Hopefully by now, most of you have completed your Personnel Clearance projections for the next three fiscal years through NISS and learned the joys of using the NISS Database! If not, you have until April 5th to get that done! (Just a few days before taxes are due – aren’t government deadlines fun?)
What great FSO’s read!
Everyone with a security clearance looks exactly like this.
Speaking of Personnel Clearances…Hopefully by now, most of you have completed your Personnel Clearance projections for the next three fiscal years through NISS and learned the joys of using the NISS Database! If not, you have until April 5th to get that done! (Just a few days before taxes are due – aren’t government deadlines fun?) Ask this guy for the instructions if yours are still pending! There have been a lot of changes to Personnel Clearances in the last couple of years. Most of the changes are part of the government’s efforts to manage the timeline of clearances a little better, but it is important for YOU to know what they are. Being able to vet and manage clearances is one of the most active roles for an FSO! Since its spring – let’s spruce up our knowledge and our clearance actions a bit!
- Finish your PSI Projection Survey by April 5th!
- Audit/Clean your personnel files of any SF86s for closed investigations.
- Run a Ghost/Leech/Orphan report in JPAS and separate any names that pop up!
- Provide management and personnel with the clearance timelines.
- Log into JPAS and any other timed data base so you don’t get locked out.
- Begin any new hire clearance actions 30 days out if needed.
- Pay your taxes by April 15th & provide your cleared personnel with the “Financial Compliance” training video.
- Remind cleared personnel not to participate in 420 – “Don’t do pot, or your clearance will rot.” (Not an actual DSS slogan.)
Spring Cleaning Actions for Clearances
1. What does each FSO need to know about clearances in JPAS?
- Keep an eye on the investigation “closed” date. The date of “how long” your clearance is in scope goes by the closed date for the last investigation, not when it was granted.
- What is the “in-scope” period of time? If you hold a TS, your investigation is in-scope for 6 years. If you hold a Secret, your investigation is in-scope for 10 years. It is 15 years for a Confidential clearance. Public Trust and polygraphs go by agency guidelines.
- Note: JPAS still runs Periodic Reinvestigation reports based on highest eligibility and by the old timelines. Don’t go by just the JPAS report function– know the level of clearance your personnel need and the closed date and initiate periodic reinvestigations as they support the work that subject is doing.
- Know when the investigation can start and encourage personnel to calendar that for THEIR records. The government allows FSOs to begin investigations 90 days out. Having personnel track their own timelines is helpful to the FSO and the subject.
For all spring cleaning, an unseen battle rages. Spring is Coming.
More Spring Is Coming crossover. If it was easy, everyone would do it.
2. Once the investigation is initiated:
- Encourage – as strongly as possible – for each subject to complete the SF86 as soon as possible. Nothing helps process a clearance more than that! Try and give short deadlines if your company allows it.
- Be prepared to administer fingerprints again and have a plan in place. We run into this a lot and we understand the frustration because fingerprints don’t change. The Office of Personnel Management has made it a new practice in the last few years to have fingerprints that have been submitted within 120 days of the investigation. If an e-QIP request is received and the investigation type requires submission of fingerprints, and there is no evidence of a fingerprint result (result can be no more than 120 days old) on file with NBIB, the investigation request may be held for up to 14 days awaiting fingerprint documentation.
- Create a user-friendly way to get personnel fingerprints completed. We use a third-party vendor and have typed up detailed instructions.
- Encourage personnel to hang on to the 14-digit registration code. When the Office of Personnel Management provides a 14-digit registration code, they will reuse that in the future for other investigations and clearance upgrades. They will not re-send it for another investigation so to keep from having to call and get it re-issued – have the subjects hang on to it!
- Encourage personnel to save a SF86 Copy. After the investigation is complete, FSOs must destroy any copies they have of SF86s.
3. How Long Does It Take? Give me a ballpark time.As an FSO, that is the question we get the most and it is nearly impossible to answer. I seriously hate this question. No matter what I advise, recruiters, managers and personnel still ask, so here is a bit of help: The government’s current estimated timelines:
- T3 (Secret Investigation) – 150 days
- T3R (Secret Re-investigation) – 264 days
- T5 (Top Secret Investigation) – 396 days
- T5R (Top Secret Re- investigation) – 350 days
- Initial Adjudication – 37 days after completion of investigation.
- PR Adjudication – 113 days after completion of investigation with priority being given to cases where derogatory information is/was present.
You are required to grow a beard while you wait for your clearance, regardless of gender. This is not true, but it should be.
Legend has it that she is still evaluating that form to this day…
4. Continuous Evaluation – The newest version of Clearance Status.
- You may have noticed some reinvestigations may get moved into Continuous Evaluation status. This is not adverse!
- DoD is now conducting Continuous Evaluation (CE) checks on select populations. This includes both Commercial (e.g., soft credit checks that do not impact your credit score) and Government data sources.
- These “select populations” typically have had no break in service or adverse incidents so the US government is going to allow the subject to continue at the TS level without the need of a Periodic Reinvestigation.
- The trouble that we are finding is that, they do not annotate CE in JPAS with any note or date yet, so it is advisable – if this happens to one of your personnel – to hold on to the notification you receive in JPAS stating they have been enrolled in the Continuous Evaluation program. Get your copy of that from this guy!
Since 4/20 is just around the corner…FSOs know – and hopefully communicate –that, even though legal in many states, using marijuana and CBD oil is not permitted for cleared personnel and will adversely impact one’s clearance. Now – there is additional guidance for owning stock in legal marijuana companies. It is as follows: DoD CAF’s current legal position is that ownership of marijuana stocks is considered involvement in drug-related activities and would be a “reportable incident” under the Continuous Evaluation process. Also, the same goes for CBD oil use. They both need to be reported.
Before eating a pound of marijuana and some bacon (AKA, the Colorado Breakfast), you should know that it will affect your clearance. The pot, not the bacon. This is America.
* Coffee Mugs!
* Membership Clubs!
* Training Videos!
* One Hour FSO Support!
* SVA Prep!
FSO PRO thanks all the FSOs out there for everything you do to keep the warfighter safe. Even the smallest task is designed to keep our nation’s information out of the hands of those who would do harm. We, as FSOs, are doing our part to stay vigilant and determined to protect those who protect us, even in our own small way.
That is why we say how awesome you are. And thank you.