A topic that often comes up in our law firm’s security clearance practice involves the issue of how to best prepare for an upcoming administrative hearing before an administrative judge with the Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals (DOHA). While this topic could cover several chapters, I have assembled a few basic tips in the process from our practice in this area of law. DOHA administrative judges make final decisions of security clearances for government contractors and recommended clearance decisions for federal employees.
Keep in mind that it is important to obtain a experienced lawyer familiar with security clearance practice to best assist individuals approaching a DOHA hearing. Counsel can best advise an individual in how to prepare and present their cases in order to give the best possible opportunity for a successful outcome. A successful outcome often means putting in significant preparation ahead of time. This article discusses some basic tips.
When an individual with a security clearance is submitted for a security clearance upgrade, any previously existing security concerns are scrutinized once again, but at a higher level. For instance, if an individual has been previously approved for a Secret level clearance and is then submitted for a higher level Top Secret (TS) level clearance by their employer, that individual could be denied based on the same concerns that existed when he or she was previously approved for a Secret level clearance. This more frequently happens when an individual holds a Top Secret (TS) clearance but is applying for Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) access, “TS/SCI.”
Financial considerations security concerns are the most common issues which can result in the inability to obtain or the loss of a security clearance. As a result, it is very important that when a clearance applicant or holder runs into financial issues that they have counsel to assist and advise them with respect to the security clearance process. In security clearance cases, financial issues are generally referred to as Guideline F cases. In Guideline F cases, the government’s concern is generally focused on how a person has handled his or her finances and/or his or her vulnerability to financial manipulation given a pattern of overspending or debt.
The criteria in Guideline F cases has somewhat changed over the last year with the introduction of Security Executive Agent Directive (SEAD 4) (the new Adjudicative Guidelines governing security clearances). This article discusses some potential tips for those facing financial concern issues in the context of a security clearance matter.
Many federal employees and government contractors are required to apply for and maintain security clearances as part of their continued employment. In some cases, the security clearance application process can be straightforward. However, if security clearance problems arise, they are typically discovered when the employee or contractor is about to complete his or her security clearance application through e-QIP or the government’s Standard Form 86. Because of this, if it is possible, a security clearance applicant or holder should seek the advice of an experienced lawyer who handles security clearance matters since each case is different. The following article contains some some tips for employees to consider in the security clearance process. Continue reading →
There is a direction connection between federal employment and the holding of a security clearance. Specifically, the ability to obtain or keep a security clearance, for certain federal employees can be very important with respect to holding onto their federal employment. If a federal employee is required to have access to classified information in the course of their duties, then they must be eligible for a security clearance. In the course of federal employment, problems often arise when a previously cleared federal employee later runs into security clearance issues or when a new federal employee has trouble obtaining a security clearance. When these types of problems arise, it is very important to retain a federal security clearance lawyer as soon as possible.
For federal employees, the ability to obtain or maintain a security clearance, for certain positions can be critical with respect to maintaining their federal employment. If a federal employee is required to have access to classified information, then they must be eligible for a security clearance in order to keep their position. This article discusses the connection between security clearance and those employed by the federal government.