Security Clearance Process

Clearance Suspension Process

For current security clearance holders there are some things you should know if you ever happen to have your security clearance suspended. Most federal agencies use similar guidelines and procedures when suspending an individual’s clearance, but the focus of this post will be on DoD’s process which is outlined in DoD-M 5200.02. Here are the basics of the process:

DoD Component heads, commanders, or their authorized representatives may suspend access for cause when information relative to any of the adjudicative guidelines exists and raises a serious question as to the individual’s ability or intent to protect national security information. The Defense Security Service has the authority to suspend access for cause for cleared employees of contractors. Notification is provided to the person in writing when their eligibility or access has been suspended and should include a brief statement of the reason(s) for the suspension. The statement does not have to list each and every detail, but should provide enough information so that it is clear as to why the action was taken. The DoD CAF is notified and updates JPAS with an incident report and suspension status. There is no appeal process for the suspension of a clearance because it is an interim decision pending either reinstatement or revocation.

Suspension cases must be resolved as quickly as circumstances permit and cannot be open-ended. After the inquiries and investigation are complete, all of the information gathered is sent to the DoD CAF, along with a recommendation from the employer whether to reinstate or revoke. The CAF evaluates all of the data in accordance with adjudicative guidelines. If a determination is made to revoke then a statement of reasons is issued and the individual is afforded due process. If the decision is to reinstate, then all records and systems are updated to reflect the eligibility status.