Adjudication at one agency impacting present clearance at another?

I have a friend who is currently a SCI-cleared federal employee in one of the DoD IC elements. He received a COE from a different IC agency and is currently awaiting adjudication with them. If that adjudication for some reason comes back unfavorably, could that impact his current clearance and employment with DoD?

Cant say for sure, but if the second agency finds something that would cause him to be denied a clearance then it could definitely be a problem. However, if they find a problem that would cause him to be found “unsuitable” then maybe it won’t.

I heard of a person, similar situation, they were actually detailed to the agency that they were trying to get hired by. They ended up getting denied but did not lose their clearance… but their detail ended early.

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Many thanks. Two quick follow-up questions:

  1. RE: your first paragraph, what is the difference between cause for being “denied” vs. being found “unsuitable”? By “could definitely be a problem,” do you mean it could negatively impact clearance/employment status at present agency? I guess my friend had assumed his clearance at his current employer stands valid independent of determinations by the other agency.

  2. RE: your second paragraph, I assume this case was for a contractor? Wondering if circumstances are different in the case of a federal employee.

Many thanks again.

If your second investigation turns up anything that could cause you to be denied, you will have a problem with your current clearance. If the second investigation turns up issue that make you unsuitable for the position, you should be OK.

Unsuitability? Let’s say that you have foreign contacts that were mitigated for your current position because and you are only working on domestic projects. In your new position you will be traveling and working with foreign governments. Your second investigation may find you unsuitable because of your foreign contacts. This, however, will not effect your old post.

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  1. “Suitability” is a squishy sort of thing which (in my humble opinion) is sometimes used to deny employment without giving the applicant recourse to the appeals process when a clearance is denied. But from the few cases I’ve heard of, the denial letter usually includes a statement to the effect of “this is not a denial of security clearance.”
  2. No, this was for a government employee. They retained their clearance, but were no longer granted access to that one agency’s networks, so there was no point in keeping them at that site.
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Unsuitability can work somewhat favorably for a person in that it isn’t a denial. Since it can be for an endless amount of reasons it is possible the situation may self correct. Say getting financial history to reflect sane, level activity over a longer period of time or time since last use of recreational MJ. I’m somewhat convinced a file will sit in adjudication a few extra months just to get a package over the line and clear.

Thank you so much. By “sit in adjudication a few extra months just to get a package over the line and clear,” do you mean if it’s an iffy package that they aren’t inclined to clear, they’d probably wait it out in order to issue an unsuitability as opposed to an outright denial?

Not exactly. They either clear or do not clear. But just my opinion here…if a person needs another month to consider an item mitigated…maybe they move it to the back of the deck for a month or two. Just a thought. Unsuitability would be when the company eliminates you prior to submitting…

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You have to understand the these processes are purposefully opaque. We aren’t supposed to be able to see everything going on in order to make it more difficult to game the system and also to allow the work to be done without the constant interruption of providing updates. This is doubly so in the IC community.

Suitability may involved areas that would prevent the applicant from being cleared but it may not as noted above but suitability is almost always going to occur before clearance.

I think (just my opinion) that there is no such thing as a “iffy” package. They are either going to clear it or they are not at the adjudication level. Once they are going to deny, and write an SOR, there may be some packages that take longer because more research is needed in writing the SOR properly and making 100% certain that all of the issues are properly documented before the SOR is issued.