people listed on your SF86 that must be interviewed (and there are exceptions to this rule) are your past supervisors. Everyone else is optional.

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    Your chances of getting a security clearance are very poor. See my 30 March 2008 11:18 PM post in this threat about illegal drug involvement vs. passage of time.

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    There is no secret number of “yes” responses before a clearance is denied. The most frequently cited reason for denying a clearance is intentionally providing false information during the clearance process. With regard to past illegal drug use, see my 30 March 2008 11:18 PM post in this threat about illegal drug involvement vs. passage of time. Almost all security/suitability issues can be mitigated, including mutiple issues.

    Because you are applying for a TS clearance, your investigation will include a Personal Subject Interview—PRSI.” You should prepare yourself for this interview by reviewing all mitigating factors in the Adjudicative Guidelines under each guideline that applies to you including “Personal Conduct” which is a catch-all for multiple minor issues. If an interim TS clearance is important in your case, you should include as much mitigating information on your SF86 as possible, otherwise only mention them briefly and expand on them during the PRSI.

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    Thank you Mr. Henderson. I guess I can’t assume my investigation is done, but it’s nice to know lacking interviews doesn’t necessarily mean I’m way behind.

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    FBI name checks for CIS purposes are handled separately from those conducted for security clearances, so the backlog is much shorter for security clearances. These usually take from 30 to 60 days. Something has probably slipped through the cracks in your case, because the FBI name & technical fingerprint search should have been requested as soon as your case was opened. I am also confused by the fact that you had an interview with an investigator. The investigation for a Secret clearance (in your case a NACLC) does not include a routine Subject Interview. However if you are being considered for both a Secret Clearance and a Public Trust position, there would be a routine Subject Interview.

    I wouldn’t contact a congressman until you give your security manager a chance to find out what happened. If the FBI check was not requested last fall as it should have been, then it’s best to just wait. If the FBI check was requested last fall and is still pending and your security manager and/or OPM promises to do something about it, give them 30 days before going outside your agency for help.

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    There are requirements for certain types and numbers reference interviews in an SSBI for a TS clearance. But many of the reference interviews can be conducted with people that are not listed on the SF86. Actually this is preferred.

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    William, thanks very much for the answer: “However for SCI eligibility, current DNI/CIA regulations prohibit granting SCI to anyone who has immediate family members (including spouse or cohabitant) who are not US citizens. It is possible to get a waiver.”

    If there is a job offer that is contingent on SCI and the spouse still has 1 year remaining to US citizenship, does the waiver process typically add a long time to the normal SCI processing time? i.e. If the boss is expecting work to start after 3 months doing alternate non-SCI projects while waiting for adjudication, is the waiver process most likely going to delay the start of the real work? Is it difficult to get a waiver for a foreign spouse when the applicant otherwise has an exsiting TS SSBI with a very clean background? In this case should the applicant just forget about this job opportunity because of small chances? Or go for it anyway because there is a “reasonable” chance of a waiver?

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    A waiver will not even be considered without a “Certification of a Compelling Need.” Only the Facility Security Officer or Program Security Officer at the company that gave you the job offer can tell you what their experiences have been in the past with the Govt Agency they are dealing with. There is no statistical data available, only antecodal information and the antecodal info would only be applicable to the specific govt agency granting the SCI and the specific contractor/program it was requested for. The FSO/PSO would have the most recent info on this.

  226. Avatar

    Sorry, that’s anecdotal, not antecodal.

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    William, excellent advice. I have another question about the SSBI that I can’t seem to find anywhere. Sources are not always accurate, something I learned from newspaper reporters quoting sources. When the background report is written is it possible for the applicant to find out what’s inside the report to have the chance to show evidence that would clarify something that was written? I’ve seen the background investigation reports published on the web as part of the appeals process, so apparently these reports can be made public. But, maybe it would be unwise to request one’s own report, I am not sure.

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    The investigative reports are protected under the Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts (FOIPA). You have a right to a copy of your own complete investigative file (minus any confidential source information and any medical information a doctor says should not be released directly to you). You can only request the report after the investigation is completed. Anyone who has received a Statement of Reason (explaining why the clearance may be denied) and intends to rebut the SOR would be foolish not to get a copy. I believe that almost all government agencies responsible for these investigation have instructions on their websites for obtain reports under the FOIPA.

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    Interesting, I didn’t know that you could get your own report. Or at least this fact is not heavily advertised. If the clearance is granted and in active status I wonder if it would also be a good idea to get a copy of the report or if this would make the agency think you’re poking around too much into their process evaluating yourself, if that makes any sense.

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    To be more specific, suppose that someone with an unreliable personality happened to be a source and said something untrue, maybe because of bad memory. It goes into the report. The collateral clearance is granted because this is minor and anyway there are plenty of mitigating factors. But still, it’s not something that should be on the report on the first place (if evidence can be provided to the contrary) because of its effect on future renewals or SAP or SCI. I wonder if there is a process by which unreliable information can be brought to someone’s attention and corrected if the collateral clearance was granted after all. This is nothing that happened to me, just strikes my curiosity if there is a provision for this process.

  231. Avatar

    No one at a government agency will care whether or not you request a copy of your investigation.

    There is nothing you can do about things others say about you, regardless of whether or not it is true. If incorrect information was relied upon to make an adverse decision, then you could rebut it through the normal rebuttal process. When someone provides unfavorable information, it is standard procedure for the investigator to pursue the issue and attempt to corroborate or refute the information through other sources. Uncorroborated non-record information should never be relied upon by an adjudicator to deny or revoke a clearance.

    The only time an adjudicator should reach back to an old report is when the original clearance was issued with an “exception” or when a issue surfaces during a new investigation that should have been covered in the prior investigation. Unless an old issue involves “foreign influence” it will probably have no effect on a future SCI eligibility determination.

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    I am currently working under an interim Secret clearance issued Jan. 2008. OMB investigator met with me in early April 2008 for upgrading that to Secret. I held a TS/SCI with DOS up until 1996. In 1997 I moved to Chile for a US based company. I have had contact with various Chilean citizens and government people in the course of my work there. No drug or financial problems. I am now being considered for a TS/SCI job here in Washington. What is the normal processing time for a TS/SCI – assuming no problems but with substantial foreign residency/travel (no contact with any organizations or persons who might be considered as threats to the US).

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    Jim B:
    There is no interview upgrading an interim Secret clearance to a Secret clearance. In fact there is no routine interview for a Secret clearance. So your interview was a SPIN (Special Interview) to address some matter of security or suitability concern. One one exception to this would be if you were being considered for both a Secret clearance and a Public Trust clearance.

    Average processing time for non-issue cases for TS/SCI ranges from about 3 to 6 months depending on the agency involved (according to government figures). However, I don’t believe these numbers. NRO is claiming that their end-to-end processing for the top 85 percent of their TS/SCI cases in FY07 was 35 days.

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    If I’m hired for a civilian Army position based upon a signed security waiver, can I still be fired, if for some reason I’m ultimately rejected for a TS security clearance? I certainly don’t forsee this happening but if rejected then are there any other avenues besides being let go?
    Can one appeal this decision and stay employed or search for other employment until the decision is final?
    Would the Government allow an individual to transfer to another agency (if opportunities exist) rather than going unemployed?
    Would this be considered a break in service if you needed some time to find another civilian job?

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    Security clearance denials are first rebutted and if unsuccessful, then appealed. It’s a long process before the final decision is made.

    Sorry, but the rest of your question is outside my area of knowledge, so I can’t provide any useful info. Perhaps someone else on this blog has some insight.

  236. Avatar

    I have applied and been interviewed for a TSA position at a nearby airport that requires a security clearance. My credit report needed some rehabilitation, which has been done. Everything is either paid off, closed, or is up-to-date and current.

    After I got that pretty much squared away, in February I learned that my wife had not paid our federal taxes in five of the last eight years. Needless to say I was not pleased. Not at all.

    Anyhow, bottom line, I contacted the IRS and we got all of the returns filed and paid in full. There are not, nor have there been, any liens, etc., against any property, bank accounts, or anything else. Everything is supposedly squared away (according to them, anyway).

    My BI was supposedly initiated last week. The natural question is, will either of these issues affect me being granted the clearance and therefore getting the job?


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    It’s great that you cleaned up your debts before you applied for the clearance. Your past financial delinquencies could still result in an interim clearance denial. Your chances of getting a final clearance will depend on why you were previously delinquent and what changes you have made in your life to preclude future financial problems. If you haven’t already, take a look at the two articles posted at for more info on clearances and financial matters.