Obtaining Security Clearance

Facility Security Clearance Holds Up Small Business

We spend most of our time here talking about personnel security clearances, but facility security clearances can also pose major problems, especially for small businesses. It’s the typical chicken before the egg conundrum – you can’t do certain “cleared” work without a facility security clearance but you can’t get a facility security clearance without “cleared” work.

It’s a problem that’s causing one Puget Sound company major headaches, reports the Bremerton Patriot. Puget Sound Environmental was awarded a fixed-price contract for work at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. 18 months later they’re still awaiting their facility clearance and according to company president Carlos Moreno, that’s delaying the creation of about 200 full-time positions.

DSS provides a checklist for facility security clearances– but despite offering tips, it doesn’t offer any guarantees on how long the process will take.

Comment Archive

  1. Avatar

    Ugh. Going through this right now.

    Is 18 months atypical?

    Are there any statistics out there (not that it helps anything) detailing the average length of time to acquire an FCL?

  2. Avatar

    Another question:

    Can an investigation (clearance still pending adjudication) be transferred from one agency to another (say DoD) and then adjudicated?

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    This has nothing to do with the topic but I wanted to pass this info on to the Inv on the board. We just got notification today that our current contract with OPM will be extended until 12/31/11 and we should hear about the new contract in Nov or Dec sometime. So much for the new contract at the begining of FY 12.

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    Investigator –

    Another extension…wonder why?

    On a different note, have you received word from DSS on your DISCO application? Application Manager was updated on Friday 09/03. Were you referred for Band 02? Did you apply for Band 03?

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    I will have to check

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    Budget and I’m guessing a new statement of work is being crafted. The new SOW will probably be a back-breaker for all of us.

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    OPM posted prices for FY2012 investigations, but has deferred updating the price for ANACIs and NACLCs until they have a better idea of how many will require ESIs based on the new SF86. They plan on factoring in the price of an ESI on all ANACIs and NACLC. For example if 30% of ANACIs and NACLC need an ESI, then the price of these investigations will be increased by about $165 (30% of the $550 for an ESI).

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    Thank goodness they’re looking into raising the price. Maybe some of the increase will filter down to us lowly contractors…

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    Prices are staying the same. They’re just looking at a different way of paying for ESIs on NACLCs and ANACIs.

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    It just amuses me that OPM gives us deadlines to complete our cases and our company is all over us if we do not get cases done by those deadlines yet OPM can push back their deadline of awarding the contract.

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    In working Oconus and Conus contract work for 7 years now, the Govt can do anything they want to us contractors but they don’t have the same standards. EX: We were required to qualify every 3 months on our weapon systems Oconus, yet DSS agents only had to qual 1 time per year. 99% of those agents were new college grads and most of us had 20 years military/civilian L.E. under our belts. Yes, it’s a different standard and we were always told if we wanted to go by the Govt rules, to become a govt employee. Not me….

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    Word filtered down from on high. No more training money for anything and no performance bonus money, which was not much to begin with but at least it was something. Review is scrutinizing everything, with work slowing down due to the economy, quality should be perfect. Coupled with our two year pay freeze and talks of extending it to five years, motivation should be through the roof.

    The next few months ought to be fun.

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    Most of the slowdown caused by the new USAF policy for submissions. If you do many of these cases, hang in there. About every 4 months, they will pile up.

    Funny isn’t it. Perfection and the human element merge–not in our lifetime.

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    Work slow down? What is that? Feel free to come to Ft. Lee, VA. We have tons of work here. Tons of work and short ACDs.

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    I have a ton of work myself but I’ve heard some offices have no work, like zero. I hope we all stay busy, Contractors and Feds. Fingers crossed the economy picks up sooner rather than later.

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    I wish they would lay me off 🙂

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    Can anyone shed light on the process from Secret to T/S. My final came out under two months ago, and the contractor needs me to move on to a new contract which requires T/S. I did fill out the new SF86, which questions you about possession of foreign passport. DISCO requested a destruction of the inactive foreign passport before they granted access to secret; which I complied with. My question is do I still have to answer to-Have you ever had or in possession of a foreign passport as Yes or No. I did have prior inactive one and destroyed it as requested by them; for which they confirmed and granted my request for access to secret level.

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    Keep dreaming, BW. 🙂

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    John –

    Yes, you still have to disclose that you are a former bearer of a foreign passport. That question on the SF-86 contains the word “EVER.” You can explain in the comments section that your inactive foreign passport was destroyed by DISCO (include the date).

  20. Avatar

    As long as there is a disconnect between contractors and those contracting it’s going to be more important to integrate the two more closely in every day functions. Thanks for the thoughts.