New DIA Policy Requires All Contractors to Pass Polygraph

Starting next year the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) will require all contractors who conduct sensitive compartmented information work to pass a counterintelligence-scope polygraph. The DIA Director of Security, Michael Londregan, issued the notice last week notifying its workforce that they will begin a phased implementation in January 2017. Ominously, the notice states that refusal to take the polygraph without reasonable cause, failure to fully cooperate during the polygraph, or any attempts to deceive or use countermeasures during the polygraph could result in losing your clearance (and as a result your employment) if the access is required for the job.

It is probably obvious to most of us as to what events contributed to the DIA making this policy change. You may recall the two contractors working for the NSA (one now living in Russia and the other one currently in jail pending charges). So what does this mean if you are a contractor assigned SCI work in support of the DIA? If you do not already have an acceptable polygraph examination on file then you will have to undergo one before being allowed unescorted access to DIA systems, facilities, or information. In other words, it will involve more waiting to be able to do your job even after you get a Top Secret clearance. After reading mixed reviews about the work environment at the DIA posted by military members, government employees, and contractors, I would not be surprised if this new policy sends a number of the current workforce running for the door.


  1. Curious about your statement regarding ‘mixed reviews about the work environment at DIA’

    Any further info on this? Are these reviews different from comments about similar agencies, eg, NSA, NGA, NGIC, etc etc etc?

    People can run away from DIA but I don’t know if they can run away from the polygraph… it seems to be enjoying more widespread use than ever.

  2. The comment was based on employment site reviews posted by current employees. The trend at DIA seemed to be that federal employees seemed more satisfied with the work environment and leadership than the contractor workforce, who felt unappreciated and looked down upon.

  3. Many agencies have a hard time integrating contractors into their workforce, so I can understand that. Sometimes part of the problem is that government employees figure that the contractors are making money hand over fist. While they may be getting a higher salary, contractors can also be let go with a phone call. Not necessarily fired from the company, but the government can simply say the position is no longer needed, and the contractor’s employer may not have any other work for them and quickly let them go.