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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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ClearanceQ  
#1 Posted : Tuesday, October 19, 2021 6:18:49 PM(UTC)
ClearanceQ

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I received a TO (which I accepted) a few weeks ago for a civilian position at a federal/military facility that requires me to obtain Secret clearance. I submitted the SF86 eQip sometime last week and was notified by the HR rep within the past day that the investigator observed "Derogatory Information" on my eQip regarding an entry I made in the Previous Employment and Non-Criminal Court Action sections.

I was previously fired from a job back during the winter for "not being a good fit," and the only thing I had to report in the Non-Criminal Court Actions section was a traffic court hearing for a non-criminal offense I attended 7-8 yrs ago which was adjudicated in my favor. I openly listed and discussed both items in the eQip.

Of course, I now have a few questions. Could these two issues potentially be significant enough to result in my clearance application being denied? The job firing had nothing to do with me being malicious with network/IT content or personal behavior issues and was literally an issue of me being evaluated as not a good fit for the position (I was let to during training when they realized they wanted someone with more experience).

For what it's worth, the HR rep said that she spoke with the hiring manager after being notified of the eQip issues and said that the manager still wants to proceed with hiring me... but I'm worried about actually receiving the clearance in the first place. If the investigator already observed what they consider to be derogatory information just based on what I submitted in the eQip (and assuming that the actual investigation itself hasn't even started yet), should I take that as an indication that this is going to be a huge uphill battle?

Probably worth noting that I have no criminal record whatsoever (only other "run-in" with law enforcement is a <$300 speeding ticket I was issued over 7 years ago), no history of illegal drug use, nothing in collections according to my Experian profile, and no adverse history with respect to managing/paying debts (although I do have a substantial student loan balance).

Thanks in advance to anyone who can provide insight or advice.
frankgonzalez  
#2 Posted : Thursday, October 21, 2021 5:49:16 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: ClearanceQ Go to Quoted Post
I received a TO (which I accepted) a few weeks ago for a civilian position at a federal/military facility that requires me to obtain Secret clearance. I submitted the SF86 eQip sometime last week and was notified by the HR rep within the past day that the investigator observed "Derogatory Information" on my eQip regarding an entry I made in the Previous Employment and Non-Criminal Court Action sections.

I was previously fired from a job back during the winter for "not being a good fit," and the only thing I had to report in the Non-Criminal Court Actions section was a traffic court hearing for a non-criminal offense I attended 7-8 yrs ago which was adjudicated in my favor. I openly listed and discussed both items in the eQip.

Of course, I now have a few questions. Could these two issues potentially be significant enough to result in my clearance application being denied? The job firing had nothing to do with me being malicious with network/IT content or personal behavior issues and was literally an issue of me being evaluated as not a good fit for the position (I was let to during training when they realized they wanted someone with more experience).

For what it's worth, the HR rep said that she spoke with the hiring manager after being notified of the eQip issues and said that the manager still wants to proceed with hiring me... but I'm worried about actually receiving the clearance in the first place. If the investigator already observed what they consider to be derogatory information just based on what I submitted in the eQip (and assuming that the actual investigation itself hasn't even started yet), should I take that as an indication that this is going to be a huge uphill battle?

Probably worth noting that I have no criminal record whatsoever (only other "run-in" with law enforcement is a <$300 speeding ticket I was issued over 7 years ago), no history of illegal drug use, nothing in collections according to my Experian profile, and no adverse history with respect to managing/paying debts (although I do have a substantial student loan balance).

Thanks in advance to anyone who can provide insight or advice.
Based on what you said, I wouldn't worry (presuming it is 100% accurate). HR could have screwed up (do you have a very unusual name that it is unlikely someone else would have a similar name, or do you have a common name?) and confused you with another person they are processing. Could be the investigator did the same thing and mixed up case files. Could be they found something that contradicts what you claim and then you will be asked to explain.

You should have voted Cthulu...the greatest of all Evils
ClearanceQ  
#3 Posted : Thursday, October 21, 2021 1:04:22 PM(UTC)
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I don't think HR has me mixed up with someone else since I do actually have two "blips" in the sections they mentioned (Employment History and Court Actions) -- I was just taken aback that they were notified by the investigator that they both count as "Derogatory Information." If an instance of getting fired from a job for general poor fit a few weeks into training and a single instance of attending traffic court are considered derogatory-enough to prompt the investigator to ask the hiring manager if he still wants to hire me, then it's a wonder the overall clearance denial rate isn't higher than it's reported to be.
someoldguy  
#4 Posted : Thursday, October 21, 2021 1:13:42 PM(UTC)
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I question how accurately HR understands the security process and whether they misspoke... perhaps there was some sort of indication that you answered "yes" to some of the relevant questions. If you only accepted the offer a few weeks ago, I doubt it has even been assigned to an investigator yet and I'm surprised that the investigative agency would share any such info with the hiring agency.

Anyway, just having "derogatory information" is not disqualifying, it really just means something that needs to be looked into so they can get more information for the adjudicator. It doesnt sound like you have anything to worry about, but possibly your case will take a little longer.
DISCLAIMER: You read it on an open internet forum :)
ClearanceQ  
#5 Posted : Thursday, October 21, 2021 3:43:55 PM(UTC)
ClearanceQ

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Originally Posted by: someoldguy Go to Quoted Post
I question how accurately HR understands the security process and whether they misspoke... perhaps there was some sort of indication that you answered "yes" to some of the relevant questions. If you only accepted the offer a few weeks ago, I doubt it has even been assigned to an investigator yet and I'm surprised that the investigative agency would share any such info with the hiring agency.

Anyway, just having "derogatory information" is not disqualifying, it really just means something that needs to be looked into so they can get more information for the adjudicator. It doesnt sound like you have anything to worry about, but possibly your case will take a little longer.


Thanks for the info. Hopefully I'll have an opportunity to clear things up with the investigator once they start evaluating my case. Also, on that topic -- would you have an estimate of when my case will likely be handed off to an investigator by?
BackGdInvestigator  
#6 Posted : Friday, October 22, 2021 5:07:20 AM(UTC)

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It is unlikely an investigator reported back to your HR about your entries. A screener probably noted the two areas on your SF86.

These are normal entries and if these are your only issues, you should be fine.

FWIW, almost every case I work has reportable issues. There are few, rare, instant disqualifying issues in this process.

Edited by user Friday, October 22, 2021 5:08:01 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

*DISCLAIMER*Correctly filling out your security forms will not guarantee you a clearance in 3 months BUT be sloppy and your case will be in the field a heck of a lot longer, guaranteed.
ClearanceQ  
#7 Posted : Friday, October 22, 2021 10:59:40 AM(UTC)
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@backgdinvestigator, Thanks for the info. Just out of curiosity, do you know how long it usually takes for a case to be passed on to an investigator after an HR employee has completed the initial screening and the hiring manager has confirmed that they want to proceed with hiring the candidate?
BackGdInvestigator  
#8 Posted : Friday, October 22, 2021 4:31:58 PM(UTC)

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That is a simple question that actually has a very complex equation.
-
there is no normal time. The process does not start until your eQip is submitted and the requesting agency pays for the investigation. The you have the case type, the issues, the investigator workload for the area, and how cooperative everyone on your questionnaire is with the process.

If you have a Tier 3, no news is good news. If your issue(s) require an interview, the fact your volunteered them means you will be interviewed sooner than later in the process.
*DISCLAIMER*Correctly filling out your security forms will not guarantee you a clearance in 3 months BUT be sloppy and your case will be in the field a heck of a lot longer, guaranteed.
ClearanceQ  
#9 Posted : Saturday, October 23, 2021 1:15:01 AM(UTC)
ClearanceQ

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Originally Posted by: BackGdInvestigator Go to Quoted Post
That is a simple question that actually has a very complex equation.
-
there is no normal time. The process does not start until your eQip is submitted and the requesting agency pays for the investigation. The you have the case type, the issues, the investigator workload for the area, and how cooperative everyone on your questionnaire is with the process.

If you have a Tier 3, no news is good news. If your issue(s) require an interview, the fact your volunteered them means you will be interviewed sooner than later in the process.


Thanks again. Just out of curiosity, do you happen to know if having a massive student loan balance (think $250k+) and a lousy DTI ratio could result in clearance denial on its own, even if the loan accounts are in good standing (never delinquent) and are exclusively federal loans that are eligible for income-driven repayment plans?

Also, over the last 5-6 years, I have held a handful of work-from-home online "jobs" that primarily involved answering surveys on an irregular, every-now-and-then basis. Since it's been so long since I had some of the jobs and because a few of them were very short stints (or I just hardly ever logged in to actually do the work), I have forgotten the details of several of the jobs. I included the information on the eQip for the online jobs I held long enough to remember the details of, but I'm not sure how to approach the issue of the online jobs I've forgotten the details of. Should I try to get in touch with the investigator to tell them that there may be other random work-from-home jobs similar to the ones I included on the eQip that I can't recall the details of? (In retrospect, I wouldn't have randomly signed up for these jobs like I did over the years if I'd known I'd hardly ever work some of them.)
FrankJr  
#10 Posted : Sunday, October 24, 2021 11:47:33 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: ClearanceQ Go to Quoted Post
@backgdinvestigator, Thanks for the info. Just out of curiosity, do you know how long it usually takes for a case to be passed on to an investigator after an HR employee has completed the initial screening and the hiring manager has confirmed that they want to proceed with hiring the candidate?


That's not how it works.


Rhetorical, Derogatory Information is on the eQip; specifically Previous Employment and Non-Criminal Court Action. How is it a surprise someone noticed the derogatory information on the form?

HR does not do clearance. HR does not contact the hiring manager to determine if the hiring manager want to move forward with the candidate based on information submitted for clearance; or at least the candidate would not be informed as such.

The feds pay too much attention to hiring and firing. Employers seldom indicate the real reason for firing an employee. Courts plead cased from criminal cases to non criminal cases every day. A court action is a court action.

How on earth are you even talking to HR? I couldn't get the HR person to contact me even when the HR person told me to contact them...
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