Security Clearance Blog Posts
Federal employees whose jobs require accessing classified information undergo rigorous background investigations to gain security clearance. Investigations seek to determine that a candidate for security clearance displays a strength of character, loyalty to the United States, has no conflicting allegiances and demonstrates attributes including honesty, discretion, good judgment, reliability and a sound professional and personal history. Individuals awarded security clearance also must fully understand and comply with regulations regarding the handling, use and protection of classified materials.
Security clearance can be terminated for a number of reasons, including a determination that the clearance is no longer needed for a specific government position. Individuals granted security clearances are subject to new background investigations every five years. A qualified attorney can assist with various issues related to security clearances, which are covered in-depth in the articles below.
For anyone who was ever held a security clearance, he or she knows the importance of full and complete disclosure on the SF 86 form, which is the application form to be able to get a clearance. That is why this story is shocking. Beyond that, before anyone who holds a secret clearance, there is a new formal investigation and a new completed SF 86 form that is required every 10 years and, for a top-secret clearance, this requirement is every five years. The instructions on the SF 86 are very clear: The United States criminal code (title 18, section…Read More
Up until I read this story, the answer has always been an emphatic yes. I will amend my answer to say yes in all but the most unique of circumstances. To quote John Fogerty, “I ain’t no fortunate son.” I believe that most of my clients fall into this category as well so my advice to them is to answer the SF 86 in a full, complete and honest manner. In fact, here is how the SF 86 form begins and it certainly gives you a strong sense of the import and solemnity of the form and the process. SF…Read More
In the private, civilian non-government related world, doing stupid thing can have consequences but, when someone is in the military and/or has a security clearance, the consequences of bad judgment and behavior can be exponential. I am prompted to write this blog post based upon the disturbing news reports out of the Marine Corps. The military is always concerned about behavior that can affect troop readiness and morale. The problem now for all of these Marines, especially current active-duty and reservists, is that they fall under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). Sexual Harassment in the Military With the heightened…Read More
This news story caught my eye. It struck me as odd. The White House dismissed 6 staffers who were “walked out of the building by security after not passing the SF 86.” In my experience, the security clearance process does not work in this manner. In practical terms, the way the system works is that someone applies for a job that requires a security clearance. At that point, now that he or she is “sponsored” by the employer for a job that requires a clearance, the facility security officer (FSO) of that employer will put that person in for a security…Read More
Since all of us are human, we all have normal desires for companionship. Those desires, however, when coupled with bad people and the ubiquitous internet can, unfortunately, sometimes lead to negative consequences. This is especially true for anyone who holds a security clearance. Whether the problem is due to drugs, alcohol, financial, criminal issues or sexual behavior, if someone holds a security clearance and that clearance is required for his or her job, then any problem issues for a person can be problems for the government as far as how it views someone who holds a clearance. Sextortion Sting Operations…Read More
I recently saw in the news where President-elect Donald Trump is thinking about getting security clearances for his children and son-in-law. For everyone else, getting a security clearance is a much more arduous and burdensome process, unless your father is the President! In fact, I get several calls per month from prospective clients who tell me that they want to get a good-paying job that requires a security clearance and they ask me for help to get them one. Unfortunately, that is not how the security clearance system works. Obtaining Security Clearance For someone to get a security clearance, they…Read More
Over the past two years or so, I have noticed a marked increase in the government’s review and concern regarding individuals and their respective security clearances. I have seen tangible proof that security clearances are being denied and/or revoked at an increasing rate from years past. Of course, there are reasons behind this increase, especially every time an alarming tragedy or disconcerting incidents happens in our country where a security clearance is involved. I have written previously about security clearances and pretty much every conceivable issue regarding clearances. Government Security Clearance Forms Can You Lose Security Clearance for Seeking Addiction…Read More
I have written previously about the security clearance process and the perceived need for it to be reformed. This always comes up after a major negative incident in our country related to someone who holds a clearance. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) provided testimony in February, 2016 on the status and future of reform of the security clearance process. In the end, I do think reform will happen eventually. In simple terms, what I think will happen will be a security clearance system that reviews security clearances on a random and continuous basis, relies and mandates self reporting of…Read More
One of the topics that gets a great deal of views at our blog is the affect of the filing of a bankruptcy on a security clearance. I have handled all facets of security clearance issues from initial SF 86 concerns through administrative appeals at the Department of Hearings and Appeals (DOHA) level through appeals to the DOHA Appeal Board. Financial considerations are probably the number one problem people have with regard to initially obtaining their clearance or having it revoked. Alcohol and illegal drug use follow as a close second. Options for Dealing with Financial Concerns What has…Read More
Given the volatility in the world over the past several years, I am seeing more security clearance cases as they relate to foreign influence and foreign preference. The United States government can express a concern regarding an individual’s access to classified material in the form of a secret or top-secret security clearance if it has concerns regarding the individual having divided loyalties or foreign financial interests. Specifically, the government’s concern is that an individual with divided loyalties or foreign financial interests may be manipulated or induced to help a foreign person, group, organization or government in a way that is…Read More