Adjudicators calling Subjects and Subjects calling back their investigator

Has anyone had any former Subject’s call them back months later and get questioned/confronted by the Subject about information in their report? Subject states they were called by their adjudicator and the adjudicator told them some of the information in the report and the Subject now wanted to know details from their investigator. Seems to be a very strange situation.

Usually when they call they ask why they didn’t get their clearance. Then I tell them that I don’t recall any details about their case. Then they remind me that I interviewed them less than two months ago. Then I tell them that, after two weeks or so, all the details run together . . . . :man_shrugging:

You will have that situation if you are in this field long enough. I’ve had the criers, the yellers, I even had one ask if I could be a witness in their DOHA hearing (I declined). I usually don’t remember them and even if I do, I don’t discuss the ROI.

I’ve even had to interview several people in the military who did not get their clearances about others on their team. Those were interesting conversations.


I realize having Subject’s call back their investigator is not uncommon. It’s adjudicators calling the Subject (probably under a mask of anonymity) and reminding the Subject’s that the information in our reports is what denies them their clearance. Meanwhile, these pissed off Subject’s live in the same town as us and we could run into them regularly on the job. (But we aren’t allowed to carry any sort of self defense against their possible anger/outrage) Does anyone know if adjudicators do get anonymity when dealing directly with Subjects?

I always tell subjects I have nothing to do with granting or adjudication of their clearance. I hope Investigators don’t make subjects believe they somehow control the investigation when they dont. In 22 years I’ve never had 1 subject call to ask anything about the adjudication or granting of their clearance . They do however call all the time about when their case will be completed.


Investigators have a lot to do with the Subject’s clearance. I always tell Subject that adjudicators read the report and decide on their clearance. However, whether or not Subject’s understand or believe this is another question. Investigators don’t control the investigation but they control the words in the report that adjudicators read the words. Words matter.


I had a subject who months later was adjudicated and approved. He was however not selected to the position he had desired which would have kept him from going back to Iraq. This had nothing to do with his clearance not being approved. I did have a source that was very negative and shed much light on some violations that he had not disclosed. He called me most upset about me interviewing this source. I merely told him I couldn’t discuss his case and hung up on him. End of story.

Let’s hope he doesn’t know or is able to find out your address. We really do deserve a lot more anonymity. People losing jobs are often quite distraught, belligerent, and vindictive.

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You should always contact the investigative agency when this happens and report that your Subject contacted you pertaining to his case and made threats or became argumentative. You did the other thing by saying you cannot discuss his BI with him but also should report the conversation and his demeanor, attitude, and threats to the investigating agency and even the adjudicating agency if possible.

On this topic, I have obtained copies of all my investigations once they close. Sometimes I’ve gotten the results before adjudication was complete.

While the overall report is always fine, I often see errors in how something I told the investigator was incorrectly transcribed and reported. This kind of mis-reporting could affect the adjudication for some people.

It begs the question - why aren’t investigators allowed to make an audio recording of the interviews(with the subject and sources)?

I’ve never heard of adjudicators calling the subject. I would assume that is not normal or appropriate, but I’ve been doing this for five years and the adjudication process is still a mystery to me! Generally, the agency would ask for a subject contact or a TESI to clear up any questions.

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I would bet dollars to donuts that this is a case of misunderstanding and that it was actually an investigator and not an adjudicator who contacted them.


I tell subjects during ESI that I don’t want any phone calls from them about when they get clearance or why they didn’t get it; I never know and it’s not part of my job and I can get fired for even speculating. I tell them to focus on our task at hand talking to me. And later they can talk to their Supv or FSO about clearance as sometimes clearance is granted and subjects find out weeks or months later from those sources.

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Even though it might be rare for a Subject to contact an Investigator after they believe their adjudication has been completed, it does happen with both Adjudicators and Investigators…Subjects contact both and both can contact Subjects. It’s important to remember that this process can ruin a career, it’s no joke.

While you might decide as Investigators to deflect or redirect the Subject elsewhere (agreed that no one should provide a Subject information about their ongoing Case per guidance obviously,) however Investigators are still absolutely without a doubt responsible for their Reports of Investigations, the words and information contained in those reports, the details, the facts, coverage, heresay, ect. It’s also why Investigators are required to “certify” that the work they submit on each Case is “accurate and complete to the best of your knowledge” and Investigators do this step as they submit each ROI to DCSA and in the past to OPM via the system. You certify that the details you obtained, work you completed, and the information contained is legitimate and meets the guidelines and standard regulatory governance set forth.

Furthermore, both Investigators and Adjudicators can be subpoenaed to any civil and select “appeal hearings” regarding Subjects who “challenge” and file formal legal complaints regarding their Investigations, Security Clearances, and their favorable/unfavorable Adjudication determinations (separate things as “@Weeble” mentioned in an earlier post.) Adjudicators read the words in your Investigations and Adjudicators often contact Subjects after Investigators close their Case and those Adjudicators can disclose details from that Case to the Subject through “lines of questioning” and often with detailed information.

+If a savvy and more knowledgeable Subject can find fault with an Investigator or their Investigation, who would answer to that if not the Investigator? The Adjudicator does their part, not yours. Investigators are not exempt in this job no matter what chaos exists in this Industry.

Some individuals who worked in Leadership in the past actually have defended many Investigators in these hearings and appeals as the Oversight Authority for the Contract Companies or with the Agency OIG, if we believed we could support the Investigator’s work and justifications. Investigators are not necessarily even aware of this practice.

@Weeble- Great topic that you posted, very relevant today as well…regardless that it was initially posted in 2021.

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A few weeks ago, I asked a question in the Investigator Topic entitled “Industry Specific Training”… no one responded as if all Investigators on this site have never had the “pleasure” of defending their work or being catastrophically wrong (I don’t mean with a Reviewer, QC/QA, or DCSA!)

*I specifically asked the following out of curiosity thinking of the benefit…

Post- "Are there any Investigators that feel additional training or even continuous advanced training specific to the Industry would benefit them and enhance their current skillset?

Is this of interest to any Investigators that are working for any of the Contract Companies (Peraton/Perspecta/KeyPoint, CACI, or OMNI, ect) on any of the Govt Contracts (not just DCSA) that feel they might benefit from additional training if it was offered? Does anyone feel they were not trained sufficiently by the Contract Companies prior to actually being assigned Cases and thrown to the field with a stack of 50?

  • If it was offered within industry, would Investigators be interested in learning or enhancing their knowledge base around aspects related to conducting confrontational interviews, admission seeking interviews, and/or interrogation (yes, this is all done in-person?)
  • Training on how to defend the records, sources, and information you gathered in an Investigation/ROI when the Subject actually makes a formal appeal and complaint against an Investigator, especially regarding “Codes” Investigators flag?

I have read a lot of posts on this site from Investigators looking to move into other industries, however the skills Investigators learn in recent years on this Contract are not even close to meeting the qualifications or expertise required with external opportunities. There is a lot of chatter about how this job has been “downgraded” to that of an “administrative clerk” or only requires minuscule tasks, or has been devastatingly “devalued” from the work many of us who have been around for decades considered to be a part of “National Security” and was tied to a Mission we supported. Clearly the current work environment does not support these beliefs anymore nor does it represent the work that many of us once did for decades which is a shame and unfortunate to say the least."

@sapguy- Due to legal statutes and privacy laws (both Federal & Individual State,) you cannot record anyone in this job while working as an Investigator on the DCSA Contract or other similar Contracts as an Investigator.

It’s complex legally as some States like Idaho or Hawaii are considered legally to be only “single-party consent States,” meaning one party can actually record another without their knowledge or consent.

The rest of the States are known legally as “all-party consent States” which means everyone involved has to know the conversation or interaction is being recorded, it has to be consensual on behalf of all parties, and all parties must agree to the recording. For example California and Florida are “all-party consent States.”

DCSA prohibits recordings in general and so did OPM for all of my two plus decades doing this work. It’s difficult to set up policy for certain areas of the Country and not for other geographical areas in the Country where the laws are completely different. It’s also difficult when one Company’s Employees work everywhere and sources/subjects are everywhere, and each State law can be different along with the legal consequences for recordings. It’s easy when operations are only in one State for a business.

+The below link might be interesting…lots of good details! The link says 2018 but it was updated last year in 10/2021.

Yes to both of your questions in the bulleted section of your post. Even with all of the experience I have, I would never turn down more learning opportunities.


@Duetooversight- Ageeed, I have been in a perpetual state of learning for my entire career and there is no opportunity I would turn down to enhance my knowledge base. I’m a seasoned professional like you, I certainly don’t know everything and I never will however there’s value in expanding and refining our skillcraft (if we are able to & have the passion to do so.)

Btw…We seem to share similar sentiments regarding many topics. Thank you for responding to my post as well.

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I would always welcome further in depth training in this work but there is nothing but crickets. I understand part of it because the requirement change year to year and sometime week to week. Leadership at DCSA is very different than it was 5, 10,15 years ago. I have found talking with other investigating and sharing experiences and knowledge and techniques is the best way to learn and get better at this job. However, that costs money and I have found few companies encourage this type of peer knowledge sharing, because source units aren’t produced while you are learning from your coworkers.

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