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.
I have been handling all aspects of security clearance law for many years, from the initial SF 86 questions and concerns, answering SORs (Statement of Reasons) through the administrative hearing of an attempted clearance denial or revocation by the government. I am writing this particular blog post now because I have noticed a disturbing trend over the last couple of years. It appears to me that the government is taking an extraordinarily strict view of financial issues where individuals hold a security clearance or are trying to get one. It was not always this strict and there used to be,…Read More
I grew up watching David Letterman. In addition to Chris Elliot (see the movie “Cabin Boy” if you haven’t done so!) and Larry “Bud” Melman, I was also a big fan of his top 10 list. Currently, I know a lot of people follow the daily lists that are published by Buzzfeed. I decided to come up with my own top 10 security clearance issues and problems list that I see my clients have on a fairly regular basis with regard to their respective clearances. This is from my experience of handling all aspects of security clearance cases for many…Read More
I have recently seen a rash of individuals holding security clearances or wanting to get a clearance who have an issue arise due to debt problems. While I have written about this topic previously here, it occurs to me to try and come up with a detailed analysis for someone with delinquent debts who is seeking a clearance (or in the process of losing one over debts!) to deal with these issues in the best possible manner for the best chance at clearance success. Of course, this advice should not replace your own judgment or that of your attorney. Every…Read More
Recently, I have seen a number of individuals who have been instructed by their facility security officer (FSO) that they need to fill out and submit a SF 86 form through the e-Qip (Electronic Questionnaire for Investigation Processing). This is all done online through the JPAS (Joint Personnel Adjudications System). The issues that I am about to discuss relate to new employees who just started a job and are being sponsored for clearance and also long-term employees who are already working with classified material and who hold a security clearance. Either a potential incident has surfaced which requires the completion…Read More
For all of the many years that I have been practicing in this area of law, I have never seen a consistent and recurrent news theme where security clearance issues and problems continue to be predominate in the daily news cycle. In fact, what prompted me to write this blog post is the recent news article, titled “Dozens Of White House Staffers Stripped Of Top Level Security Clearance.” The Initial SF 86 The nuanced area of clearances that I would like to discuss in this blog post relates, in a sense, to what happened to many of the White House…Read More
As I write this, I am well aware that my law partner, Ron Sykstus, wishes that I was writing this blog about a best-selling fiction novel that he has written! Unfortunately for him, that is not the case! Fortunately, though, for anyone who has worries or concerns about his or her security clearance, I am writing this blog post about Ron’s newest book, Security Clearance Issues, Problems, Denials and Revocations as he is too shy about his excellent work to write this himself! The book is available at Amazon and Ron also provides a free e-copy of this book to…Read More
Security clearance issues, it seems, are in the news just about every day as of late. The news covers a lot of areas. Security Clearance Process in the News at the Highest Level Do you have to complete the SF 86 in its entirety to be given Security Clearance that allows access to classified material? Security Clearance Applications (SF 86) – Full and Complete Disclosure is Required! It was reported in USA Today that 4.2 million people in our country hold security clearances.Obviously, holding a clearance is necessary for many government and contractor jobs and all military service jobs. People…Read More
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