National Counterintelligence and Security Center

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National Counterintelligence and Security Center

Below are examples of when your security clearance may not be eligible for reciprocity and gaining agencies will most likely require additional security clearance processing.

 

  • Your existing clearance was granted on an interim or temporary basis.
  • Your existing clearance was based on exception to standards.
  • The date of your last investigation, upon which your existing clearance is based, is older than seven years for Top Secret, 10 years for Secret, and 15 years for Confidential.
  • The position for which you are being considered requires a polygraph or a different type polygraph than you have taken in the past.
  • The position for which you are being considered has Special Access Program (SAP) requirements.
  • You are currently cleared at the Confidential or Secret level, and the position for which you are being considered requires a Top Secret clearance.

Below are examples where your concern is most likely a suitability or human resources (HR) process and is not a security clearance reciprocity issue.

 

  • The new employer requires you to fill out a pre-screening questionnaire for hiring purposes, which focuses on your personal character and conduct prior to be being hired.
  • The new employer requires a pre-hire medical examination.
  • The new employer requires you to fill out a Declaration for Federal Employment.

Reciprocity Policy

 

Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (IRTPA) – 17 December 2004
Title III of IRTPA established statutory guidelines for reciprocity of security clearances. This act provides congressional direction that all legitimate government clearances are to be accepted and transferable between and among government agencies. For additional information follow the above link.
 
Presidential Executive Order 12968 : “ Access To Classified Information” –7 August 1995
Signed by President Clinton, this Executive Order sets eligibility standards for agency heads in granting access to National Security Information and details the investigative and adjudicative requirements for each level of access. It also defines conditions for when reciprocity must be practiced and for when conditions allow for denial of reciprocity. For additional information follow the above link.
 
Presidential Executive Order 13467: “Reforming Processes Related to Suitability for Government Employment, Fitness for Contractor Employees, and Eligibility for Access to Classified National Security Information” – 2 July 2008
Signed by President Bush, this Executive Order established the Performance Accountability Council (PAC) chaired by the Deputy Director for Management, Office of Management and Budget. The PAC ensures alignment of security and suitability investigative and adjudicative processes. This Executive Order also established the Suitability Executive Agent and the Security Executive Agent. The Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) serves as the Suitability Executive Agent and the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) serves as the Security Executive Agent. For additional information follow the above link.
 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
 
Memorandums to Executive Departments and Agencies: “Reciprocal Recognition of Existing Personnel Security Clearances” -- 12 December 2005, 17 July 2006, and 14 November 2007
Signed by Clay Johnson, Deputy Director for Management, these three memorandums implemented guidance for uniform acceptance of compatible security clearances. The memorandums further clarified exceptions and introduced the Checklist of Permitted Exceptions to Reciprocity. For additional information follow the above link.
 
Director of National Intelligence Memorandum: “Executive Order 13467 and reciprocal Recognition of Existing Personnel Security Clearances” – 1 October 2008
Signed by DNI J.M. McConnell, this memorandum focused on the DNI’s commitment as Security Executive Agent, in streamlining the process by which eligibility for access to classified national security information is determined. Workforce mobility is assured by continued success of inter-agency reciprocity of security clearances. Executive Order 13467 directs reciprocal recognition while ensuring cost-effective, timely and efficient protection of the national interest. For additional information follow the above link.
 
Director of National Intelligence Community Policy Guidance 704.4 (ICPG 704.4): “Reciprocity of Personnel Security Clearance and Access Determinations” – 2 October 2008
This policy provides DNI guidance on reciprocity within the Intelligence Community (IC) and defines those areas where reciprocity must be supported by IC element heads and amplifies those special considerations and exceptions to reciprocity that apply within the IC to protect intelligence methods and sources. For additional information follow the above link.

 

Checklist of Permitted Exceptions to Reciprocity was published as an attachment to Deputy Director for Management (OMB) Memorandum (Dated 12 December 2005, Subject: Reciprocal Recognition of Existing Personnel Security Clearances; and revised on 17 July 2006). (Ref: ODNI Memo Dated 1 Oct 2008)

 

The checklist is to be used whenever an eligibility determination is to be made for access to classified information for an individual who already has a current access eligibility based upon the requisite investigation.

 

For the purpose of determining eligibility for access to classified information (to include highly sensitive programs), the gaining agency for an individual who already has current access eligibility with another government agency or program cannot:

 

  1. Request the individual complete a new Standard Form 86 (SF 86)
  2. Review existing background investigation for the individual
  3. Review existing security questionnaires (SF 86s) for the individual
  4. Initiate any new investigative checks, unless a permitted exception to reciprocity exists.

 

Examples of permitted exceptions include: an interim/temporary clearance; an out-of-scope investigation; or substantial information indicating EO 12968 standards may not be satisfied.  For access to a highly sensitive program (i.e. SCI, SAP, or Q) then permitted exceptions to reciprocity include: polygraph, waiver, deviation, and condition.

 

SECURITY vs SUITABILITY

 

A security clearance investigation is an inquiry into an individual's loyalty, character, trustworthiness and reliability to ensure that he or she is eligible for access to national security information.

 

"The Director of National Intelligence shall serve as the Security Executive Agent. As the Security Executive Agent the Director of National Intelligence shall direct the oversight of investigations and determinations of eligibility for access to classified information or eligibility to hold a sensitive position made by any agency; shall be responsible for developing uniform and consistent policies and procedures to ensure the effective, efficient, and timely completion of investigations and adjudications relating to determinations of eligibility for access to classified information or eligibility to hold a sensitive position."

–EO 13467

 

A suitability investigation is an inquiry into a person's identifiable character traits and conduct sufficient to decide whether an individual's employment or continued employment would or would not protect the integrity or promote the efficiency of the service.

 

"The Director of the Office of Personnel Management shall serve as the Suitability Executive Agent. As the Suitability Executive Agent, the Director of the Office of Personnel Management will be responsible for developing and implementing uniform and consistent policies and procedures to ensure the effective, efficient, and timely completion of investigations and adjudications relating to determinations of suitability and eligibility for logical and physical access."

–EO 13467

Security vs. Suitability

 

A security clearance investigation is an inquiry into an individual's loyalty, character, trustworthiness and reliability to ensure that he or she is eligible for access to national security information.

 

"The Director of National Intelligence shall serve as the Security Executive Agent. As the Security Executive Agent the Director of National Intelligence shall direct the oversight of investigations and determinations of eligibility for access to classified information or eligibility to hold a sensitive position made by any agency; shall be responsible for developing uniform and consistent policies and procedures to ensure the effective, efficient, and timely completion of investigations and adjudications relating to determinations of eligibility for access to classified information or eligibility to hold a sensitive position." – EO 13467

 

A suitability investigation is an inquiry into a person's identifiable character traits and conduct sufficient to decide whether an individual's employment or continued employment would or would not protect the integrity or promote the efficiency of the service.

 

"The Director of the Office of Personnel Management shall serve as the Suitability Executive Agent. As the Suitability Executive Agent, the Director of the Office of Personnel Management will be responsible for developing and implementing uniform and consistent policies and procedures to ensure the effective, efficient, and timely completion of investigations and adjudications relating to determinations of suitability and eligibility for logical and physical access." – EO 13467

Approach to Reform

 

Guided by the PAC, the goals of reform are being achieved through the following seven-step process. The PAC uses this construct regularly to define, focus and manage reform objectives and activities. The seven process modules provide the approach for reporting deliverables and measuring performance.

approachReform

 

Approach Reform arrow chart

VALIDATE NEED (VN)
For agencies that request investigations, Validate Need will provide a standard method to ensure that requests for investigations meet and do not exceed the needs of the positions being filled and do not duplicate prior investigations or adjudicative determinations that meet standards for those positions, thereby eliminating unnecessary investigations, improving timeliness, and reducing costs.

 

eAPPLICATION (eAPP)
For applicants and agency users who submit requests for background investigations, eApplication will collect information required for investigations, adjudications, and continuous evaluation through the use of information technology to minimize the need for manual review for data correction, leveraging storage of data to eliminate redundant data collection and support complete, accurate, and timely initiation of requests for investigations.

 

AUTOMATED RECORDS CHECKS (ARC)
For authorized investigating agencies and investigative service providers, ARC will provide an automated process to run subject data against appropriate government and validated commercial databases to collect, analyze, and validate data, and to flag potential issues, thereby providing cost, consistency, and time efficiencies.

 

eADJUDICATE (eADJ)
eAdjudication will provide standard sets of business rules to be computer executed for consistent, automated, electronic determinations, and provide adjudicative decision support tools.

 

ENHANCED SUBJECT INTERVIEW (ESI)
For investigators who interview subjects, ESI will provide a common framework for the complete collection and full development of favorable, unfavorable, and explanatory information from the subject.

 

EXPANDABLE FOCUSED INVESTIGATION (EFI)
For investigative service providers, EFI will provide a common framework to focus investigative resources on flagged cases to fully resolve all known and developed issues.

 

CONTINUOUS EVALUATION (CE)/PERIODIC REINVESTIGATION (PR)
For agencies with personnel who are eligible for access to classified information, CE will more frequently evaluate those personnel by using periodic, aperiodic, and event-driven assessments to better identify risks to national security.

National Counterintelligence and Security Center