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Cost of Security Clearance Investigations
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OPM recently announced (FIN 07-08) the prices of their investigative products for Fiscal Year 2008.  The cost of some high end security clearance products, which involve considerable field investigative work, increased about 4.8 percent, and the low end products that rely mostly on automated checks increased about 8.6 percent.  Here are the new prices on the most common security clearance investigations:

Investigation Priority Handling Standard Service
NACLC $260 $210
ANACI $281 $239
SSBI-PR $2,752 $2,517
SSBI $4,085 $3,719

Are these prices reasonable?  Why isn’t Priority Handling requested on more SSBIs, if they only cost 10 percent more and seem to take half the time? Would requiring all federal contractors to pay for investigations of their employees/applicants affect the price, the type/number of requests, or the turnaround time?



  1. I was a priority case four years ago. I had held a Secret clearance in the Army but required TS/SCI with poly as a contractor. It makes sense for the candidate and the contractor to choose this avenue. As an employee, you want to join the workforce as soon as possible. A person can only wait so long for “the process” During my investigation I wasn’t being paid by my now current employer, so I worked for a real estate developer during the recent boom. I actually began to like the real estate field and was receiving great salary increases. Before my clearance came through I had almost matched my offered salary by the defense contractor. Needless to say if “the process” had taken much longer, I would have had to decline the contractor position due to financial reasons.

    As an employer, I think it makes sense to pay for the priority service. The company makes no revenue on the contract until the seat is warm with a body. It is my understanding that it cost roughly $15,000 to hire a new employee. (orientation, lost productivity by others for training, etc), so an additional $4,085 doesn’t seem to be a bad investment. If the clearance process takes to long, some of your contingent employees will look elsewhere and the employer must start the hiring process all over again.

  2. This sounds odd to me so I am asking at large. I currently hold a Secret clearance with the Army and am applying for a new MOS. It requires a Top Secret S/C. The civilian contractor who helps our company file S/C apps told me that I will be charged the full cost of the SCI if my clearance isn’t granted. Is that in anyway true? Thanks.

  3. I have heard different time frames involving the length of time you clearance stays active when you change careers to a job that does not require a clearance.

    My question is if you leave a company and work a job that does not require a clearance at one point do you become unatractive to government employers because you no longer have a clearance.

    Some people say you should weight until your 5 year update if you are close… that way it is active for 5 years.

    Others have said it will stay active for 2 years regardless if its past your 5 year update.. just don’t leave in the middle of the 5 year update…

    can anybody shed any light on this? thanks.

  4. JADEAN,

    Neither scenario is correct. If you leave a company and no longer need access, the clearance will go inactive, usually for a two-year period. If you are picked up by someone, the authorized company may or may not take ownership and bring it up-to-date. Even if you renew through a PR and leave, the clearance does not remain active. There is always the possibility of completing a new process as well. If you are inactive, but in JPAS your odds will definitely increase as you have shown you are clearable.

  5. Pat,

    Never heard of anyone having to pay. Besides, SCI is not a clearance, just a level of access. The company should not submit if there are alot of negative issues present. Your clearance update is a DoD matter not a civilian contractor’s. I am also 20 years retired military and never have seen anyone have to pay because of denial.

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