Unofficial Foreign Travel Reporting Requirements for Contractors Take Effect
Contractor reporting requirements for unofficial foreign travel, as outlined in SEAD-3, were deferred until August 24, 2022 to ensure the completion of necessary revisions in the Defense Information System for Security (DISS) for foreign travel reporting. DISS has finished the updates and now provides bulk upload capability for Facility Security Officers to report contractor travel. What exactly must be reported?
According to SEAD-3, all cleared individuals must report all unofficial foreign travel (unrelated to official government business). This involves submitting an itinerary and receiving advance approval prior to travel. Individuals are required to report all deviations from their approved itinerary within five business days of return. Travelers shall receive a defensive security awareness or counterintelligence briefing prior to any travel (official or unofficial). Exceptions to the requirement to report and submit an itinerary and receive prior approval are travel to: Puerto Rico, Guam or other U.S. possessions and territories which is not considered foreign travel. Unplanned day trips to Canada or Mexico shall be reported within five business days of return.
Departments and agencies can deny if there is an unacceptable risk or security concern. So, what happens if the travel request is denied, and you still travel? You may be subject to administrative action by your agency that includes, but is not limited to, revocation of your security clearance or eligibility to hold a sensitive position. With continuous vetting tied in to travel alerts from Homeland Security, it is a sure bet your sponsoring agency will know when you travel outside of the country. Best to follow the reporting requirements lest you find yourself being queried about why you left the country without approval.