A recent Defense Office of Hearing and Appeals case that involved financial, criminal conduct, and personal conduct issues resulted in the DOD CAF declining to grant the applicant a clearance. The applicant appealed the decision and had two hearings and was scheduled for a third prior to being terminated by his employer. When an applicant is terminated before background investigation is complete there is normally no requirement by the government to continue to process and adjudicate the case pursuant to DOD Directives which state “DOHA’s authority to adjudicate an Industrial Security Clearance application is predicated upon the applicant’s need for access to classified information. Should that need be terminated, DOHA is divested of jurisdiction, and all actions pursuant to the Directive cease.
I recently ran across a DOE security clearance appeals case where an individual was denied a security clearance due to financial issue concerns. Well, you say, so what? Financial issues are the number one reason for a denial, right? What made this case unique was that it involved a psychological condition known as a self-defeating personality disorder that led the individual to financially take care of others, eventually exceeding his capability to financially take care of himself and his own family. The judge in this case was of the opinion that although the disorder does not fall under specific mental condition criteria, the fact that this individual was so easily talked into giving away hundreds of thousands of dollars to support people not even related to him makes it a national security concern. Even though mitigation in the form of counseling and discharge of the debts through bankruptcy were considered, a concern still existed that the individual would employ poor judgment in the future by continuing to engage in other self-defeating financial decisions that would again become a security risk.
Many government contractors live and work all over the world in areas where family members cannot go. Locals are hired to take care of basic necessities such as food services, laundry, and housecleaning. Naturally, it is tempting to engage in extracurricular activities, as well. However, if you hold a security clearance you should think twice before engaging in sexual relations with a local foreign national, especially if you are married. A DoD contractor found this out when the Defense Office of Hearing and Appeals upheld the decision to deny his clearance based upon his sexual relationship with his housekeeper/cook while he worked in Kyrgyzstan for a year, his failure to disclose the relationship to his employer, and his lack of candor about it during the hearing.
Demonstrating good judgment and reliability by following rules and procedures in the workplace is a significant factor for determining eligibility for access to national security information, as a recent DoD security clearance applicant found out. In this particular Defense Office of Hearing and Appeals case, the employee was issued a statement of reasons for a pattern of a failure to follow rules in employment resulting in terminations. The judge also considered the applicant’s inconsistent statements and lack of full disclosure about the details of the incidents that resulted in his getting fired from two jobs.