Obtaining Security Clearance

Failure to Report Foreign Contacts Gets State Department Employee in Hot Water

There has been much discussion about what constitutes a foreign national contact when filling out the SF-86 or what the reporting requirements are under continuous evaluation. Opinions are diverse and open to a matter of interpretation. However, a State Department employee who had a Top Secret security clearance went a bit too far in her own interpretation of the facts and is now facing federal charges  after the FBI wrapped up an investigation into her activities.

Now, I can hear the mutterings out there already. Big deal! She didn’t report a couple of foreign national contacts. I mean, she does work for the State Department and contact with foreign nationals is a part of the job description, right? Only one problem here: the foreign contacts that she failed to report were Chinese intelligence agents who had solicited her for information she had access to in return for money and gifts over the course of five years. Why would a government employee who has held a TS since 1999 take this kind of risk, you ask? The answer is simple – she needed the extra money!

Nothing about the status of her clearance has made the news, but one can only hope that it was immediately suspended by the State Department and is in the process of being revoked based on the information in the affidavit charging her with falsification and conspiracy. This particular case the issues would fall under Guideline B: Foreign Influence and Guideline E: Personal Conduct.