The Top 10 Reasons People Are Denied a Security Clearance

In 2016, the Defense Office of Hearing and Appeals held 1,142 security clearance appeals hearings. They made decisions on security clearance eligibility, placement into public trust positions and Common Access Card denials. If you are denied a security clearance or your security clearance is revoked due to adverse information that has been discovered or self-reported, you have the right to appeal the decision before DOHA. A study of the cases and their outcomes offers a good chance to see the trends in security clearance denials, and what issues are likely to cause issues in your own background investigation.

Among the things you discover if you study DOHA cases for very long: Many cases look very similar and the primary issues … (For more, click here.)

What issues have you seen prevent individuals from getting a security clearance at your agency?

Legal Drug Use and Your Security Clearance

new SF86, the application form used to issue security clearances, is being released this week and will be implemented sometime in August. Many of the changes are procedural and designed to make it easier for individuals to submit complete forms. These changes include updating the options for providing phone information (since the days of everyone having a ‘home’ phone are behind us), a tool to help find school addresses, and a clarification for derivative citizenship (citizenship you obtained via birth, not application).

The two big changes relate to mental health and drug use.

All Drug Use Must Be Noted

The SF86 has always asked about illegal drug use, but the question has become more confusing in recent years with eight states legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. Many security clearance applicants assume… (For more, click here.)

Has the issue of legal drug use and security clearances been a problem at your agency? Are you using the updated SF86 to help streamline the clearance process?

The Agency Conducting Your Background Checks May Change

If you live in Washington there are frequent jokes about things moving at the pace of government. Another adage is that to the extent things do change, there’s a good chance they’re changing back to the way they were done in years prior (government doesn’t so much reinvent itself as it merely resurrects itself).

The Department of Defense is pursuing this logic as it pushes through a plan to take over background investigations from … (for more, click here).