The Office of the Director or National Intelligence (ODNI) recently published a fact sheet on their website outlining some changes being implemented regarding the way that the Continuous Evaluation Program (CEP) will be conducted on security clearance holders. These changes were effected as a result of clearance reform initiatives that identified gaps in between investigation cycles where conduct of potential concern went unnoticed or unreported. Initially the current focus of these changes are for select agencies that have individuals who hold Top Secret/Special Compartmented Information (TS/SCI) clearances, but the program eventually will be expanded to include all TS/SCI access holders.
Not many are aware that Executive Order 10865 not only provides the authorities and guidance for safeguarding classified information, but it also provides due process requirements for those who may be issued a letter of intent to revoke or deny and a statement of reasons.
Below are the provisions each agency must follow with certain very narrow exceptions:
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.