Question for anyone that has/had a US security clearance - Shoot the Breeze - Engineer Boards
Jump to content
Engineer Boards
Sign in to follow this  
random_soldier1337

Question for anyone that has/had a US security clearance

Recommended Posts

What is the point of withdrawing from a check while receiving clearance if one has committed a heinous crime?

From what I have discussed with some friends, once someone is denied, they are blacklisted from clearances. Someone in such a situation, would they have anything to lose whether they withdrew or not? Just morbidly curious.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

not tracking - are you asking why someone would withdraw from a background check once it has begun?  Secret or Top Secret level?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If they knowingly falsified info on the clearance application, that in and of itself is a felony.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hm, interesting question. I don't know. Maybe just to save money. If the person doesn't need the clearance anymore or they are expecting not to get it for some reason, then they (or whoever is paying for it, like their company) might withdraw to save some of the cost. I know a clearance can cost thousands of dollars per person. (Google says $3k to $15k.) But I don't know exactly when in the process those costs are incurred.

Edited by jean15paul

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This question is best asked of your site contact / contract manager.  We'll only speculate what could happen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, Road Guy said:

not tracking - are you asking why someone would withdraw from a background check once it has begun?  Secret or Top Secret level?

Not sure what you meant by not tracking. First question, yes. Second question, any level.

21 hours ago, Supe said:

If they knowingly falsified info on the clearance application, that in and of itself is a felony.  

And assuming they told the truth and they did their time, reformed and the incident was over at least a decade ago. Would it still cause problems then?

17 hours ago, blybrook PE said:

This question is best asked of your site contact / contract manager.  We'll only speculate what could happen.

I'm a student actually. I'm not in the process. I'm not expecting much more than speculation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, random_soldier1337 said:

nd assuming they told the truth and they did their time, reformed and the incident was over at least a decade ago. Would it still cause problems then?

It's at the discretion of the Department of State.  They can deny for whatever reason they want, even if you weren't convicted.  If you have a spotless record you may get through, but any criminal behavior is evaluated as a deficiency in your ability to follow rules/regulations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think with the lower level security clearance people can get past things, there were people I went to OCS with that had DUI's and similar offenses more than a decade prior and they were able to get the Secret Clearances - But what I heard from the 3 guys that branched MI that those offenses wouldn't be tolerated.

FWIW I went through the FBI's hiring program after 911 - I had an offense when I was 16 (got caught playing mailbox baseball) and those fuckers still were very interested to know about it (I was like 30 then, lol and that was after having a TS in the Army)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Supe said:

It's at the discretion of the Department of State.  They can deny for whatever reason they want, even if you weren't convicted.  If you have a spotless record you may get through, but any criminal behavior is evaluated as a deficiency in your ability to follow rules/regulations.

Yeah, true. As stated before by another, we can only speculate. Though the whole point is to make an educated guess. With that said, what you say is interesting. I'll just say that with the advent of the internet and what some have said as well as the circumstances in some poorer countries where the market for software goods is limited and how difficult it is to police that situation, many people may have committed a crime, regardless. I don't know if I can really comment on the justifications, though, if say anything more about this.

3 hours ago, aog said:

What army are you in?

No army. Just a student at a university.

2 hours ago, Road Guy said:

I think with the lower level security clearance people can get past things, there were people I went to OCS with that had DUI's and similar offenses more than a decade prior and they were able to get the Secret Clearances - But what I heard from the 3 guys that branched MI that those offenses wouldn't be tolerated.

FWIW I went through the FBI's hiring program after 911 - I had an offense when I was 16 (got caught playing mailbox baseball) and those fuckers still were very interested to know about it (I was like 30 then, lol and that was after having a TS in the Army)

Could you please give me the full forms of OCS, MI and TS? Also what do you mean by wouldn't be tolerated? Like during their time there? Since they already had that on their record.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've worked for a couple defense contractors in the past. One of my jobs required a Public Trust clearance, pretty low level. The Public Trust requirement came up in the middle of an existing program, and 1500 existing employees all had to apply. I don't know for sure, but I didn't hear of anyone getting rejected.

The same company had other programs with much higher levels of clearance, and some people get rejected for the smallest things. It all depends. I think for lessor offenses it often comes down to how you do on the lie detector test and/or interview. I know one concern is if there's anything that could be used to blackmail you. I've heard of people getting rejected for having affairs and not wanting their spouse to find out. Nothing illegal about that, but it's easy blackmail material. The process isn't about figuring out if your a "good" person; it's about figuring out if you're a risk.

But on the original question of why someone would withdraw. I think it's just about avoiding the cost of the investigation if it's no longer necessary or suspected that you won't be approved.

Edited by jean15paul

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Based on the user name I assumed you were in the military or former military

OCS- Officer Candidate School (all Army Officers must have a minimum secret)

MI- Military Intelligence

TS -Top Secret

I am only familiar with clearances for military personnel, in general you cant be in the military and be a felon - so you wouldn't be able to get Secret or Top Secret in the Military with a felony on your record because they wouldn't be permitted in the military anyways - not sure how it is for defense and other civilian needs for clearances.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, jean15paul said:

...

But on the original question of why someone would withdraw. I think it's just about avoiding the cost of the investigation if it's no longer necessary or suspected that you won't be approved.

 

11 minutes ago, Road Guy said:

...

I am only familiar with clearances for military personnel, in general you cant be in the military and be a felon - so you wouldn't be able to get Secret or Top Secret in the Military with a felony on your record because they wouldn't be permitted in the military anyways - not sure how it is for defense and other civilian needs for clearances.

Also for military and direct government employees, the government covers or waives the cost of the clearance. For non-government people (contractors, etc) someone has to write a big check for every clearance.

That's part of the reason that if you already have a clearance, it's SO MUCH EASIER to find a job with government contractors. They don't have to cover the cost and the time of the clearance, and risk you possibly being rejected. There are websites and job fairs dedicated exclusively to people with existing clearances. If you have one, it should definitely be on your resume.

Edited by jean15paul

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, jean15paul said:

I've worked for a couple defense contractors in the past. One of my jobs required a Public Trust clearance, pretty low level. The Public Trust requirement came up in the middle of an existing program, and 1500 existing employees all had to apply. I don't know for sure, but I didn't hear of anyone getting rejected.

The same company had other programs with much higher levels of clearance, and some people get rejected for the smallest things. It all depends. I think for lessor offenses it often comes down to how you do on the lie detector test and/or interview. I know one concern is if there's anything that could be used to blackmail you. I've heard of people getting rejected for having affairs and not wanting their spouse to find out. Nothing illegal about that, but it's easy blackmail material. The process isn't about figuring out if your a "good" person; it's about figuring out if you're a risk.

But on the original question of why someone would withdraw. I think it's just about avoiding the cost of the investigation if it's no longer necessary or suspected that you won't be approved.

Ah thanks. That elucidates much. Though, I understand one should not be blackmailed easily, if at all. But I don't quite see the relationship between that and a felony. Unless it was drugs, money or sex related. Then again, I can't imagine many crimes that are not related to those.

Also thanks for telling me there is a cost associated. No one else mentioned that. Most likely they always had government jobs when they got it so they for whatever reason, did not mention it. Maybe it was assumed that someone else would bear the burden.

One thing to clear though, just to be absolutely sure, if you feel they could find anything in your past that would make you a risk, you could presume that you won't be approved and so you would withdraw. My original question actually meant to ask something along those lines. Say, for a hypothetical example, you have a mutual family member to your extended family, where some shady business is going on. Clearly, you have no control over extended family. Let's just throw in for fun the fact that mutual family member is one of your dear parents and extended family is in a corrupt nation where telling the authorities does nothing but paint a target on your back. It doesn't seem like you can do much, so you turn a blind eye. As you said earlier, it's not about good or bad, it's about how much of a risk you are and in this case, you may be a big risk. So what do you do? All these family members don't seem to be going away anytime soon nor the situation becoming better. If you don't apply, you don't get the job anyway. But if you do, it's very likely you will be disqualified and blacklisted (I assume everyone rejected gets blacklisted from previous discussions elsewhere). Do you have anything to lose either way? Or only to gain by attempting to apply for the job?

3 hours ago, Road Guy said:

Based on the user name I assumed you were in the military or former military

OCS- Officer Candidate School (all Army Officers must have a minimum secret)

MI- Military Intelligence

TS -Top Secret

I am only familiar with clearances for military personnel, in general you cant be in the military and be a felon - so you wouldn't be able to get Secret or Top Secret in the Military with a felony on your record because they wouldn't be permitted in the military anyways - not sure how it is for defense and other civilian needs for clearances.

Ah sorry. No that's just a name I use.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've never heard of anyone "withdrawing" from a background investigation, but I suppose if it is being done by a private company that is paying for it, maybe you can.

Seems pointless to me, though. If the un-named crime is serious enough to warrant a rejection, it will be found out during a background investigation, today or 20 years from now. While questions about drug use etc. are limited to the past 7 years, a criminal record check will turn up any criminal violations for a much longer period (not sure if there are exceptions).  So I don't think there is such a thing as "blacklisting" because if you are rejected today for a crime committed in the past, you will be rejected again 10 or 20 years from now when you apply again.  So it really doesn't matter - I say just go through with it.

As many others have mentioned, the final judgment depends on level of security clearance required, the job itself, and the nature of the past offense. I have a good friend who got a sensitive federal job (which I assume requires a top secret clearance) with a record containing both a DUI and a US Customs arrest for having marijuana residue in his bag upon entering the country.  But when it comes to foreign issues and foreign family issues, I think the bigger concern is whether you might be a risk because of those relations - if say you have criminal family members who might ask you for information, and the relationship is such that you might feel compelled to provide the information.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh. I had assumed from some prior discussions I have had that blacklisting was a thing and n+x applications were rejected if the nth was considered seriously and some rejection factor was found. Of course, I have also heard of mitigating factors from looking around and it does sound like it would be stupid to reject someone who was a poor candidate before but exceptional a decade or 2 later on only so that their expertise is made use of by other parties. Though, I assume this case itself would be highly exceptional, correct?

For the family example, I presume that the ultimate judgement relies on the investigators themselves. I mean from my word and most of my deeds I could have proven that I won't give family anything requiring clearance but there may be that one incident that you have forgotten, that somebody blurts out, right?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm blacklisted cause of a biased jury and a guilty plea.  I don't even try to apply for background checks anymore!  That plea saved me from the felony charges though...

Last time I filled out that damn SF-97 form, it requires information going back 10 years and the feds want all the information on all immediate family, including your spouse's (if applicable). Something to do with foreign assets and wanting to know if you can be swayed towards betraying your country.

Know one guy that married a woman who had two prior convictions for weapons charges (right at the 10 year mark for her). Between that and the fact he had no contact with certain family members, his application was delayed for 4 weeks and he had to go through some special interview. Never bothered to get details on that though. He has his clearances now, but expects trouble when renewing in the next year or two. Things hang on your records for more years than I'd like to consider.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was denied on the basis of my name! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, PeeWee said:

his application was delayed for 4 weeks and he had to go through some special interview

You sure it was actually delayed and/or a "special" interview?  I am in the process of getting secret clearance for a move to the DOE and the process has a lot more involved than in the past.  I had secret clearance before when I was with the Corps of Engineers that, technically, is within the 10 year window but it gets turned off when you leave the agency where you've got the clearance.  Filling out my info on e-QIP was a breeze because most of my information was still there from when I got clearance 9 years ago so I just had to update some info.  I was still told it could potentially take several months and I just had someone come out to do an interview which was basically just verifying all the info I provided online was still correct.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, jeb6294 said:

You sure it was actually delayed and/or a "special" interview?  I am in the process of getting secret clearance for a move to the DOE and the process has a lot more involved than in the past.  I had secret clearance before when I was with the Corps of Engineers that, technically, is within the 10 year window but it gets turned off when you leave the agency where you've got the clearance.  Filling out my info on e-QIP was a breeze because most of my information was still there from when I got clearance 9 years ago so I just had to update some info.  I was still told it could potentially take several months and I just had someone come out to do an interview which was basically just verifying all the info I provided online was still correct.

I called it delayed because he informed me that he was called by someone in the Gov't stating they processed the application but needed further information through an interview to discuss some of the answers that did not fall within the expected responses. The interview took 4 weeks to schedule. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah...my interview was right after I had submitted my paperwork.  Seemed kind of silly because she had a printout of what I'd sent and basically just verified everything I had provided.  Uh, yeah, I just sent the stuff in two weeks ago, address is still the same.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...