Security Clearance question?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by LDfan, Apr 27, 2005.

  1. LDfan

    LDfan Supporting Actor

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    I have the chance at work to apply for a security clearance but had a few questions about the process.

    How picky are they about various things on the application. I'm clean as far as drug use and criminal stuff. What I'm worried about is financial stuff like debt load and a few 30 day late payments and such.

    Also, does the entire process still take 1+ year(s) to complete?

    Thanks,
    Jeff
     
  2. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    Depending on the clearance and the customer, the question usually comes down to whether or not you are a blackmail risk.

    They will most likely pull your credit report and score, and check out your finances. They are going to be concerned with how far in the past those late payments are, if you are barely keeping afloat--waiting for someone to throw you a lifeline, etc. They are going to be looking for unaccountable sources of income, tax returns, things like that. Where did that $9999 come from? Oh, and when did you make all those trips to Mexico?

    I am no expert, although I once held a clearance with extended background investigation. Mine took 7 months, fresh from college with nothing marring my past... although when I came out of the closet, it was quite an event.

    - Steve
     
  3. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Do a search on this topic in this forum, there were a few very illuminating posts. 1st reply is pretty much on target tho. Best advice I can give you is write down the truth and answer their questions as honestly as you can. Hell everyone in the US is somewhat in debt, its a national sport, dont try to hide it. They will find out =)
     
  4. Haggai

    Haggai Producer

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    A year at minimum for a full clearance is the norm for now at the place where I work.
     
  5. Jay Taylor

    Jay Taylor Supporting Actor

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    I agree with Steve & posten's information and advice.

    To add to their info, it’s been my experience that the length of time to obtain a security clearance depends upon what level of clearance the job requires.

    Obtaining a “Secret Clearance” may take a few months but getting a “Top Secret Clearance” with background investigation may take a year. There are also levels higher than Top Secret, some of which even the name of the clearance is classified.

    When investigating a squeaky clean person the clearance may be approved quickly. People with possible blackmail risks that Steve was referring to will take longer to investigate and they may never get a clearance.
     
  6. Michael Harris

    Michael Harris Screenwriter

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    Having had the honor of having a security clearance for 23 years, and counting, here is my $00.02.

    A year seems to be about the average. Given the fact that the post 9/11 world has created a greater demand for cleared folks, there is a huge strain on the investigative process. Since you did not specify the level of clearance you will require, if you are going to work as a contractor or gov't employee, and with what agency you will be working for since various communities have different standards and the process is far from uniform across the gov't, its hard to give a timeframe.

    Additional things that can cause delay from personal experiencce:

    1. Frequent moves;
    2. Extensive foreign travel; and
    3. Non-US relatives that you associate with.

    When looking at any type of "bad" information, the are looking for patterns. Are you habitual making late payments? Are there folks ready to break your legs for non-payment? Has it had an effect on your credit rating? Are you living outside of your means? These are the things that they'll be checking on.

    By the time you are scheduled to meet with an investigating agent, they will have done most of the automated stuff such as checking police records, credit records, school stuff, etc. Your meeting with the agent is your time to explain any problem issues. Be honest and complete.

    During my time in the Navy, I've seen more clearances revoked for financial misconduct (i.e bouncing checks, delinquent debts, etc.) then all other reasons combined.

    A good source of info on the process can be found in this FAQ.

    Good luck.
     
  7. PeterK

    PeterK Supporting Actor

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    What kind of clearance are you all talking about?? [​IMG] I am so confused
     
  8. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    We could tell you, Peter, but then we'd have to kill you, eh?

    [​IMG]

    - Steve
     
  9. PeterK

    PeterK Supporting Actor

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    damnit. [​IMG] I thought that might happen
    Oh well [​IMG]
     

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