How to Report Another Clearance Holder
We all know about having to self-report information as a security clearance holder, but what about reporting on another clearance holder? This scenario is played out almost every day: another individual with whom you work has a security clearance and you become aware of some conduct that could be an issue. It could be collection agencies calling the workplace looking for them, an alcohol related incident (DUI), indications of illegal drug use, security violations at work or engaging in some type of criminal conduct. What should you do? Should you report the information to anyone? If so, who do you report it to? This ethical decision-making process is exacerbated by not wanting to get a friend or co-worker in trouble, having a fear of creating tension in the working environment, or even possible retaliation.
As a clearance holder it is your obligation under Executive Order 12968 to report any information that raises doubts about whether another employee’s continued eligibility for access to classified information is clearly consistent with national security. Some will argue that a DUI or falling behind on some bills is not serious enough to report or ruin someone’s career. However, they are only seeing one small piece of the big picture, as there may be other things going on that they are not aware of. Most importantly, they are not trained adjudicators and do not have the authority to make that determination. A recent Supreme Court decision involving an FBI employee upheld the premise that information of concern reported by third parties deemed credible can be used to suspend or revoke a security clearance and that all parties with knowledge of adverse information have an obligation to report it as long as the information is not knowingly false.
If you are aware of information about a clearance holder that may be concerning you should contact your Agency Personnel Security Office or Company FSO. Do not approach the individual, co-workers or supervisors about it as that may cause a unpredictable reaction or result in unintended consequences. Let the security professionals make the determination about what to do and handle any necessary inquires. Contractors should read Industrial Security Letter (ISL) 2011-04 and the NISPOM Section 3 to learn more about reporting requirements.