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A basic how and why of federal employee security clearances

On Behalf of | Nov 4, 2022 | Security Clearances For Federal Employees |

If working for the federal government is part of your career path, you may need a security clearance for certain positions. A position’s job description may not necessarily determine the need by itself. As described by CybersecurityGuide.org, the determining factor often hinges on whether the position requires access to classified or sensitive information. Employment within certain U.S. governmental organizations could, however, require a security clearance regardless of the position’s responsibilities.

You may also require a security clearance to work for a contractor that supplies materials or technology to the United States government. As noted on the website of the Virginia-based defense technology and aerospace company Northrop Grumman, the majority of their employment positions require a security clearance.

What may I expect during a security clearance investigation?

Basically, you could expect a thorough investigation of your personal, financial and employment history. Proving U.S. citizenship is a necessary first step. Providing a birth certificate, U.S. passport or naturalization certificate should take care of the matter.

The investigation generally includes checking for a criminal record, mental health issues and foreign activities. Your supplied personal references and your finances could also be carefully reviewed along with your employment history. In some cases, such as for a high-level clearance, you may need to submit to a polygraph test.

What factors could result in a security clearance request denial?

A history of serious financial problems, such as bad debts, tax liens or repossessions, could result in a denial. A felony conviction may disqualify you based on the charge and when it occurred. You could also find your application disqualified if you have property holdings or family members in foreign countries. You may, however, present your case to the Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals and request a reconsideration of your application.