Security Clearance Process

Clearance Denied for Pretending to Have a Clearance


In a rather unusual and interesting Defense Office of Hearing and Appeals (DOHA) case, the Statement of Reasons (SOR) issued to the individual cited Guideline K (Handling Protected Information) and Guideline E (Personal Conduct) as the disqualifiers in denying the clearance.

Classified conference? Invite Only…

The particular circumstances of this case involved a government contractor who took it upon himself to attend a classified conference without submitting the required visit authorization letter, which was required so security personnel could verify his clearance. Subsequently, the individual took other actions to circumvent the clearance verification procedures in order to attend classified briefings even though his clearance had expired 5 months prior and he had not submitted an application for reinvestigation.

The judge in this case was unmoved by the applicant’s claims of not being afforded due process during the hearing and his denials that he did not deliberately gain access to the classified briefings even though he knew he did not have the proper clearance. Instead, the judge decided that the applicant still had not taken responsibility for these actions and continued to be less than truthful in his explanations. Ultimately, doubts concerning the individual’s lack of candor, reliability, and trustworthiness resulted in the clearance denial being upheld.

However, as a security professional, more disturbing in my mind was how easy it was for this individual to circumvent the cleared personnel verification procedures that should have been in place and adhered to in order to attend the briefings, and I am sure that those in charge of that portion of the conference were put to task and will never make that same mistake again.