Clearance crossover question


#1

So I’ve been an industrial contractor for the IC since 2001. Had been out of scope for the BI for 13 yrs (yes beknownst to my sponsoring organization). Had my BI and poly renewal in 2014. Was advised that my BI was in adjudication but never really received final word of approval/denial (my assumption is approval as I moved from one organization to another without issue). Sponsoring employer (insert big name contracting company here) terminated me in June 2017. I figured getting a new job would happen within weeks. Well ever since then, I get the interview, do superb on the suitability interviews, get all the way down to an offer and then when the potential employers go to crossover my clearance, I get word that the crossover was not approved, “NFI”. Does anyone have any advice/guidance/starting steps for me to go through as to even find out what the heck is on my record or how I can even get back in the game? Although I have been in the industry for more than a decade now, I don’t really know the specifics when it comes to the back ends of these things. I’ve only had three employers in my whole time and never encountered anything like this. Am I on some sort of “black list’? Should I continue to keep trying for work in the IC? Should I try and consider employment in the DoD realm and is it even possible? I

I’m still trying to remain positive and hopeful but am starting to think that my career in the contracting world might now be over. Other than reaching out to my Congressman to file an FOIA request, I don’t know what to do. Is there still hope for me yet or should I just move on? Any help, advice or guidance anyone could give would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks ~ J


#2

You state you had a BI and poly in 2014, so I assume the investigation was done in house by the IC agency you supported. They would be the ones to contact about the status of the investigation/adjudication. Contact their security office and if they can’t help, then their FOIA office. Why were you terminated? Did it have something to do with the clearance? Perhaps an incident report was filed. Only you can find out these answers. Your previous FSO should have been able to help.


#3

Wouldn’t be the first time an “incident” was reported without the knowledge of the employee, or even their having any inkling that anything was amiss.


#4

True…but once you leave any company supporting the IC…you quickly become a “never was.” Meaning getting anyone to help is difficult. When I cross folks over I get a yes or a no and zero info on why it was a no. Unless it is merely BI out of scope. Some of the 30 on contract with me get poly’s every 4 to 5 years on the dot (me), others go 10 and 15 years with no poly or they submit an SF86 and that is all. No real rhyme or reason to who gets selected for Poly. If anyone on this contract is required to log on to the client computer systems, or open and close vaults, set alarms, they are required to be cleared the same as government staff. But even they have no set pattern for Poly’s. I have had the displeasure of debriefing over a dozen employees who were revoked or had an upgrade denied. Clearance never informs me of the reason. All will be explained directly to the person on an SOR. For the record all deny understanding what could possibly be the reason…until they choose to appeal and show up with the SOR and acknowledge the behavior. You have an uphill battle getting to the bottom of exactly what is in the record concerning you. Can you give more details about the large contracting company terminating you?


#5

Many thanks for your response Marko. So, I’ve tried to get further clarity about the status of what happened to my BI. First a little bit more info for your SA (sorry it’s so long):

  1. Agency has sponsored my clearance since 2001 without incident. Since the start of my work within the IC my life was pretty normal up until about 2012. I decided to file for divorce which is where the majority of my issues derive from (which I believe are all financial since I had corresponded with my staffer adjudicator since my BI in summer of 2014). In fall of 2016, as an employee of Corp X, I inquired with my company ASO, if it would be ok to take a position within the DNI. I was advised that it was ok to make moves and that status of my BI in SC was “still in process”. I worked for DNI for about six months and was terminated from Corp X due to “time and attendance expectations and performance”. I had been counseled by Management team about the issue and ultimately placed on a PIP, which I followed through with up until the 45th day which is when they terminated me for missing a meet and greet with the new dept head.

Now in hindsight, my mgmt stated that my chief (staffer) was the one who requested “something be done” about my t&a issues. This seemed strange to me as he never called me into his office personally but claimed an open door policy. Work colleagues tell me that it was solely a Corp X decision and not one initiated by customer. I believe it’s true cause why wouldn’t Corp X place me on overhead? I could see why it was easier to let me go though; I was a tenured Officer in the industry who’s salary was mid-range and could be cut so they could replace me with two kids fresh out of school elsewhere. I never thought that a government staffer could blacklist me (by filing an “incident report”) until I started to read stuff within the contractor forums.

  1. I have been told differing things by ASO’s at my former employee: one told me that I was not done with this customer and that it was a matter of finding a company to sponsor me with an “initial”?!? The second one told me to no longer try with the customer as it was explained to me, that basically my BI was in adjudication and since the loop was never really closed, essentially the company who was paying for the darn thing stop footing the bill and therefore the government has no reason to keep it in the “in process” pile and it basically falls through the crack with no need for anyone to pick it up. When I went to go for the first gig post the termination, it was my former company who was the prime and I was going with a subcontractor to them. The ASO for Corp X told me that she “had no further information about the crossover denial; that basically in her systems all she could see was that it was for “non-adjudicated information”.”

  2. The interesting thing is that when I tried to apply for another contracting job with another organization, I was told it was my poly that was reflecting out of scope and NOT THE BI. I was given the following explanation from a recruiter per her FSO: “SC is showing you have a Top Secret clearance with SCI access as of 2017 06 23 based on an SBPR investigation that closed 2014 07 28 and a full scope polygraph as of 2001 04 18. As such, you are still in scope as far as your TS goes as you don’t need a PR for 5 years from the close date of your investigation (2014) as long as you don’t go more than 2 years without using your TS. It is the polygraph that isn’t showing up as current in SC.” Again, this is strange to me as I know I underwent a poly in summer of 2014 and passed.

  3. I have no connections to speak to someone in the security office. All of my efforts have been through Corp X’s FSO’s who give me different answers all the time. I am not inclined to circle back with them as it seems that I am not getting the ground truth from FSO’s associated with them. My work colleague advises I follow up with Corp X since they were the last ones who I was working for when my BI and poly were done in 2014. But somehow I feel like they are the ones who dicked me over since I can’t get a straight answer from anyone.

Sorry this was so long…just wanted to give a few more clarifying points in hopes that I can get some good advice from folks. Thanks


#6

Oh man, thanks for the insight amberbunny. So it seems my worst nightmare may be coming true :slightly_frowning_face: sucks to be the contractor in cases like these. I mean, it’s almost better to have a denial of an initial or a revocation so that at least you receive an SOR. This route, there is little to no information as to why you suddenly aren’t gainfully employed.

The type of work I have done for the last 15 years has always been in restricted channels; there’s nothing else I know how to do. Although I’ve been just a contractor, doesn’t matter to me; I do the same type of work as the government staffer who takes that oath and I take my work very seriously. I believe in the mission and have the utmost love/loyalty to my country. Seems ludacris that folks who have had their stuff revoked or worse, even filed bankruptcy 2,3 times over, are still working and here I am stuck like a bag in the wind. I’m nearly 15 years into a career field that I love and now I find myself unemployable whilst I have my personal obligations (i.e. oldest in college, youngest is 4). IYO, am I truly done? I mean I’m 6 mos out from having been debriefed. I’m hoping that I may be able to at least be able to work on the DoD side of the house.


#7

I totally, completely, empathize with the situation. Many of us would be in the same boat. When my last re-investigation required a second Poly, even though I had nothing to hide, 800 plus credit, zero incidents…when you get a call back…you need prove you are innocent. No other way to classify it. You definitely feel “under the gun.”

I have seen several situations of “Un adjudicated” information and was initially fearful. I no longer fear it as it is a neutral term. Essentially it can be ANY piece of information not present when first cleared or something of ANY merit or zero merit occurring after the BI closes. In short it is information nobody had in front of them to consider when making a clearance decision.

It seems you are between the theoretical rock and a hard place between the company and the client. If you did something, anything to get crossways with the client there are was of telling the company they would really appreciate it if you no longer worked there. That is reality and sounds a bit closer to home. Though they put you on a PIP…I don’t believe they are properly titled. I don’t think it has anything to do with improving what you are doing wrong, rather it is a means of creating what we called a UIF in the Air Force. Unfavorable Information File. It collects all that is wrong with your performance and keeps you under a microscope.

Sounds like you worked in a very small community of a three letter agency where missing a meet and greet was considered an egregious affront. I know many in the community are quite sensitive to perceived snubs. But was it this situation, or the divorce, and all the muck dredged up during those painful situations? I too survived one of them and can testify my job performance took a major hit. It was devastating. So again I empathize.

Back to un adjudicated info. The solution is to provide a new SF86 if you have a sponsor and have whatever is sitting in your file adjudicated alongside the fresh SF86. For a few employees who experienced DUI’s, I reported this. It was considered un adjudicated, and they requested a fresh SF86. So it isn’t necessarily as ominous as I initially thought. It is simply information needing weighed against the whole person concept to determine suitability to work with classified material.

If it has been less than 2 years working without a clearance, you need a sponsor to cross you over at the lower level TS, then submit a new SF86 for the full scope Poly and upgrade of clearance. That is if you want to work where you log on to the three letter agencies computers. They may have TS positions not requiring that. On this 340 person contract I have about 50 50 Secret and TS. Of the TS they are divided between Full Scope and non Poly TS. But even they are read in to SCI material.

If you can cover your rent and bills, accept even an entry level escort position for any of those agencies, cross over at TS, make sure your info is good, credit is fine, no recreational drug use, criminal charges unresolved etc…and then submit for the higher TS.

This one may require a FOIA request or a letter from your representative to get to the bottom of the core reason. In a right to work state (another misnamed title) they really don’t need much of a reason to terminate. Personality clash? Yep. Client mismatch? Yep. Miss meetings or show up late? Yep. Once under the microscope…not many can make it through.


#8

Amberbunny,

Again many thanks for the words of empathy and advice. I had started to swallow that pill that I might be done in terms of a tenured analyst and have to start from the beginning. I just feel it’s insane that for the past 15 yrs, I’ve done such sensitive work and now find myself starting at square one either as an admin or escorting uncleared personnel :persevere: Your information about the term “un-adjudicated information” does make me feel a little bit better. I’m pretty sure it related to the finances that went to crap during the divorce, more specifically I had back taxes owed during 2014 when I took a hit during the sequestration and was out on extended maternity leave (not earning any wages or billing any hours to the government; just on payroll to have insurance for my newborn son) and had to pull out my 401K to survive. Amidst the divorce, I held off on filing the taxes. Once the BI reinvestigation started, obtained a tax lawyer and had all taxes filed and taken care of. Kept my adjudicator in the loop of all this but the last correspondence I remember receiving from him was that a new officer had taken my case and the email I received amounted to basically an introduction of who he was. I gave everything he asked for to show that things were resolved, I just never heard back as to whether or not there was a problem.

Again, still confused as to whether it’s a BI issue or a poly issue. Nonetheless sounds like no matter what, gotta take this “L” and humble myself enough to start from the bottom. In the interim, will remain hopeful and keep my head up and fill out an FOIA request form to forward along to my Congressman.

Certainly appreciate any further insight or $0.02 on my next steps. Thanks again AB


#9

Taxes seem to be a hot topic as of late. if one did not answer the questions correctly or correct enough they may claim lack of candor. It really isn’t that hard to run into a tax issue. A divorce and spousal support and temp support, how that is characterized etc can cause major headaches and it isn’t easy dealing with the IRS unless you write a check and say “you are right I was wrong.” On my next SF86 I will speak to my 2015 and 2016 taxes having an issue, now corrected. My spousal support ended in 2015, and I lost the significant tax deduction moving into 2016. I was due a refund in 2015. FF to 2016, spousal support is done, I apply all that money to the ever growing equity line and forgot to adjust withholding…got a $4500 tax bill for 2016. In the middle of this the IRS challenged the 2013 return claim of spousal support as my ex quit filing taxes. That was an 18 month fight I eventually won, but they wanted me to pay $6k taxes on the spousal support I paid, as they called it a financial settlement, not support. I refused as I knew it opened me up to a tax liability on all years of spousal support, roughly 5 years, meaning an easy 30K tax debt. While fighting monthly letters from the IRS, the 2015 didn’t e-file (I instructed them to e-file, they dispute and claim I was told to mail them in but was not given a copy). I just now corrected 2015, paid the $4500 for 2016, and I am waiting for the refund on 2015. So if you had a liability and didn’t specifically speak to it…or mischaracterized it…as of late I am hearing of revocations. Even having a high credit score doesn’t mean you are completely financially in the clear. On top of that you likely had required financial disclosure reporting every other year. If you missed a year you will be revoked and can actually never be informed. I had that happen to an employee here. Divorce, remarry, name change…didn’t file in required year…she was simply pulled. But still working. She didn’t get on the computer so there was no notice to her or me the security manager. We were able to fix it. But that is a tale for another day.


#10

Parting shot: if it was an unresolved Poly issue, I feel you would have known it and they would keep calling you back until until it is resolved or you lose sponsorship of the clearance by the company. Your FSO would have closed the clearance and though they use the term terminated…it doesn’t mean fired, it just terminates the eligibility until another sponsor.


#11

AB…so as you may be aware, my organization requires the filling out of an FDF every other year. Once I had decided to separate from my now ex-husband, I declared all of the delinquent accounts, to include the taxes, on all subsequent FDFs and 86’s. I filled out a new SF86 in Apr 2014 which included all of the above and as a result of the OPM breach in late 2013, our program had a slew of folks whom customer decided to initiate our BI renewals along with polys. As I previously stated, my very FIRST poly was in September 2001 along with my very first BI in April of 2001. I worked for customer until 2013 without incident right up until I had my youngest son. Had him in Aug 2013 and was ready to head back to work by November, but the landscaping of contracting had changed drastically to include sequestration, Snowden and the Navy Yard shooting. I was fearful that I would not be able to get back in the game. FF to April 2014 and a head hunter at Corp X found my resume, email me and gave me a job. Boom…back in the game gainfully employed.

Although I had my renewal poly in July 2014 and BI conducted concurrently, I was still in advisement with my tax lawyer at the time and since had no residual monies for the retainer, I had advised adjudicator that we were in the process of filing with the IRS and working on the amounts. Turns out I received refunds for the years I filed late and then owed for only 2014. All of this was relayed to my new adjudicator prior to me making moves to the DNI in Oct 2016. Again, checked in with my company’s ASO to make sure all was well in SC and given the green light to go.

The reason for termination by Corp X was listed as “time and attendance expectations relating to performance” which I disagree with. I was hired to clear a backlog and my position was solely created just for me with an estimated time frame to finish of one year. Once I gained accesses to all systems and learned my actual work, I killed the queue within 72 days. Even my chief pulled me aside and said “you might want to pace yourself. You might work yourself out of a job” IMO, my termination was a result of young 20 something’s who were not keen on a more senior officer coming in and not “putting in the time/hard work” while being afforded leniencies not afforded to them since I had been in the industry sometime. In hindsight, the office was not a good fit. I had been an IO who had been conducting operational work for more than 8 years and the shop was more of a place to get your feet wet in the IC when just getting out of school.

I know all of that is probably irrelevant now as what’s done is done. Additionally, the reason for the time and attendance issues were related to a back injury which my management was well-apprised of. When I went to my GP to get documentation for my work record that I had sustained an injury and was undergoing physical therapy, my GP said that she would not document anything for me unless I was requesting to go on FMLA and be on STD or out of work. It was a combination of a lack of knowledge and my rights as an employee on my part and their, what I consider, targeted effort to have me removed off the project. Again, this is JMO but nonetheless, didn’t know all of it would shake out this way.

Being in the industry I have always been cautioned to not make moves until BI and poly were satisfactorily adjudicated. I always knew that, but never anticipated every being terminated and the implications of what being in adjudication at the time of termination may have :frowning_face:


#12

AB: additionally, is there anyway to get my poly info updated in SC? If you will recall, I was advised that “SC is showing you have a Top Secret clearance with SCI access as of 2017 06 23 based on an SBPR investigation that closed 2014 07 28 and a full scope polygraph as of 2001 04 18. As such, you are still in scope as far as your TS goes as you don’t need a PR for 5 years from the close date of your investigation (2014) as long as you don’t go more than 2 years without using your TS. It is the polygraph that isn’t showing up as current in SC.” That was the lynchpin in killing my chances with another organization that took my clearances to be active but my poly to not be. I’ve been told since I am not on contract anymore, there isn’t a reason for a staffer FSO to update my stuff in the system since I no longer have a sponsor.


#13

It is true with no sponsor…there is nobody to update the record, however the records of the newer poly and BI are available. That is the information considered “Un Adjudicated,” in that nobody made a clearance decision based on what is in the file. Having kept up with several blogs on SOR’s I find them quite fair for those resolving debt. If you were told there are 15 debts requiring resolution and you get in repayment plans, it is then addressed debt. Allowances are made for a divorce where there were 2 incomes, now 1. If it is explainable it is understandable. Considering it all worked out on the IRS side as mine so far has I don’t think that is an issue. Even a rudimentary review would show it is corrected. Time and attendance issues, medical problems…back-biting by inter generational staff (that doesn’t happen in the IC community, does it?) is a stickier issue as it is hard to prove and once on the outside looking in…you become a “never was” as I call it.

As I see it, you need get and ace an interview first. Explain there was a hiccup, since resolved and theer is un adjudicated info. To those not understanding what it means they wrongly infer it means bad information.It can be bad info, it can be good and it can be neutral. Just stuff requiring review alongside a fresh SF86 or Equip. You are now out of scope as of 2016 for the IC TS. You could still be crossed over as a lower TS or Secret. The IC normally will cross over clearances out to 5 years and up to 7 if the same stovepipe IC. But know this the IC community doesn’t play well with other communities in the IC world. NRO doesn’t like NSA, who detests CIA, etc. I have had a few clearances sit in adjudication for up to 27 months. It is nerve wracking while waiting. But you need have a sponor first to get moving and reactivate access. From there you can apply for analyst positions and transfer that clearance from contract to government and vice versa with ease. I recommend looking into escort and monitor positions even housekeeping as they have the exact same clearance as staffers. Full scope poly and all. Get the position, get adjudicated and then cast your net.


#14

The thing you will be fighting is that so many jobs now are part of these omnibus contracts where literally a dozen or more companies (many with subs) are competing to get people on the job. In these situations, whoever gets the right resume to the government official’s desk first wins. As a result they can be reluctant to take a chance on someone without a current clearance UNLESS you are like the perfect fit for the hard-to-fill “Purple Squirrel” positions. If you’re not the perfect fit, anything that reduces the chance of being hired can be a big minus. Its like working through a headhunter almost.

This is not the case in all situations so keep pounding the pavement looking for that opportunity. Although these days you might be pounding the keyboard.


#15

Definitely it a major way the hidden job market works. Having a clearance in hand beats potential to have one in 12 to 18 months. I put 10 to 15 a month in process and conduct upwards of 30 security interviews. I also crossover up to 15 a month in Hampton Roads. So don’t look down on what appears to be an entry level job as it comes with the desired clearance. As long as you are willing to actually perform the job in question I don’t see an ethical problem with working as an escort or monitor and keep doing so while you then search for additional positions. I call it keep the lights on money.