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5 Steps to Gaining a Security Clearance

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5 Steps to Gaining a Security Clearance

A security clearance is often essential to landing a job with government contractors or federal agencies who handle sensitive information. Since the creation of the Department of Homeland Security and a huge demand for internet security work, there has never been a greater demand for employees to work on classified programs. Therefore, qualified job seekers will find that they have a tremendous advantage over non-cleared candidates; they will benefit by receiving a salary premium.

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    about 2 years ago

    20 comments

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    tekctrl

    about 5 years ago

    24 comments

    Moonflower; Security clearance requests are only accepted when required for current or anticipated duties. You must be offered a position requiring a clearance before one can be requested. You can't submit a request on your own in the hope that having a clearance granted will enhance your employability nor can you extend a clearance on your own once you've left said position unless you land a new position requiring a clearance shortly after leaving one.

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    Moonflower0915

    about 5 years ago

    2 comments

    Are you able to get Security Clearance on your own to have one to apply for jobs requiring one?

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    tekctrl

    about 5 years ago

    24 comments

    Scmauthor; I'm sorry to say that I've long since given up any hope of ever landing any sort of GS or contract spot. With over twenty years experience with the federal gov't, almost twenty years in the civilian sector, and a Masters degree, I'm going to collect Social Security before I'll collect a paycheck from Uncle again. I'm really tired of hearing how things are going to change for the better 'soon'. The only changes that I've seen in the twenty years (!) that I've been applying for GS and contractor spots have been to make things more restrictive, less transparent, and more difficult to qualify for. With constant and interminable hiring freezes, staffing cuts, changes to job descriptions post-application, and disappearing funding, not to mention the ever-more-restrictive clearance process, I don't see anything good happening any time soon.

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    scmauthor

    about 5 years ago

    6 comments

    tekctrl:
    I assume from your last post that you were not granted an interim clearance. Technically interim clearances are not “denied;” they are “declined.” You are correct; the government doesn’t have to give you a reason for an interim clearance declination. But for SF86 purposes you do not have to list the “declination” of an interim clearance. Actually all clearance applicants are automatically considered for an interim clearance by the Defense Industrial Security Clearance Office (DISCO) and most other clearance granting authorities.

    I understand your problem. Don’t be discouraged. Everything is changing right now in the U.S. Personnel Security Program (PSP), which includes employment suitability, employment fitness, and security clearances. The current 15 initial investigations will be phased out by late summer 2010 and replaced by 3 new investigations. The standards for these 3 new investigations were approved in Dec 08. Nothing has been said about interim clearances, and it is very likely that there will be no interim clearances in the future. So after next summer, you will probably not be at a disadvantage when completing against other job applicants who do not have a security clearance. Thus far the Joint Security and Suitability Reform Team (JSSRT) has delivered their planned changes to the PSP on schedule.

    In FY08 average end-to-end processing time for 90% of initial DoD clearances was 124 days. About 31% were completed in an average of 60 days. Other agencies have also improved their elapse times. After the new PSP is fully implemented (about August 2010) end-to-end turnaround time should decrease to an average of about 60 days for the top 90% of initial clearances. There will always be about 10% that take longer because of foreign residences or other complicating factors.

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    tekctrl

    about 5 years ago

    24 comments

    Addendum; I checked out your citation of DOD Directive 5220.6. Quoting from para 2.5 & 2.5.1 ... "2.5. (This directive) Does not apply to cases in which a security clearance is withdrawn because the applicant no longer has a need for access to classified information." This constitutes a blank check to the investigating agency, inasmuch as the investigation process is backlogged for months and months. Employers routinely request an interim clearance in order to start the billable hours as quickly as possible. Absent an interim clearance, no employer is going to sit on their hands for the 12-18 months that a full Secret or TS clearance now requires. They're going to withdraw their offer and move on to another candidate who can get an interim clearance and start work sooner. This effectively black lists every candidate who is ever denied an interim clearance, as they can never say they've not had a clearance denial. However, the investigating agency can say they never denied the clearance because it was withdrawn at the contractors request and therefore was never completed. That means that the SOR requirement is hollow and totally useless except as a CYA exercise.

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    tekctrl

    about 5 years ago

    24 comments

    Regarding the SOR requirements...I'm afraid that there's a disconnect somewhere in the system, then. When I inquired about the refusal, I was told in no uncertain terms "We don't have to tell you S**T, so take a hike". When I submitted the inquiry to my congressman, they recieved a more politely worded but identical response. Since I held a spotless TS for over twenty years, have no arrests, don't do drugs/porn/etc, and have no history of mental illness, I'm at a loss with no recourse. No contractor is going to bother making an offer to a candidate they can't get a clearance for, and answering "yes" to the question about whether you've ever been denied a clearance is an automatic denial again. Answering "no" would be misinformation, and again an automatic denial. Since, technically, the denial only applied to the request for an interim clearance, the investigating agency can truthfully say that the contractor withdrew their offer and there was no need to complete the investigation, hence the actual clearance was never completed, hence it wasn't denied, hence they don't have to comply with any SOR requirements. Rebuttal, anyone?

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    scmauthor

    about 5 years ago

    6 comments

    The current price charged by OPM for a Single Scope Background Investigation used for TS and SCI clearances is $3,888 ($4,271 for priority handling). OPM does about 80% of all security clearance investigations in the United States. Investigations for Confidential and Secret clearance only cost $221 for military and federal contractor personnel ($252 for new federal employees). Federal contractors rarely pay for clearance investigations. The cost of investigations for contractor personnel is pay for by government agencies, primarily the Defense Security Service.

    The requirement to send an SOR to an applicant who has been denied a security clearance has existed for a long time and is required by several government regulations. These regulations also give the applicant a right to rebut the SOR with or without a hearing and later appeal an adverse decision if necessary. One such regulation is DoD Directive 5220.6, which covers all defense contractors.

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    Skanger

    about 5 years ago

    6 comments

    PITN: Present in time need, based on the reality of the current situation and the needs of the operation. A PITN "S" or "TS" can be granted by the SO in charge of the operation. Usually granted on real time immediate need in the interest of the situation. JR

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    derkelte

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    As I see the current situation, the chances of an "outsider" obtaining a clearance is next to nil. Qualifications being equal, no government agency or contractor is willing to pay $15000 to get an unknown quantity cleared if they don't have to do so.
    Further, the "Catch-22" of the situation is that, by default, the only possibility to obtain the specific experience required is through government or contractor employment, both of which set employment requirements that cannot be met by someone who is not already familiar with the subject.
    I for one would be interested to learn the ways and means of entering this cirle of elite.

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    tekctrl

    over 5 years ago

    24 comments

    ScoobyDoo, you're mistaken. I've never seen (or heard of) any form of "SOR" from any source whatsoever. I even had my congressman inquire and he too was told to take a hike..."We don't have to tell you anything!" This was summer of '08, so there's been more than enuff time, even given governmental 'processing' requirements. I had a blemish-free TS for over twenty years, and a perfectly good Secret clearance for 2 yrs (as a gov't contractor) shortly after I left the military. Unfortunately, you can't keep a clearance unless you're working in a job that requires it. Further, you can't request a renewal or re-clearance unless you've been offered a position requiring it.

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    Ellis

    over 5 years ago

    6 comments

    I would have expected that. Thank you for straightening this out.
    I guess then, that the information on page 14 (previous clearance(s) would be where I would need to go.
    Thanks

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    Account Removed

    over 5 years ago

    It my experience this is wrong. A Statement of Reason, SOR, is issued to the applicant when a clearance is denied.

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