Sunday, May 29, 2011

Review Questions from Chapter 11 "DoD Security Clearances and Contracts Guidebook"

If you are a defence contractor, cleared contractor or cleared employee, try these questions. Want more, see

1. The vice president of business development has just brought up the wonderful opportunity of selling an all weather capability the company produces for medical evacuation flights to a foreign owned company. 

a. Suppose this item needs a license prior to export. Describe the first step an organization would take in consideration of a possible export.

b. If the item is to be delivered to a foreign company just down the street, will export requirements still apply?

2. You are travelling as an authorized courier to deliver a package that contains classified information at the CONFIDENTIAL level. Upon arrival, the foreign government customs agent wants to take custody of the package. You present your credentials and attempt to talk her out of the idea. She informs you that as a representative of the foreign government, she is authorized to accept the delivery. Is she correct? Why or why not?

3. As an FSO, you have many responsibilities including approving classified visits. A program manager enters your office and informs you that his foreign customer wants to send an employee to perform at your location on a classified project. The program manager requests that you draw up a sample visit request form that the foreign company can use to submit a visit request. Is this the proper request procedure? Why or why not?

4. In the same situation as question three, the visit has been authorized through appropriate channels. Since your cleared facility handles many classified contracts, you want to ensure the visitor does not gain access to classified and unclassified items not authorized for export. What will you produce to ensure the visitor and company employees remain in compliance with export laws?

a. Which agency has jurisdiction over commercial and dual-use items?

b. Which regulation covers commercial and dual-use items?

c. Which regulation governs the export of defense articles?

5. Your organization has an opportunity to perform a modification of a foreign government weapons platform. You will not be selling an item, but modifying the platform for a radio mount. If awarded the contract, your company will send a team to the foreign country to perform the services over the next few years. What type of request will you submit? Who is the approving agency?

      From "DoD Security Clearance and Contracts Guidebook" Not to Readers

      The defense industry is booming and cleared contractors are benefiting. Those who know how to execute classified contracts are in demand. Additionally, the Departments of Defense, Department of Energy, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Central Intelligence Agency and many other Federal and supporting contractors are in great need of experienced and qualified security specialists, managers and Facility Security Officers. As the industry becomes more demanding and positions more competitive, today’s security specialists need to be on top of their game.

      Go beyond the Presidential Executive Orders and the National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual. Being technically proficient is great, but building an award winning security program gets you noticed. Make the move from being an administrator to becoming the "go to" security manager. Learn everything you can to better understand what it takes to get security clearances and move to the next step of protecting classified information.

      Saturday, May 7, 2011

      Training Topics for Cleared Contractor FSOs

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      New cleared contractors should understand that the Defense Security Service (DSS) provides initial training and special briefings to their appointed Facility Security Officer (FSO). This training is invaluable as the new FSO will have a chance to learn about their responsibilities. Sometimes the new FSO will be learning for the first time exactly what is expected of them. After training, the FSO is then authorized to present the training to the organization's cleared employees. According to NISPOM, the FSO is also required to attend the DSS mandated FSO Program Management Course within one year of appointment. This means that cleared contractors should be prepared to send a designated FSO to the DSS Academy for the training, or take the training on line. Either way, the FSO must be certified.
      DSS provides new courses designed for FSOs of possessing and non-possessing facilities. FSOs should coordinate with their DSS representative to determine the training that’s right for their situation. The training is designed to prepare the FSO to implement and direct a NISPOM based security program in their cleared contractor facility including, but not limited to the following topics:

      Protecting classified material – The proper receipt, accountability, storage, dissemination and destruction of classified material.

      Required training – This instruction helps the FSO establish an ongoing training program designed to create an environment of security conscious cleared employees.

      Personnel security clearances – The FSO gains an understanding of the personnel security clearance request procedure, briefing techniques and maintenance of personnel clearances.

      Facility clearance – The FSO learns how FCLs are established and which records and activities are required to maintain the FCL.

      Foreign Ownership Control and Influence (FOCI) - Organizations analyze foreign investments, sales and ownership on a regular basis using the Certificate Pertaining to Foreign Interests (SF 328). FSOs learn to interact with management and provide guidance and direction in preventing a foreign entity from unauthorized access to or controlling work involving classified and export controlled information.

      Exports compliance and international operations –FSOs receive instruction on how to prevent unauthorized disclosure of critical technology, classified and export controlled information.

      Restricted areas – The restricted area is established to control temporary access to classified material.

      Closed areas – Space is approved to store and work with classified material. This involves approved construction and limited accesses controls to prevent unauthorized disclosure during and after work hours.

      Contract security classification specification (DD Form 254) –The cleared contractor is allowed access to classified contracts based on the DD Form 254. The FSO would learns how the DD Form 254 is constructed and how to provide input to better meet security requirements.

      Security classification guides (SCG) – As the DD Form 254 provides authorization to execute a classified contract, the SCG provides the “how to” instruction.

      Security administration and records keeping – This teaches the maintenance of facility and personnel security clearance information as well as all other accountability. The FSO is expected to provide information on personnel clearances, original documentation of their facility clearance and demonstrate classified information accountability during the DSS annual security inspection.

      Sub contracting – When approved to subcontract classified work, the prime contractor will provide a DD Form 254 to the subcontractor.

      The academy issues a certificate which should be filed for presentation during security audits. The FSO training should not end with this course. Career enhancing training is available through various security and management courses. More in depth online and residence training is available in each above mentioned topic. Other agencies may offer more training certification in special access programs, COMSEC, and intelligence protection. Other training is available in colleges, professional organizations, vendor websites, through books like this and within the security community.