Thursday, October 13, 2011

Who will be the next FSO

For those defense contractors who what to perform on classified contracts, there are a few considerations to address. Under the National Industrial Security Program (NISP), a cleared contractor should appoint an FSO to take on this responsibility of directing a security program to protect our classified information. This FSO is the link between the government contractor and the cognizant security agency (CSA).

When considering who to appoint as an FSO, the cleared contractor has a few choices:
1.      The senior officer can assume the role.
2.      The cleared contractor can designate an existing employee
3.      The cleared contractor can hire an new employee

Whoever assumes the role of FSO must meet two requirements:
1.      Be a United States citizen. Both the facility and the FSO have to be U.S. Entities and must have a history of integrity and conduct that prevents or limits exploitation or coercion to release classified material in an unauthorized manner.
2.      Possess a security clearance according to the company’s facility clearance level (FCL).  A facility clearance is awarded to businesses that meet strict requirements and have a need to work with classified information. The personnel security clearance is awarded based on the need and the approval of a facility clearance.

Depending on mission and size of company it’s not unusual for the cleared contractor to appoint  an assistant, engineer, program manager, human resources specialist or other capable employee with the additional responsibility. Larger companies may have the luxury of hiring additional personnel for specific and defined security responsibilities.

When assigning an FSO, shareholders should look for demonstrated leadership and team playing traits that complement the minimum requirements found in the NISPOM. The FSO’s primary purpose is to prevent the unauthorized disclosure and release of classified information and help the organization maintain security clearance eligibility. Any unauthorized release can cause problems such as but not limited to: loss of reputation, loss of contracts, jail time or disciplinary actions against the employee, and loss of clearance for the employee and/or the business. The FSO has a tough task that they can’t possibly do alone (for training resources visit our website).

Jeffrey W. Bennett, ISP is the owner of Red Bike Publishing Red Bike Publishing . Jeff is an accomplished writer of non-fiction books, novels and periodicals. He also owns Red bike Publishing. Published books include: "Get Rich in a Niche-Insider's Guide to Self Publishing in a Specialized Industry" and "Commitment-A Novel". Jeff is an expert in security and has written many security books including: "Insider's Guide to Security Clearances" and "DoD Security Clearances and Contracts Guidebook", "ISP Certification-The Industrial Security Professional Exam Manual", and NISPOM/FSO Training" See Red Bike Publishing for print copies of: Army Leadership The Ranger Handbook The Army Physical Readiness Manual Drill and Ceremonies The ITAR The NISPOM

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