Security Clearance Denial

Contractor Denied Clearance for Failure to Pay Debts Even with Available Income

The Department of Defense (DoD) denied security clearance eligibility to a defense contractor for not paying on over $27,000 in delinquent debts despite having an annual income of $120,000. The contractor subsequently appealed the decision with the Defense Office of Hearing and Appeals (DOHA) who upheld the denial. Here is a brief summary of the case:

The applicant served in the military for six years and has worked as a defense contractor since 1987. In 2014 he was unemployed for four months and incurred some debts during this time. In 2019 he applied for a job requiring a security clearance and was initially denied eligibility by the DoD CAF due to financial issues that came up during the background investigation. Specifically, the applicant had $27,400 in delinquent debts and had not taken any action towards resolving them in over five years despite having an annual salary of over $120,000.

In his appeal to DOHA, the applicant ranted and raved about how the DoD judge didn’t consider his service to country and didn’t listen to his appeal brief during the hearing and instead, just used a pre-filled decision summary in upholding the denial. The DOHA judge meticulously detailed the entire case and pointed out the factual evidence of inconsistent statements given by the applicant about whether the debts were actually his, the fact the applicant pays for three residences, one for which his girlfriend lives in, and the fact he has done nothing for over five years to resolve the debt despite having the means to do so. Based on his own testimony, the applicant admitted he was just waiting for the debts to fall off his credit report and get written off. All of this put together paints a picture of a lack of good judgement, self-control and character.

This case was not about the debts themselves, since the applicant had the means to pay them. Rather, the arrogance, lack of taking responsibility, and the sense or privilege to have a security clearance led to the failure of this contractor’s attempt to appeal his denial. You can read the entire case summary here.