Here is a link to the currently effective clearance guidelines applicable to virtually all clearance evaluations. 2017 Adjudicative Guidelines
In 2018 I was a guest on the Lorne Epstein show. Lorne was an engaging host and we spent 45+ minutes discussing the security clearance process, including war stories, polygraphs, bright lines, and how things can go wrong. When you have the time you can listen to that show here.
OK, you’ve received a Statement of Reasons, looking something like the image to the right, perhaps going on for a few pages, and you are asking yourself “How do I respond to this?”
Security clearance appeals are very fact driven. Even very good facts must be organized and presented clearly and persuasively to answer the concerns raised.
Security clearance appeals proceedings are different from proceedings in a court, though some portions may resemble court proceedings in some ways. They are also different from each other, depending on who the Applicant works for and which agency “holds” the clearance. Although all agencies must apply the same substantive guidelines, the procedures used by the Department of Defense, the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency; the Defense Intelligence Agency, the FBI, the Department of Justice, the State Department, the Energy Department, Homeland Security, and the National Reconnaissance Office vary widely. We know this viscerally because we’ve worked with clients affected by the actions of each of these agencies.
You may have looked at a form that you need to complete in the application process, or read something in a newspaper or an online posting, or heard something, that causes you to be concerned about some aspect of your past. We can discuss your profile with you, assess concerns you may have, and offer you insight into what you might do to improve your prospects and the processing of your application.
If you are reading this article, you’ve probably received some form of notice to the effect that your security clearance application or clearance status is in trouble. Here is some useful information about the security clearance appeals process.
Once you have been sponsored for a clearance, your critical first step is to complete the SF86 form (“EQip” when online) fully and accurately. Most folks who go through this process find themselves facing one of more of three problems.