Adjudication time-out


I have been looking on this blog about adjudication time out, also on security clearance sites. Is that possible if DOHA can’t come up with a decision on your case it will just time out (I call it a security clearance black hole). I need guidance because I just talked to my FSO and has not gotten any response back from them at all. Anyway, feed back is appreciated.


I’ve never heard of an adjudication timing out but I have heard of cases where their response is no response… that is, they decline to adjudicate or something. Maybe somebody else here has more info on that.


your case is likely more difficult to adjudicate; therefore, your case gets put at the bottom of the pile. To kind of draw a parallel, you know how at work you typically put off doing the more burdensome and difficult stuff for later? Well, couple that with a lack of accountability amongst the general population of the federal workforce and there the problem is.


Thanks for that. it’s for guideline F (F for financial, sorry had to put that in there. Haha) anyway I can see them doing that. But as long I’m doing what I’m saying I think I’ll do fine.


Were you trying to fix your finances prior to filling out the sf-86? Did you disclose everything? If yes on both and no history of financial irresponsibility - you should be fine.


When I initially did the sf86 back in November of 2015 I had a credit report ran against my SSn number and it was in work BUT! life happens and prevented me to continue to pay on multiple accts because of stuff that happened at the current time and status so I had to hold off…

So I’m in for approximately 3 years now, I moved to another unit and they issued an SOR (statement of reasons) October 2017. I turned it back in at the end of October giving DOD CAF time to look over December 2017 they wanted to see proof that I’m paying items back with bank statements and settlements that have been paid off turned in a few days before Xmas…and since then haven’t heard anything back myself no letters and nothing from my FSO…so as they say “no news is good news” but this has been going well almost 3 years…I’m kinda lost with this.


dave019, before making sweeping generalizations such as federal employees not being accountable - you may want to exchange conversations with federal agents and our contractors who have strict deadlines and production metrics.

Some of us even go out of our way to try and close cases outside our AO through telephone calls and alternate closing methods.

I will grant you that you are frustrated with your personal situation. We know that every case is a real person. Also know, that not everyone passes their background investigation in adjudication.


@backgdinvestigator - I don’t need to talk to any one ‘federal agent’ or ‘contractor’. I don’t believe that they, individually, are the problem, the system is. In my experience working in the .gov there is a complete lack of accountability… I could get into all of the anecdotal things I’ve observed, but I really don’t feel like it. Hell, don’t take my word for it, turn the news on right now, or go to the FBI’s website and read about those ‘agents’ dropping the ball on what appeared to be a credible threat to human life… That stuff occurs when systems are in place, government wide, that lack accountability…


As for background checks taking 3 years - there is no excuse for that. When I worked in law enforcement the typical background check on a police officer applicant took 4 weeks… and trust me - they were vetted hard… So explain to me how it’s ‘business as usual’ for OPM/NBIB to have backgrounds in queue for almost three years?


I have no clue how DOD CAF Works. Do they look at your case and the history of your case then make a judgement on this IE financial, do they look at credit again or do they just grant you an interim of what you provided. Not to go extreme but do they have a jury board and discuss the facts about this? And prior cases similar to my current one. All really I’m worried about is that they make a bad determination and I loose everything in this career because of my past. I understand they want to see people that have integrity and be responsible but I had other priorities (in lieu of supporting my family. I am trying (still) to get things back to normal) I just feel that I’m not prepared if it goes south.


I had an SOR thrown in there, would that make a difference?

  1. Vendor got fired, 2. a lot of investigators left and never came back to industry, 3. other vendors had to pick up the slack, 4. vetting takes place nationwide and many interactions require a face-to-face, 5. new tiered investigation system that requires more applicant interviews and fieldwork in some areas, 6. arguably a lot of unnecessary investigations/re-investigations, 7. packets received from just about every major federal agency, daily at NBIB; this is all just the fieldwork side of things. The typical checks that occur for applicants actually don’t take very long, there’s just hundreds of thousands of cases (some with priority over others) and more of them being added.

As for DOD CAF, they have the bulk of adjudications.

I think lack of accountability is the easy “answer”-and really, an unfair general assumption–but there’s a set of things that occurred the past 3-4 years that doomed the current system.


Plus the way the contracts are structured they nickle and dime them to death. I’m not saying the government doesnt pay a lot of money but all I hear about it pressure to cut corners, which is probably why we had so many problems in the first place.


Having done background investigations on law enforcement (national guard or those wanting to work for the Feds) i can argue you all day long on how thorough those 4 week investigations are… all of the civilian law enforcement background investigations I’ve reviewed were the equivalent of the Tier 2. Departments depend too much on the polygraphs.

I can also argue about the FBI agents in Florida. The blame for that tragedy does not fall squarely on their shoulders. They have a piece of the responsibility, but not all of the blame. Monday morning quarterbacking is always easy - but with workloads, resources, and legal restrictions - Cruz was allowed to walk as a free American. Where were the community leaders? Where were the mental health and social workers? Where were the politicians that constantly block laws/rules to prevent certain folks from getting any gun?

I think the Broward Sheriff stated the elephant in the room when he talked about being given the laws allowing law enforcement, Federal or civil, to have tools to help prevent these tragedies. Again, be careful with generalizations.

Looking from the inside out, I see why cases take along time. I don;'t agree with everything but having knowledge I see where things slow down. I would love a process where the investigation stops .as soon as X disqualifying issues are identified - we don’t because of the "whole person process:. I would strongly support a process where a Subject has a knowledgeable person prescreen their questionnaire before submission to NBIB. Prescreen to ensure the people listed as references and supervisors aren’t deceased. Versifiers and references have actually seen the Subject in the last five years. ALL employments and residences are listed. ALL family members, to include step-parents/siblings are listed. ALL names/alias, to include the name before marriage or adoption. Finally, a freaking working contact address/phone number would help tremendously.

So, three years in process should not be the norm. In my area, two years is not the norm. Of course, once the case is released to the Agency, it is up to that Agency to make their decision. To put in your law enforcement scenario - you’d blame the police department because the courts took several years with the trial and appeals process.

BTW, I am LEOSA qualified - 21 years.


@backgdinvestigator - You’d argue on behalf of negligence? Read the the FBI’s statement in regards to the Florida incident -

Having been a prior LEO - common sense and any department SOP would dictate that any threat to human life needs to be investigated… not heard and ignored… so you go right on ahead and defend them despite the fact that they’ve already admitted wrong doing…


I don’t argue on the behalf of negligence nor accountability. I argue against sweeping generalizations. The incident needs to be reviewed and investigated to determine what happened. A report sent out within a week is not going to be thorough. Why was the decision made to set aside inquiries? Were there higher priority cases? Is the SOP/process flawed? Was an agent assigned that bottom basket the inquiry?

The law enforcement community’s failure to prevent the tragedy in Florida doesn’t warrant that ALL law enforcers, to include the FBI, have no accountability. And this forum is not about law enforcement.


@backgdinvestigator - I know this forum isn’t about law enforcement, I don’t believe I ever implied that it is… I simply gave an example (FBI/Florida incident) pertaining to government negligence and complacency and compared it to the clearance process. A process that I also believe contains a significant amount of issues that need to be addressed at the system level, not individual. Apparently, according to you that’s not allowed - are you a first amendment cop or something? Also, to clarify, I’m not here blaming individuals for systemic problems, I want that to be very clear. In my opinion, the average, everyday law enforcement officer, background investigator and adjudicator are good hard working people operating in a broken framework. That is what I’m trying to convey and I believe that we can all agree on that.


We do agree about that - and I misunderstood the generalizations. The swipe about being a first amendment cop aside, we would probably agree on more than simple posts indicate.


I apologize about that @backgdinvestigator


No need for apology, but thank you. Emails and blogs often come across harsher than they are meant. I do not try to offend when I am posting. I am sorry if I came across as aggressive or angry.