Security Clearance Process

Moving from One Cleared Job to Another? You Still Have to Protect Classified Information

The DoD industrial security world is a huge revolving door with clearance holders changing companies and jobs at rapid pace and swapping one cleared employer for another. Take note, however, even though the new employer has a facility clearance and is working on classified contracts, individuals still have responsibilities to protect classified information they previously had access to. Just because a new employer also performs work on classified programs does not mean you can discuss what you did at your previous job with them. There are two parts to consider before imparting classified information:

–          Is the person receiving the information eligible and cleared at the appropriate level?

–          Does the person have a need to know?

That last part is what many cleared workers don’t stop and think about. Just because a coworker has a clearance doesn’t mean you can discuss classified information with them. In accordance with Executive Order 12968, they have to have a legitimate need for access and a need to know in order to perform their duties. When a clearance holder receives a security indoctrination briefing and executes the Classified Information Non-Disclosure Agreement (SF-312) they agree to protect classified information and not disclose it to unauthorized individuals. This means those that don’t have a need to know. The Center for Development of Security Excellence has a variety of job aids and toolkits that provide guidance and information on everything to do with protecting classified information. The Dissemination of Classified Information Within and Outside of the Executive Branch desk reference is a good one for those that handle requests for information.