Digitize the Clearance Process?
In this smart article from a retired Air Force major general, he discusses in pretty basic terms where we should automate the security clearance process. One interesting comment jumped out that not many people talk about:
The clearance process treats all incoming cases the same, resulting in time-consuming deliberations, routine investigative methodologies and a disproportionate amount of human resources dedicated to investigating low-risk applicants.
How to rank incoming cases would be a feat in itself, but some algorithm could be created that looks at certain factors and makes a judgement. How would you like to be ranked lower priority when submitting to obtain clearance?
I amâ€“and have been for some timeâ€“waiting on a TS/SCI clearance so I can start working for an IC member. Iâ€™d be working directly for the agency (i.e. not as a contractor).
I did my SF-86 about a year-and-a-half ago, and finished my polygraphs about a year ago. Since then Iâ€™ve heard absolutely nothing. My references were contacted, I had my security interview, and so on; but that all happened at the beginning of the process. As far as I can tell, nothing has happened for a year.
My point-of-contact assures me in vague terms that everything is fine. But this seems like an awfully long time; and moreover, others are getting cleared more quickly than me. I have no foreign relatives or anything like that.
So I have two questions: (1) What is going on? Like, what physically is happening with my case now? Again, Iâ€™ve been assured Iâ€™ve not been forgotten about, but. . . . And (2), how much longer is it going to be? I know Iâ€™m on the long end of clearances, but how much longer could it reasonably take? Could it possibly be another six months? Another year?
Missy – answers (as best as we can give) below:
(1) What is going on? Like, what physically is happening with my case now?
Physically, your case file is probably sitting in a stack of other cases awaiting review and/or adjudication. This is the slowest part of the process in most situations and waiting 6-12 months isn’t unheard of.
(2), how much longer is it going to be? I know Iâ€™m on the long end of clearances, but how much longer could it reasonably take? Could it possibly be another six months? Another year?
Your case (18 months) is definitely on the long end from what we’ve heard of recently for a TS/SCI. However, do know that most people we talk to waiting for a TS/SCI do wait 12-18 months, sometimes longer. If you’ve only got one point of contact to talk to, you might dig around to see if there’s someone else to discuss this with. What happens if your contact leaves or is gone? If you hit 20 months, you may want to call your local representatives in Congress and explain the situation to them. We’ve had a few candidates take this route and have some limited success.