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.
Senate members grilled OPM Director Beth Colbert this week about concerns regarding the transition of background investigation responsibilities from OPM’s Federal Investigative Services (FIS) to the new National Background Investigations Bureau (NBIB). Among the concerns outlined in the letter of inquiry to OPM was the fear that the NBIB is simply a coat of paint designed to cover up the cracks left by the FIS and that no real reforms were in the works. Pointed out was the fact that FIS had a backlog of over 8,000 cases at the end of FY 2015, more than double from the previous fiscal year. Also disconcerting was the number of security clearance reinvestigations that were overdue.
The FY 2016 1st Quarter report on Insider Threat and Security Clearance Reform generated by ODNI shows that the timelines for several initiatives were not met. The Performance Accountability Council (PAC) is responsible for oversight and implementation of the proposed reforms and is the lead in unifying and standardizing the Federal Government’s efforts. Some of the initiatives currently in progress are: developing insider threat programs; updating continuous evaluation processes; coordination with Federal, State, and Tribal entities in sharing information; quality control and oversight of investigations and adjudications; and improving risk management tools regarding position designation and investigations. Here are some of the areas where ODNI milestones were missed: