Background InvestigationsObtaining Security ClearanceSecurity Clearance Jobs

Cost of Security/Suitability Investigations – FY2009

OPM recently announced (FIN 08-04) the prices of their investigative products for Fiscal Year 2009. The costs of the most common investigations increased between 4.5% and 6.1%.

It appears that OPM has managed to improve their turnaround time during the past fiscal year without a significant price increase. The government agencies (including DISCO) sponsoring the clearances pay OPM for the vast majority of these investigations. There are a few exceptions where federal contractors are required to pay OPM for the investigations they request. Here are the new prices that became effective on 1 October 2008.

Priority Handling
Standard Service
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Comment Archive

  1. Avatar

    I have a question. We’re somewhat new to the Federal space and finding candidates with TS/SCI clearance (we don’t require it nor does the client). However for those who hold it, we’d like to sponsor it as the employer. I cannot locate process or costs to do so on the web so far…can you shed some light for me? best lucia

  2. Avatar

    To sponsor a Personnel Security Clearance (PCL) your company must have a Facility Security Clearance (FCL). To have an FCL your company must have a contract with an agency of the federal government that involves some type of classified work.

  3. Avatar

    I’ve noticed a marked dropped in the amount of SPINs being requested by OPM in our area beginning 2/08 to present. Does anyone know why we seem to be trending down for assignments across the board?

  4. Avatar

    Army Investigator,

    I have talked to some buddies in security and I hear they have been going directly to the units and SSO’s for follow-up info. Not sure if this is having any impact. I’m guessing you are a SPIN Investigator. Man, seems like not too long ago–the SPINS were endless.

  5. Avatar


    Can anyone shed light on how much it costs for companies to get an employee a clearance such as:

    TS/SCI with lifestyle poly (NSA or CIA)

    I have been given real discrepancies and hope someone can point me in the right direction. Thx

  6. Avatar

    For Defense Contractors it costs nothing, because DoD pays for the investigation. This is also true for most other federal contractors. There are a few federal agencies that make their contractors pay for the investigation. I don’t have a list of federal agencies that do this. For these contractors a Secret clearance equals the cost of an NACLC and a TS clearance equals the cost of an SSBI. I don’t believe any of the agencies that grant TS/SCI (with or without polygraph) make their contractors pay for the investigation.

  7. Avatar

    as a former service member who held a secret security clearance and now a retiree, most federal government employees require that you already have a clearance prior to applying, what is the cost for me to obtain a security clearance.

  8. Avatar

    aaron ford:
    Federal employees and applicants for positions at federal agencies never pay for security clearances.

  9. Avatar

    Hello. Can an ordinary contractor in effort to make him/herself more job marketable request and pay for a clearance? If so, is a secret clearance equal to NACLC? That’s incredible if it’s true. I always heard rumors around the water cooler that a secret clearance cost roughly $7-9K per applicant.

  10. Avatar

    If that the price of $4200 is high, just remember private companies pay up to $15000 for a CEO background. When you think of all the investigations the gov’t has to do and they have the cost down that low, something must be right.
    Of course, most OPM investigations are done by contract investigators, not federal staff. Think about that next time you give an interview.