In another recent Defense Office of Hearing and Appeals (DOHA) case the board decided that the concerns about the applicant’s recreational illegal drug use over a ten-year period that spanned from 2001 to 2011 were mitigated. The applicant disclosed information detailing his recreational drug use from 2001 to 2011 that included the use of marijuana, hallucinogenic mushrooms, and illegal use of prescription drugs. These concerns fall under Guideline H (Drug Involvement) and as a result, a Statement of Reasons (SOR) was issued to the applicant.
A year after the Washington Navy Yard shootings security clearance process reform is moving forward, albeit slowly and methodically. A recent Washington Post article highlighted the progress already made in certain areas, but also came to the conclusion that there is still quite a bit of work to be done before any meaningful changes are effected. Among the changes underway are reducing the number of clearance holders to those that actually need them, decreasing the intervals in between reinvestigations, and updating the continuous evaluation process to make it more robust and effective.
Can individuals access classified national security information without having undergone the background investigation process and been granted a security clearance? Normally the answer is no, but there are certain instances where the requirement is waived. Here are some of the exceptions:
The President and members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives do not undergo the normal background investigation process and are not granted security clearances. They may be granted access to classified information relating to matters under the jurisdiction of the respective committees to which they are assigned and if access is needed to perform their duties in connection with such assignments. This does not apply to their staff members, who are required to undergo the investigation and clearance process just like everyone else.
As a security professional I do a lot of reading and research to keep up with the constant changes in my chosen career field. During the course of my reading I have come to the conclusion that many people who apply for federal contractor or civil servant positions seem confused as to what types of positions there are and what investigative requirements are needed for each. In addition to understanding your position designation it is important to be aware of the type of investigation required based upon that determination. This confusion has been promulgated by inaccurate information in numerous security clearance articles written by those who never really worked in the personnel security field, but are now “subject matter experts.”