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Security Clearance

A security clearance is a status granted to individuals allowing them access to classified information. Those trying to get a clearance may have questions such as how does one go about attaining a clearance? And, what are the different levels? As well as other questions. This area will allow those that have clearances offer advice and suggestions to those inquiring about clearances or upgrading their clearances.

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jcendicott1983  
#1 Posted : Monday, May 5, 2014 11:11:23 AM(UTC)
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I received a tentative offer with the Dept. of Homeland Security. It is a GS-07 entry level position. I was told I needed a "Suitability Clearance". I submitted all paperwork needed and waiting to hear back. It has been a little over 4 weeks. Is is supposed to take this long for Suitability? I asked the HR rep if she could give me a timeframe and she said she couldn't. Also, I have a clearance through the DOJ that is less than 2 years old. Shouldnt that help speed things along? Thanks
Matteo Pro  
#2 Posted : Tuesday, May 6, 2014 9:17:23 AM(UTC)
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According to DHS Instruction # 121-01-007, CHAPTER 2, FEDERAL EMPLOYEE/APPLICANT SUITABILITY REQUIREMENTS

The suitability process determines an individual’s suitability for employment based upon
an assessment of their character or conduct that may have an impact on the integrity or efficiency of the Federal
service. This differs from the issue of whether a person is “qualified” to do the job. Qualification determinations are based on an individual’s experience, education, knowledge, skills, and abilities rather than on character traits
and conduct.

Security clearances are granted to individuals who need to be cleared for access classified information. While these two seem to go hand in hand, they might not.

In regards to the clearance that is less than 2 years old. If your clearance is active, that is you are in a position using the clearance then reciprocity should allow for the transfer of your clearance over. If it is inactive and less than 2 years from grant date then the gaining agency might choose to reactivate it otherwise they will request a reinvestigation.

In my opinion Suitability is a tool created by the agency to eliminate candidates that would otherwise be highly qualified based on experience, however their character or conduct would detrimentally affect the agency. This provides a legal out for the agency allowing them to eliminate this candidate and protect the agency from legal repercussions.
thanks 1 user thanked Matteo Pro for this useful post.
jannua on 6/20/2014(UTC)
jcendicott1983  
#3 Posted : Wednesday, May 7, 2014 7:27:59 AM(UTC)
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So there is no Clearance for Suitability then. How long does a standard background check take through OPM?
Distant_World  
#4 Posted : Wednesday, May 7, 2014 12:23:34 PM(UTC)

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Originally Posted by: jcendicott1983 Go to Quoted Post
I received a tentative offer with the Dept. of Homeland Security. It is a GS-07 entry level position. I was told I needed a "Suitability Clearance". I submitted all paperwork needed and waiting to hear back. It has been a little over 4 weeks. Is is supposed to take this long for Suitability? I asked the HR rep if she could give me a timeframe and she said she couldn't. Also, I have a clearance through the DOJ that is less than 2 years old. Shouldnt that help speed things along? Thanks


I heard from and met with an OPM investigator within two days of submitting my SF86 through eQIP. Did you submit an SF86 through eQIP as well? The background time depends on the "complexity" of your case.
jcendicott1983  
#5 Posted : Thursday, May 8, 2014 5:13:27 AM(UTC)
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Yes I submitted my SF 86 about 4 or 5 weeks ago. I had to send the security officer my finger print cards and I also had to take a drug test. The last I heard from the security officer was that he recieved everything needed and that I was awaiting final suitability. I am already a federal employee and I dont remember it taking this long before. Especially since it is just a standard background check. Nobody I listed on my SF 86 has even been contacted yet. When I ask the HR rep for a status update I was told my investigation is still processing.
Distant_World  
#6 Posted : Thursday, May 8, 2014 6:02:46 AM(UTC)

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I am awaiting the finish of final adjudication of my suitability. Saying it's aggravating is a major understatement. It's impossible to get any updates from persec other than "it's in active investigation." I am immensely frustrated because in my opinion this entire process is unnecessary and I could have started two months ago with no issues.
jcendicott1983  
#7 Posted : Thursday, May 8, 2014 6:28:33 AM(UTC)
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What agency are you going to be working for?
Knight  
#8 Posted : Thursday, May 8, 2014 6:34:42 AM(UTC)

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Quote:
I am immensely frustrated because in my opinion this entire process is unnecessary and I could have started two months ago with no issues.


Welcome to the post Snowden world. BI times are going to get longer not shorter.

The "Secret Squirrels" in the back room (SCIF) are feeling the heat. "Trust no one" is their new mantra. Well, okay, with the bunch it has always been that but if seems to be worse now.
thanks 1 user thanked for this useful post.
SD Analyst on 5/8/2014(UTC)
tennvol  
#9 Posted : Thursday, May 8, 2014 4:43:24 PM(UTC)

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Honestly it amuses me to see people frustrated that it's been 2 months. Mine took 16 months. Sit back and try not to stress yourself to death. There is nothing you can do at this point.
Distant_World  
#10 Posted : Thursday, May 8, 2014 5:03:52 PM(UTC)

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Originally Posted by: tennvol Go to Quoted Post
Honestly it amuses me to see people frustrated that it's been 2 months. Mine took 16 months. Sit back and try not to stress yourself to death. There is nothing you can do at this point.


Wow, what caused it to be so long? How long ago was that?
jcendicott1983  
#11 Posted : Friday, May 9, 2014 3:11:09 AM(UTC)
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I dont think you understand, this is a non sensitive position so it doesnt even require a clearance, just a background check. And I am already a federal employee so I seriously doubt it should take that long.
Knight  
#12 Posted : Friday, May 9, 2014 4:26:27 AM(UTC)

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And there is the second problem. Yours is a routine check that is not a priority and is sitting in a stack. Every day someone reshuffles the stack due to pressure to get this one done or that one done. Yours is so middle fothe road it never rises to the top.

(this is of course my opinion, not based on much facts or direct knowledge of the BI process. However I do work for the GOV and know how my priorities are determined for me.)
DoSHopeful  
#13 Posted : Monday, October 20, 2014 5:48:58 PM(UTC)

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Originally Posted by: jcendicott1983 Go to Quoted Post
I dont think you understand, this is a non sensitive position so it doesnt even require a clearance, just a background check. And I am already a federal employee so I seriously doubt it should take that long.


So how long did it end up taking your suitability to come through?

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