Becoming an FSO for a new company


#1

Looking for some guidance here… I retired from the military in 2013, and have joined a startup that needs an FSO. I held a TS-SCI clearance and also held the FSO position for one of my units while in the military, but I’m not spun up on how to become a “sponsoring agency”, FSO, etc., for this new company. Anybody out there have some guidance?


#2

Replying to my own thread here… I’ve done some deeper research (reading an article on obtaining security clearance by L. Bjerke as well as the NISPOM) that I need to obtain a “sponsoring agency” who provides the setup in eQip, and from there we do the Facility clearance, along with all the component individuals required. If anyone has any additional info or guidance, would still love to hear from you. Thanks!


#3

Glad to jump in with a partial answer.
Sponsoring agency is the entity with whom your company has the classified contract. They will be the one’s who will require employees to have clearances.

Example: The DOD lets a contracts for widget creation by company A. They have personnel eligible for clearances, and even some available to pull off other contracts with DOD which required clearances. The DOD is this contract’s sponsoring agency and all clearances for currently cleared employees would be transferred to the sponsor.

Now, does that mean you are good to go? No … if all you are doing is working at the customer location, then you may be, but if you are going to work in your location, then a Facility Clearance will be required.

The FSO nomination to the sponsoring agency (if NISPOM) also DSS will also be required. When accepted by both, then the individual should take training as appropriate.

I am sure I did not answer 100% of your inquiry, but hope the above points you in the right direction internally with your company and with your customers (contracting entity)


Christopher


#4

Piling onto Christopher’s great response - you can’t sponsor yourself, but as Christopher says, there must be an issuing government agency. Here’s a quote I found in an article on the site: “A defense contractor is not able to request its own security clearance in preparation for classified work, in anticipation of classified work, or to make the enterprise more marketable; there is just no system in place for that process.” https://news.clearancejobs.com/2013/04/02/how-defense-contractors-get-facility-security-clearances/ This is one of the reasons a lot of small businesses start out as subcontractors to larger companies, who can help them navigate the process of obtaining a cleared contract/getting new cleared business. Best of luck and follow-up if you have additional questions!


#5

Thanks Lindy, great info (as was Christopher’s) on the topic. I’m glad I started asking the questions early on in the cycle, as it’s allowed me to be very proactive with our relationship with our potential prime contractor. Good fun getting things started, for sure!


#6

Thanks Christopher, definitely jives with what I’ve found in my research. Fortunately, looks like we’ll have a current prime contractor to assist us now. Definitely interesting moving from internal DoD to the outside “startup” mode. Much to learn :wink: