Security Clearance Process

Financial Disclosure Report Required for Some National Security Positions

Much has been written in blog posts and articles about national security positions within the Intelligence Community and DoD components that require a polygraph, but not many have touched on another requirement some positions may also require, and that is the Financial Disclosure Report (Standard Form 714). This lengthy four-page report asks you to provide information concerning income, assets and liabilities generated, held or incurred by you, your spouse (your legal wife or husband) and any of your dependent children including any legal or beneficial interest.

Here are some examples of information requested that apply to both U.S. and foreign income and accounts: annual income; bank accounts; investment accounts; owned or leased real estate; owned or leased vehicles, boats, airplanes; other assets; credit cards, mortgages and loans; and safe deposit boxes. The types of positions that may require this report are those with regular access to the most sensitive classified information (e.g., the identity of covert agents, technical intelligence collection systems, advanced cryptographic codes and systems, special program areas and nuclear weapons design info).

The stated purpose of requesting all of this information is to assist in detecting unexplained affluence, financial hardship, or possible insider threats, as well as to evaluate eligibility or continued eligibility for access to classified information. Unlike other less intrusive financial disclosure forms, the SF-714 is designed to help detect conflict of interest issues and potential espionage activities. The current version of the SF-714 expired in November 2021 but the Office of the Director of National Intelligence has submitted a request via the Federal Register to have it extended for three more years with no changes.


  1. I don’t know how long this form has been around but its use expanded after the Aldrich Ames case. Ames, as we recall, was a CIA employee who earned a decent salary… but not enough to explain the large house he bought in McLean VA or the Jaguar he paid cash for. He was asked about this but said his wife’s family had money. Of course the truth was a little different… not only that he was a spy working for the Soviets, but that he was one of the few spies to get paid serious money.

  2. As I recall, he was being paid in diamonds and at the time there was no way to monitor if he took 3-4 at a time to somewhere and sold them off. I have done this work for many years and I love this form for the scope of the information it provides. You live in a large home and have no mortgage…you have a Jaguar and it’s paid for…questions, questions, questions. But the real story was when they reinterviewed neighbors after he had been arrested and one neighbor who had already been interviewed said she had always had suspicions about how they could afford to send all of their children to parochial school. When asked why she didn’t mention that, she felt it would have been “gossiping”…