As we all know, anyone who holds a security clearances must report certain types of information to their Security Officer. This includes such things as a change in marital or cohabitation status, foreign travel and contacts, criminal charges, financial issues, and drug or alcohol abuse. Depending on your agency or company, there may be additional information that needs to be reported. The Department of Energy (DOE) has labs and sites across the U.S. work involving highly classified nuclear weapons information with a large cleared contractor workforce. Because of the highly sensitive nature of their work, the DOE has one of the most robust security clearance continuous evaluation programs across the government and are an excellent model other agencies might consider mirroring.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Inspector General’s Office, in collaboration with the DOJ, completed an investigation into two federal contracting companies, NetCracker Technology Corp. and Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC), and found evidence that from 2008 through 2013, they used employees on a DISA contract without them having the required security clearances.
60 Minutes aired a special report on November 8th that revealed the details of their special investigation into how the likes of Snowden, Alexis, and Manning were all able to pass the background investigation process and be granted security clearances. The report revealed data sources and information that clearly brought to light incidents with glaring red flags that should have raised concerns and resulted in immediate suspension of their security clearances.
A bill that would prohibit Federal agencies and contractors from asking potential job applicants about their criminal history prior to being given a conditional offer of employment was introduced by Congress and submitted to the Senate on September 10, 2015. Called the “Fair Chance to Compete for Jobs Act of 2015”, the intent of the bill is to give the over 70 million people in the U.S. who have criminal records a fair chance at being selected for employment without having to overcome the bias that comes attached with having a criminal record. There are, however, stipulations or exceptions when the position being applied for requires consideration of a criminal record prior to a conditional offer being made as required by law. These would include: