Background Investigations

Financial Concerns Mitigated for Public Trust Position

Public trust positions are those which carry out duties that do not require access to classified national security information but do have other duties that could cause moderate or high risk damage to other individuals or the agency they are working for. A recent Defense Office of Hearing and Appeals (DOHA) case involved financial concerns for a contractor in a public trust position. Here is a summary of the case:

This contractor is a single mother of three children and experienced difficult pregnancies that led to having to take maternity leave. In 2014 she was in an automobile accident that was contested in court and after paying lawyer fees and medical bills not much was left over to buy a replacement vehicle. She also experienced a period of unemployment from March 2016 to December 2017 until she was reemployed with her current company as a federal contractor. As a result of all this she has around $43k in delinquent debt, including the new car loan she had to take out because of the accident.

In her appeal to the DOHA judge the contractor provided documentation showing she had resolved many of the debts listed in the initial Statement of Reasons and is actively making payments on others. Taking into consideration the extenuating circumstances that led to the delinquent debts (difficult pregnancies, accident, unemployment), the judge opined the contractor had no control over these events and has since then acted responsibly in taking actions to resolve her debts and has mitigated the trustworthiness concerns for eligibility for a public trust position.