Obtaining Security Clearance

OPM Submits New Version of SF86 for Review

On September 30, 2009 the Federal Register announced that the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has submitted a proposed revision of Standard Form 86 (SF86), Questionnaire for National Security Positions, for 30-day public review and comment.

The current version of the SF86 (July 2008) has only been in use for about a year and changed the previous version (September 1995) by adding a new section on “Use of Information Technology Systems” and expanding the sections on “Foreign Contacts,” “Foreign Activities,” “Financial Record,” “Use of Alcohol,” and “Association Record.”

The new proposed revision of the SF86 eliminates all references to the SSBI and its requirement for 10 years worth of information. Questions are limited to 7 years, except for those that ask “have your ever.” The proposed SF86 also expands on questions regarding dual citizenship, foreign activities, mental health, and police record. OPM issued a Matrix of Changes between the current and proposed versions.

Here are some proposed changes:

Employment Record: The questions “Left a job for other reasons under unfavorable circumstances” and “Laid off from job by employer” were eliminated.

People Who Know You Well: Reference coverage reduced from 7 years to 5 years.

Financial Record: (1) Current and past delinquent debt changed to 120 days (were 90 days and 180 days, respectively). (2) Current credit counseling question added.

Police Record: (1) Offenses involving firearms, explosive, drugs and alcohol limited to 7 years. (2) New questions on domestic violence offenses and protective orders. (3) New question on current or past probation or parole. (4) Question regarding felony charges replaced by question about convictions resulting in a sentence of one year or more in prison.

Comment Archive

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    Great, now we in training will have to train new investigators on three versions of the the SF86.

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    If this goes through I will have filled out four different EPSQ/SF86s in under 2 years of employment. Awesome.

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    I hope I’m putting this in the right place. I was hired by a temp agency, such as Adecco, Teksystems, or the like, and I was working at a client’s site, such as an office location. I got back from a long road trip on Sunday night. On Monday, we had a training meeting in a dimly lit room. I nodded off but didn’t really go to sleep. After I got back from lunch, I was told that my services were no longer needed and I was told to get the items from my desk and not to return.

    Would this minor mishap prevent me from getting a secret clearance?

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    Does this change have anything to do with the new federal investigative standards that are currently going through some kind of approval process? What’s the status on that, anyway?

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    The SF-86 needs to add a space to the residence (Where you have lived) to include the name of apartment complexes. When conducting field work, only the address is provided thus making it difficult to determine if this is a single residence home, a duplex, or an apartment complex. It needs to request also the apartment number, or trailer space, etc.

    The currently new version asks the relationship between the applicant and the verifiers. This is helpful in determining whether the verifier is a relative.

    The eQIP version is difficult to follow because the pages are not in an easy to read format. The Dates, for example for an employment are on one page and the remainder of the info. is on the next page. Better formatting would be useful.

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    I see you have lots of experience. Can you tell me, if someone has a bankruptcy over ten years ago, does that matter for a security clearance? Even though it only goes 7 to 10 years back, what about things that occurred before that? Are they brought in anyway?

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    We only go as far back as indicated on the case papers for each respective question. Yet if a SJ brings up something outside of the listed time frame we have to follow up with it during the PRSI. There is also something new OPM has started regarding confrontational PRSIs. If a source is interviewed before the PRSI and brings up an issue, we have to discuss the issue with the SUBJECT no matter when it occurred. Depending on how long ago the issue occurred will determine how in depth our questioning will be. My question to you is how has your financial situation been since the bankruptcy?

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    Absent any aggravating factors or other issues, the incident you described probably wouldn’t result in a clearance denial.

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    Yes. There is a close relationship between the questions on the SF86, the federal investigative standards, and the Adjudicative Guidelines for security clearances; although, there has never been an exact one-to-one relationship. New federal investigative standards were approved in December 2008, but never implemented. These new standards are now being revised. Both the new revised investigative standards and the new SF86 will probably be finalized/approved in early 2010 and implemented over a period of several months.

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    Thanks for the response. What kind of revisions are expected, or would you have no idea? I can find information on the new standards with the Internet, but nothing about any revisions.

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    The first indication of a problem appeared in August 2009 when OPM responded to GAO that it was pointless to discuss certain aspects of the reform process because the process was under review by the “new administration” and this review could result in a new governance structure and/or new goals and standards.

    In mid-September before a senate subcommittee representatives from DOD and ODNI said:

    “The change of Administration in January 2009 led to a reassessment of portions of there form plan. We joined OMB and OPM in reviewing the degree of alignment between security and suitability investigations reflected in the revised investigative standards. We re-examined the investigative requirements for certain suitability determinations, and changes to the standard forms previously proposed have also been reviewed. With the review nearly complete, we can resume activity in these areas, which include, among others:

    • additional revisions to the federal investigative standards;
    • the continuing development of automated record check and field lead requirements for each type of investigation;
    • changes to the automated systems that will collect the SF86 forms information online;
    • changes to the automated systems to streamline management of future investigation and adjudication processes; and,
    • guidance to enable agencies to execute their own implementation plans.

    While the impact of the review will require adjustments to projected timelines, we look forward to resuming an ambitious pace of achievement, and are committed to having milestones and action plans that will permit us to drive, monitor, and report our progress as we do so.”

    So, it seems that any changes will primarily affect suitability investigations rather than security clearance investigations.

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    I was working as a contractor at the Bureau. I have questions concerning my debriefing from the bureau. The debriefing document states that applied for a government position and because I listed an uncredited degree (Masters) I was no longer allowed to work at the Bureau; I was escorted off site.

    I would not have any concerns with this matter if the bureau did not submit my clearance to JPAS for review that started the snowball effect of events that happened next. I was terminated from my position and now unable to work anywhere in the DC area that requires a clearance.

    I understand that DSS investigates alcohol abuse and driving records and other obstructions (Financial); I did not list the degree on my SF86 it said only list degrees from accredited institutions. I found out the Masters as well as my Associates degree was not from an accredited university and therefore I did not list them.

    I truly hope this is not a personal vendetta against me; I feel I have provided all information and have held nothing back. If this is what happens when you are honest and follow the instructions. I wonder what would have happened if I lied “Life In Prison”.


    Joseph Cocanougher

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    Thanks for the detailed explanation Investigator. My credit is very good.

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    Currently, I have a Secret Security Clearance and I would like to know the difference between ANACI and NACLC Investigations? I applied for a job and received a tentative offer because I was told my clearance did not meet the company’s minimum requirements. With my initial clearance, I had and extensive background check with fingerprints as well as have a complete physical (medical examination). I no longer work for the company who did the investigation for my initial clearance. I’m assuming my current company got my clearance information from the Joint Personnel Adjudication System; therefore, I didn’t have to go through another security check. With this job I’m waiting on a formal offer, due to my clearance not meeting the company’s standards. This time around I had to do a security interview because I had been arrested for domestic violence. However, the case was retired and dismissed, then expunged w/o cost. I was told by the federal agent it would take 4-6 wks to complete this process, but I haven’t heard anything else back. Since I was arrested and falsely accused, I feel it’s hurting my chances of getting this new clearance. I called my state’s federal bureau of investigation and a rep assured me there is nothing on my criminal record. Can someone please explain the difference between the ANACI and NACLC Investigations? Does the investigations mean these are two different levels of clearances? I will appreciate any feedback. Thanks in advance for you help.

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    An ANACI and a NACLC are almost the same type of investigation. An ANACI (Access National Agency Check with Inquiries) is the initial minimum investigation for Federal Employees that require Secret or Confidential clearances. A NACLC (National Agency Check with Law Check and Credit Search) is the initial minimum investigation for Contractors and Military Service members who require a Confidential or Secret clearance. A NACLC is also used for Periodic Reinvestigations for federal employees, contractors and military service members for continued Confidential or Secret clearances. Most of the time a SUBJECT is never contacted by an investigator when they have a ANACI or NACLC investigation done. Yet if there is an issue (i.e. your domestic violence offense) then a Special Interview (SPIN) is conducted so the SUBJECT can explain the circumstances regarding the issue. When you had the security interview did the investigator just ask you questions regarding your domestic violence charge? If so you had a SPIN. An investigator usually does not know how long an investigation is going to take. They only know they have a deadline to meet to conduct the SPIN and obtain an required records for the case. If I am reading your post correctly it sounds like you had a NACLC investigation done. Hope this helps.

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    I am currently in process of a non critical sensitive secret clearance. I was married less than a year in 2003 and divorced in 2004. My ex-husband had mental issues and stalked me, and was thrown in jail. He had a felony charge put on him and is on probation till early next year. I have a permanent protective/restraining order against him. I do not know exactly where he lives,and I put that on the SF 86. My question is since it is not safe circumstances for me to contact him would they? I am hoping no because I do not want to relive that time and “prove” that I didn’t do anything wrong.
    Please advise.

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    TO clarify the above comment question, Would they contact him knowing the felony and the protective order against him? I haven’t had any contact since I signed the papers (nor do I have any desire to do so) and I don’t want him knowing any aspect of my life.