Security Clearance Jobs

Maryland Senate Proposes Tax Credit for Security Clearance Expenses

Maryland State Senator Roger Manno and 27 of his Senate colleagues have proposed a State income tax credit for costs incurred to obtain federal security clearances. The bill (SB296) would require “the Governor of Maryland to make a $6,000,000 appropriation in FY2014 and FY21015 for the tax credit, applying the Act to all taxable years beginning after December 31, 2011.”

Sounds great, but who would actually benefit from this tax credit. The bill does not define “federal security clearance” and it’s unclear whether the term “security clearance” is being used generically to cover all federal clearances (such as National Security Clearances, Public Trust Clearances, HSPD-12 Credentialing, and Transportation Worker Identity Credentials) or whether only National Security Clearances for access to classified national security information will be covered. Nor does the bill hint at the potential number of Maryland residents who might be able to claim the tax credit or the nature of the clearance-related expenses that will be covered. A call to Senator Manno’s office disclosed that the tax credit is primarily intended to benefit federal contractors and/or their employees, but no specific information was readily available.

The vast majority of federal contractor security clearances are processed by the Defense Industrial Security Clearance Office (DISCO), a component of the Defense Security Service (DSS). DOD approved $238.5M in federally appropriated funds for FY2012 to pay for the cost of DSS processing contractor security clearances, and DSS has never charged defense contractors or defense contractor employees for either the cost of personnel security clearances or facility security clearances.

So, the question remains, who will benefit from this tax credit? Will most of the $6M languish in a special fund and be unavailable for other State purposes, or will someone in the Maryland Senate research the subject and either withdraw the bill or rewrite it so it might actually provide some benefit to Maryland workers who are seeking jobs in the defense industry?

Comment Archive

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    Thought I’d share with everyone some info I picked up recently, some or all of which you may already know.

    The USIS OPM rebid was for $2.5 Million and represents 53% of the market.

    I assume that means that KGS and CACI are splitting the other 47% of the OPM work.

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    Correction: $2.5 Billion

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    I’m actually a bit surprised that USIS got so much. That company has been imploding since before I started doing this work, which was many, many years ago. And from what I can tell, it’s gotten exponentially worse over the last few months. “Ready, shoot, aim” anyone?

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    I ran across a USIS Investigator in the field, I asked her how it was going and I thought she was going to break down in tears. I know on the Fed side, were swamped and being pressured to close more and more, I can only imagine what the Contractors are up against.

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    53% does seem kind of high. We were told OPM was upset because we were not closing the PRT cases fast enough. In my area it is tough but we are handling the work load. In fact the work load is so high in the DC metro area we are sending 3 Inv up there for starting Monday until the end of the month. One catch for our area is that there are only a few Inv who are also cleared for CBP, ICE, USAF and another intelligence agency we have started doing work for. When we have work for those agencies those Inv’s OPM work is reduced. I am one of those Inv. That puts a strain on the Inv who are just OPM cleared.

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    Hi Everyone,

    I’ve been reading this blog for awhile, but never commented until now. I just agree with so much of what is being said on here I had to say a few things. I’ve been a contract investigator too long. Why are there not more investigators reading and commenting on this blog? Is there any other blogs where we can go just to vent?

    Here are some things I can say. With this job, it is very hard to have a work/life balance. I have firsthand knowledge of this. You will be spending some Saturdays just catching up. I’m tired of subjects and all their issues. I can’t tell you how many cases I’ve worked in the past few months full of criminal and financial issues. The new sf-86 looks like a jumbled mess. They should have just left well enough alone. Everyday there’s a new change, rule or regulation and they are not designed to make the job easier.

    Last minute cases with a CD of tomorrow, subject’s with messed up paperwork, 4 hour subject interviews, and the never ending pressure to get things done quick. This is what you deal with.

    Does anybody have any ideas of how to transition out of this work to something else? Please comment.

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    LMAO @ “I’m tired of subjects and all their issues.” Yep, that’s exactly how I felt, too. It’s not easy to transition from contractor field investigations. The BS quasi-clearance doesn’t help either.

    Try looking for other opportunities within your current company. You may need to be open to relocation. I recently relocated for a new opportunity and I can honestly say it was well worth it.

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    very special investigator. The contract alone cannot exceed $2,456,500,000 so USIS does not have 2.5 billion of the contract…that is the amount of the entire contract. then split that between the 3

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    Has anyone heard the new requirements USIS is placing on their contractors? I’m not sure how long they’re going to be able to retain their contractors.

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    IMO USIS is scared. They thought they had the OPM contract in the bag and when they lost a portion of it to KGS and CACI they started cracking the whip. It use to be all about growth, how can USIS grow and not be so dependant OPM. Now it is focus on OPM and growth is not as important. I don’t think management knows what to do, especially since most of the VP’s and DM’s either were laid off or resigned. People who had been with the company since the late 1990’s or early 2000’s just laid off like it was nothing. I know that is how business works sometimes but why should an investigator like me want to move up in the company if I could get laid off for no reason. USIS is no longer the big dog.

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    What new requirements?

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    They have the AIM computer program that assigns cases. Contractors used to be able to designate what case types they were willing to work, and what items within those case types. It seems as though they’ve been having issues with the system from the contractor standpoint, as it is definitely geared toward their employees. From what I’ve heard (I jumped ship from there last fall when the ship was only beginning to sink), they are now forcing contractors to take all items assigned in the case type they’re willing to take. So, if a contractor only wanted to do ESI’s or employment sources, they will now be assigned all items, including resi’s, medi, etc. I don’t foresee a lot of people that are going to be happy about this. And there are some changes occurring with some of the other contracting companies right now, too. It’s gonna get interesting.

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    Sounds like the Fed side. We get all items assigned. Is this a really big change for the Contract side?

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    The beauty of being a contractor (and the reason that companies don’t have to pay any benefits, unemployment insurance, social security and taxes for us) is that we can pick and choose our work. Not allowing us to pick and choose our work puts us more in an employee category. Once this happens, if someone wants to get picky, a company can either be reported to the IRS or be subject to a class action lawsuit for back benefits or both. There are very strict classification guidelines in place to prevent companies from treating contractors like employees and USIS is walking a very fine line.

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    Thanks contractor!

    I didn’t realize USIS had employees as well as contractor, contractors. I thought the contractor term was just used as a description for the non-Fed side.

    I see why not being able to pick your works could cause problems. I hope they work it out, it sucks when good people get screwed.

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    All the contracting companies have sub-contractors (like myself) to supplement their employee workforce. There are also some federal agencies that use contractors as well. They pay us per case or per item. Some reimburse expenses, some don’t. It’s great for flexibility. Thankfully I bailed on USIS last year… I don’t have to deal with it but I feel for those who do.

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    good call on bailing from USIS. Can you tell me what federal agencies use contractors directly?

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    USAID, State Department, Peace Corps and ATF have their own contract investigators. Every so often you can find postings on fedbizopps for agencies looking for contract investigators You have to bid for a BPA (blanket purchaee agreement) and you get a contract directly with the organization.

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    Thanks contractor

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    I believe FBI contracts directly with individual investigators through their BICS office.

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    Thanks William.