Security Clearance Jobs

Security Clearances Do Not Expire According to Memo from US Intelligence Director

Grumblings from the field about DOD agencies denying contractors access to facilities and/or classified information because their investigations are out of scope has elicited a response from the Director for Defense Intelligence. This issue was addressed in a December 7, 2016 memorandum issued by the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense and states that contractor employees who have current eligibility for access to classified information, as noted in JPAS, should not be denied access based on an out-of-scope investigation. An exception to this would be if there was known derogatory information about the individual, in which case it should be reported through JPAS and the record updated accordingly.

This situation was caused by a combination of factors: the change from a 10 year to a 5 year reinvestigation timeline for Secret clearance holders; institution of a Tier 3 type investigation to replace the ANACI, NACLC, and MBI; budget shortfalls that temporarily suspended PRs for industry from June to September; and OPM’s trials, tribulations while transitioning to the NBIB. At last count, the backlog for initial clearance investigations and PRs stood at over 500,000.

On this same note, my last post about CAC denials ties into this. For some unknown reasons, contractors are also being denied issuance of a CAC because of out-of-scope investigations. This is quite befuddling because the issuance of a CAC has nothing to do with a clearance, but rather whether you have a minimum level of a favorably adjudicated investigation on file. As the saying goes: Apples and oranges!


  1. Good stuff! This is what our personnel security folks have been saying but they’ve had problems convincing others.

    However, if a person went from one employer to another (on the contractor side), can the new employer pick up this “unexpired” clearance? This is the problem that I personally may be facing.

  2. As long as you have an active clearance they just change the cage code in the system to the new company

  3. Is this just for personnel already working in the IC or does it apply to someone outside who’ve let their clearance lapse after two years?

  4. This refers to those with an active clearance who may have an investigation that is past due for a PR.

  5. I think the clarification applies most to those currently/already employed. If you transfer employers, there’s a possibility your current employer would downgrade your access in JPAS before your new employer ‘picks’ you up. Isn’t that a possibility? It’s still relevant to the many of cleared professionals currently employed, still working, with overdue PRs (which is a growing number!)

  6. This memo comes from the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, USD(I). As such it clearly applies to DoD activities. Is there a similar guidance from somewhere in DNI that applies to other agencies? Does this guidance apply to NRO and NSA, which clearly fall under DoD, except when they don’t.

  7. Wouldn’t an employer be required to downgrade an employee who left the company since there’s no need-to-know at that point?

  8. Yes, when you separate from an employer and are no longer in a cleared position the FSO is supposed to go into JPAS and indicate that so the clearance can administratively withdrawn.