Facility Security Officer Denied Clearance for Failure to Report Criminal Conduct
In the contractor industrial security world Facility Security Officers (FSO) are the primary interface between the U.S. Government and companies that are given access to classified information. As such, an FSO’s integrity and trustworthiness should be above reproach – and when faced with ethical dilemmas, they should act first and foremost on behalf of the government and national security. Here is a summary of a rare case involving the clearance revocation of an FSO:
This individual was the FSO of a small family-owned defense contractor for over 20 years. In 2014 the president (the owner’s son) of the company pled guilty and was convicted of fraud and failure to pay taxes. As all FSOs know per their training and responsibilities, an incident report should have been filed in JPAS because it directly affects the company’s Facility Security Clearance (FSL) granted by the Defense Security Service. Well, in this case the FSO failed to report anything, neither in JPAS nor directly to their assigned DSS liaison. Unfortunately for the FSO, this information was discovered a few months later during a routine DSS security vulnerability assessment.
The FSO’s clearance was suspended and eventually revoked under the personal conduct guideline for failure to follow reporting procedures as required by the NISPOM. His dishonesty during questioning about the incident also did him in. At first he had claimed to have had computer issues, then claimed to have called the DSS liaison but could not reach him. Eventually, he confessed to having been asked by the owner of the company to not report his son’s conviction for fear it would affect the company’s ability to do classified work. This particular FSO committed a cardinal sin in betraying the trust placed in him by the U.S. Government.