Security Clearance Process

DoD to Continuously Scour Open-Source Data on Clearance Holders

As another part of the shift from decades old practices of reinvestigating security clearance holders every 5 or 10 years, the DoD will focus on beefing up IT systems and resources that will continuously scour open-source data for information that may indicate problems. New applicants still have to go through the investigation process, but once completed and adjudicated, they will fall under a Continuous Evaluation Program (CEP) software system that scans court and arrest records, social media sites, and financial reporting services. There are currently over a million DoD members already in the program.

How will it work? Here is my best guestimate: Joe Clearance Holder is enrolled in the CEP and gets arrested in Orlando, FL for drunk and disorderly while on vacation. During a routine scan the system gets a hit on his name and date of birth in the Orange County Clerk’s Office online court system. This information would get routed to the desk of a security analyst for follow-up. If the analyst determines that the person is the same as the one in the CEP, they would gather the details of the arrest and send them over to an adjudicator for review. The adjudicator would contact the organization’s Security Officer or Company FSO to see if the incident was self-reported. If not, then an incident report would be initiated and a full security file review conducted to determine if further action is needed.

Keep in mind, this is the future and we have a long way to go to get there (750,000 cases), but it does sound like a more efficient way to get things done and will rely less on investigators and self-reporting than in the current system. Policy guidance and what exactly constitutes adverse information is still subject to interpretation, but this is a step in the right direction.


  1. Good article…makes sense. Scouring every database known to man. CE is probably the only practical answer going forward. There aren’t enough investigators and adjudicators to do the job for the estimated cleared population (4 million?)…not to mention the already backlogged number of cases (750,000).

  2. I’m not convinced that this will result in a reduction of manpower or backlog . . .

  3. Marko,

    Does this mean the end of reinvestigations for Investigators?

    If so, once this backlog is down, they’ll be laying a bunch of people off because there will be way too many investigators to only conduct T5’s, T4’s and T3’s. The T5R will no longer exist?

  4. Continuous Evaluation is designed to supplement but not replace periodic investigations. The schedule for re-investigations is mandated through 5 CFR 731 so unless it’s changed, they will continue.