DOE has Stringent Reporting Requirement Timelines
As we all know, anyone who holds a security clearances must report certain types of information to their Security Officer. This includes such things as a change in marital or cohabitation status, foreign travel and contacts, criminal charges, financial issues, and drug or alcohol abuse. Depending on your agency or company, there may be additional information that needs to be reported. The Department of Energy (DOE) has labs and sites across the U.S. work involving highly classified nuclear weapons information with a large cleared contractor workforce. Because of the highly sensitive nature of their work, the DOE has one of the most robust security clearance continuous evaluation programs across the government and are an excellent model other agencies might consider mirroring.
Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), located in New Mexico, has always been at the forefront of DOE’s security clearance program. SNL takes security very seriously and has developed many tools related to the clearance and continuous evaluation process, ensuring that their 11,000 employee workforce complies with all clearance eligibility requirements. Some of these tools include a data report form specifically for spouse/cohabitant information, random drug testing, and a reporting matrix that outlines specific types of information, which office to report it to, and how many days you have to report it.
A common mistake many clearance holders make is in thinking that they can just wait until the next reinvestigation to report adverse information or reportable changes in their lives. DUI arrests are one of the most common incidents that go unreported because the individual is scared of losing their clearance. They also might hope to get the charge pled down to reckless driving, so they wait for the court proceedings to be over before bring it to the attention of their FSO. The moral of this story is that bad news does not get better with age, and failure to report in a timely manner will only compound any potential issues.