Security Clearance Denial

Security Clearance Denials for the First Quarter of 2018 Sees Slight Uptick in Foreign Influence Issues

First quarter statistics from January through the end of March from the Defense Office of Hearing and Appeals (DOHA) Board shows they heard a total of 150 clearance denial appeals. Financial issues continue to outpace all other issues combined. Below is a breakdown by adjudicative category of the issues involved (Note – many cases had multiple issues):

Adjudicative Guideline

# of cases

Guideline A: Allegiance to the U.S


Guideline B: Foreign Influence


Guideline C: Foreign Preference


Guideline D: Sexual Behavior


Guideline E: Personal Conduct


Guideline F: Financial Considerations


Guideline G: Alcohol Consumption


Guideline H: Drug Involvement


Guideline I: Psychological Conditions


Guideline J: Criminal Conduct


Guideline K: Handling Protected Information


Guideline L: Outside Activities


Guideline M: Use of IT Systems


Keep in mind that these are only the results from Department of Defense appeals and do not include security clearance denials or appeals processed by the Intelligence Community agencies, State Department, Department of Energy, or the various other government agencies that grant their own clearances. Except for an increase in foreign influence cases, the numbers for issue categories are right on par with last year. With the wealth of information available on the main site and this blog site, as well as other resources cited in the various posts, security clearance applicants should be savvy about how to prepare for the background investigation process in order to avoid delays and provide mitigation for potential issues. Knowledge and preparation can help expedite and smooth the potentially long and arduous path to getting a security clearance.


  1. Marko, what are the countries in the first Q resulting in denial of clearance based on foreign influence?

  2. Countries that are hostile to the U.S, are violators of international human rights laws, or engage in corporate espionage/technology theft. Mainly China, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Nigeria, India, Colombia, and Turkey.