Safeguarding Classified Information Within Industry Provides Guidance on Clearance Denial
Not many are aware that Executive Order 10865 not only provides the authorities and guidance for safeguarding classified information, but it also provides due process requirements for those who may be issued a letter of intent to revoke or deny and a statement of reasons.
Below are the provisions each agency must follow with certain very narrow exceptions:
– A written statement of reasons (SOR) which shall be as comprehensive and detailed as the national security permits.
– A reasonable opportunity to reply in writing to the SOR.
– An opportunity to appear personally … for the purpose of supporting eligibility … and to present evidence.
– A reasonable time to prepare for that appearance.
– An opportunity to be represented by counsel.
– An opportunity to cross-examine persons who have made oral or written statements adverse to the individual on a controverted issue.
– A written notice of the final decision in his case which, if adverse, shall specify whether the deciding official found for or against the individual with respect to each allegation in the statement of reasons.
What does this mean? Industrial contractors get a detailed notice of the Government’s concerns, the opportunity to respond to that notice, the opportunity to appear personally and to present relevant documents and to present and cross-examine witnesses. Executive Orders 12968 and 13467 do not diminish or otherwise affect these denial and revocation procedures. If you know there are potential issues in your background investigation, it is never too early to gather mitigating documentation to prepare and present that will help mitigate the concerns.