Friday, March 30, 2012

6 Awesome Ways to Delay a Security Clearances

One thing an FSO just can't control is how long it takes the US Government to completely investigate, adjudicate and award a security clearance. These investigations rely on trained persons to research a persons background and another set of trained persons to make a decision on the findings. These professionals are charged with determining whether or not a person can be relied on to protect classified information from unauthorized disclosure. Returning or seeking clarification on submitted information is costly.

As an  FSO, you can control one critical part of the process. Ensure the applicant fills out the SF86 forms accurately and completely. Any mistakes, omissions or embellishments can cause serious time delays. You can help the applicant understand the content and explain how to complete required forms.

Here is great tool to help; the top 6 reasons security clearance decisions are delayed:

1.  Missing or illegible fingerprint cards. The cards must be provided to the office of personnel management within 30 days of approval by DISCO. It may be too late once you ignore the JPAS notification of "Release PSI". Also fingerprints should be properly applied to the card. Smudges and blurs are impossible to read.

2. Missing or unreadable information on release forms. Release forms authorize agencies to take action. If in authorization is in doubt, investigations can be delayed until clarification is made.

3.  Wrong place of birth information. Full and correct city, county and state or country information is required.  Any mistakes or false representation can cause setbacks.

4. False date of birth information. A correct date of birth is critical to accurately identify the applicant. Illegible and wrong dates make investigations impossible, requiring queries and delays.

5. Missing residences. The requirement is to "Provide complete information for two individuals with COMPLETE US addresses and phone numbers". Failure to do this will also cause delays.

6. Wrong SSN information. If the wrong SSN is giving, the request should be cancelled and a new one started with the correct one.

Be sure to respect the applicant's privacy. FSOs should review the applications to ensure that they are filled out correctly and accurately ONLY. FSOs should not attempt to determine whether or not an applicant is eligible for a clearance or make comments about eligibility. This is the adjudicator's and investigator's responsibility.

As an FSO you cannot control how long the process takes. However you can help keep it on track by training and informing applicants to write legibly, provide all required information, and be accurate. Accuracy and completeness can bring about a quicker decision.

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,and The NISPOM

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