Security Clearance Denial

Top Reasons for Security Clearance Denials in 2014

Last July I wrote about what the top issues were that resulted in security clearances denials by the Defense Office of Hearing and Appeals (DOHA) Board which review industrial security clearance cases. Here are the final numbers on the 884 cases that were heard this year broken down by the types of issues noted in each case (*note- some cases had multiple issues):

Adjudicative Guideline                                               Number of Cases

Guideline A: Allegiance to the U.S                                            0

Guideline B: Foreign Influence                                                   126

Guideline C: Foreign Preference                                                30

Guideline D: Sexual Behavior                                                     18

Guideline E: Personal Conduct                                                   205

Guideline F: Financial Considerations                                       518

Guideline G: Alcohol Consumption                                           29

Guideline H: Drug Involvement                                                  67

Guideline I: Psychological Conditions                                      3

Guideline J: Criminal Conduct                                                    67

Guideline K: Handling Protected Information                         14

Guideline L: Outside Activities                                                   1

Guideline M: Use of IT Systems                                                 6

Financial considerations ran away from the field with more than twice the number of the next highest category. However, analysis revealed that a majority of the decisions in these cases were favorable if that was the only issue in the case. Personal conduct, usually involving dishonesty and/or material falsification was the next highest, and rounding out the top three was foreign influence, which usually involved naturalized U.S. citizens who were supporting troops overseas, but still had close ties with family back in their birth country.

2014 was a turbulent year in the background investigation and security clearance arena with information breeches, contractor firings, investigation backlogs, new investigative standards, and clearance reform initiatives by lawmakers. Hopefully some stabilization has set in and the impact on those trying to get cleared is lessened.