We typically meet with many federal employees and/or government contractors who are faced with security concerns or potential security concerns in obtaining, retaining or applying for a security clearance. These individuals often ask our attorneys at what point they should retain a security clearance attorney to assist, advise or represent them. This article discusses this topic.
Both the Department of Energy (DoE) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) maintain their own security clearance procedures, as enacted into law by the Atomic Energy Act of 1954. This security clearance process for DoE employees is similar to the security clearance process for other federal employees and government contractors and is administered by the DoE Office of Hearings and Appeals. This article discusses the issues in responding to DoE security clearance issues and clearance appeals. Continue reading →
This article discusses the security clearance appeals process for government contractors applying for clearances (or attempting to keep them) with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). As we have discussed in other articles, the U.S. Government security clearance process is not administered by one federal agency, but individually by each one. The clearance appeals process generally falls into 2 main groups of federal agencies (with some exceptions), one run by the Intelligence Community (IC) and those run by the Department of Defense (DoD). That said, each federal agency has their own internal security clearance process with their own variations. The CIA is one of those federal agencies with its own, very unique, security clearance process.
If you are a federal employee or government contractor whose security clearance is under review (commonly referred to as the Applicant or Clearance Holder) and you are in the process of having your case heard before the Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals (DOHA), there are a number of considerations to take into account as you move forward to the hearing.
Guideline E of the Adjudicative Guidelines, located in Security Agent Executive Directive 4, is one of the most commonly used guidelines by the government for denying security clearance applications, renewals or upgrades. This guideline covers general misconduct. This article discusses Guideline E Personal Conduct cases in more detail.
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.