Background InvestigationsPolygraph

FBI Applicant Processing

In a September 15, 2009 written response to questions posed to the Director of the FBI following his March 25, 2009 appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee the following information was provided regarding FBI applicant clearance processing for fiscal year 2009 to date:

# Cases Received: 1,144 # Cases Received: 3,550
# Cases Discontinued: 838 # Cases Discontinued: 1,898
# Applicants Hired: 493 # Applicants Hired: 753
Average Processing Time: 63* Average Processing Time: 71*
Reasons for Discontinuing Applications Reasons for Discontinuing Applications
Administrative/Medical/Fitness: 159 Administrative/Medical/Fitness: 173
Polygraph: 339 Polygraph: 825
Illegal Drugs (use/sale): 19 Illegal Drugs (use/sale): 121
Not Interested/Not Available: 237 Not Interested/Not Available: 483
Suitability/Security Issues: 75 Suitability/Security Issues: 287

* Average processing time in days for fastest 90% of applicants.

Comment Archive

  1. Avatar

    The Polygraph is inadmissable in a court of law simply because they are not accurate. Just as the EX CIA director has said the Poly must be done away with. I am sure the FBI is throwing away good people with the bad.

  2. Avatar

    I am in FBI SA processing and currently 5 months into BI/last stage.

    My 37 birthday is coming up in January. Do you think that goes into equation for them to speed up/finish my case for approval/disapproval since they have put time/effort/money into my file?

  3. Avatar

    Ah, yes, don’t these numbers make everything seem so clean and organized. Sorry to say, but from my and others’ experience the FBI polygraph is a sham. In my office 3 of us applied to the FBI as support staff with knowledge in critical areas. All three were “failed” due to the polygraph. Those that walk in with an intent to be honest should know they have no guarantee of passing. None whatsoever. Sadly, knowing what I know now, I believe going in with an intent to lie would have resulted in a pass. Foreign intelligence agencies of course will know how to beat this flimsy charade, while honest people will be thrown to the lions. Going through a polygraph can also be traumatic (at least it was for us). For those with critical knowedge skills (language, cyber-warfare geeks etc.) new to the intel world, I say, let our experience not be repeated in your life. There are other places to go where your talents will be appreciated, both inside government and out. Don’t believe me? Then look carefully at the numbers above. Let’s take the professional staff, and review together (since that’s what I’m familiar with). First, leave out the 483 folks who are not interested or not available. Presumably they had other opportunities. That leaves 1,406 people that were rejected. 825 of those were due to the polygraph. That’s four sevenths. Four sevenths of these people were rejected because they “failed” the polygraph, the idea being implied (but rarely overtly stated) that this group of people are not honest, or something like that. Honestly now, ask yourself a question. Do you believe that many cheats apply to work for the FBI? Good luck.