Security Clearance Process

DCSA Developed a New Reporting Requirements Tool for Clearance Holders

With periodic reinvestigations gone by the wayside and replaced by Continuous Evaluation, it is even more important for security clearance holders to understand what their self-reporting requirements are in accordance with Security Executive Agent Directive (SEAD) 3. The Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency’s (DCSA) training branch, the Center for Development of Security Excellence (CDSE), has developed an interactive reporting requirements tool that walks the clearance holder through their specific reporting requirements based on their level of clearance.

For those cleared at the Top Secret, SCI, or “Q” level, the tool provides the additional information that needs to be reported over those with just a Secret or “L” clearances. The tool provides good scenarios where the clearance holder must report to their Special Security Officer or Facility Security Officer. For instance, foreign travel to Canada over a long weekend, an unexpected inheritance, a change in marital status, delinquent debt, and reporting adverse information on another clearance holder. The tool also provides the clearance holder examples of what they DO NOT need to report, such as travel to a U.S. territory like Guam, limited foreign contacts, or activities officially related to your job such as media contacts or foreign national contacts.

Failure to comply with SEAD 3 reporting requirements could result in a clearance suspension or revocation, depending on the seriousness and severity of the information. Being transparent and honest is always the best policy. Most issues can be mitigated by proactively taking responsibility and steps to resolve them, not trying to hide them. The one thing you see most in clearance revocation appeals is the inability to overcome the lack of candor in being totally up front about whatever the issue was.


  1. Totally awesome. But shouldn’t it be the Development of Security Excellence Center of Excellence? DSECoE :slight_smile:

  2. It’s not specified in the tool, but is a spouse’s inheritance of over $10k reportable?

  3. Some agencies do require reporting this sort of thing, any kind of large cash deposit. I cashed out a bunch of vacation hours when I left my last job (actually the last two jobs) and I had to report that. There may even be an online tool on the government network (if you have access to it). Better to report something like this now than have to explain it later. If your security officer says you don’t need to report, make a note of the date and who told you that… better yet keep the email :slight_smile: