Clearance Decision from One Entity Impacting Current Employment/Clearance at Another?


I have a question regarding the following scenario:

Sam is presently employed with an active TS/SCI w/ CI Poly clearance in DoD. He recently received a COE from another USG agency requiring a new TS/SCI investigation w/ FS Poly.

If for some reason, Sam’s clearance with his new prospective employer is denied, will that impact his current employment with DoD? Could there be negative ramifications like termination?

I have heard a couple of rumors and horror stories in this regard, and wanted to get a sense of ground truth from the experts. Many thanks.

I believe that the answer is an imperfect, "It can . . . " It is likely that the information that caused the new clearance to be denied will reach the DoD. They may, or may not, revoke Sam’s clearance based on this information that likely didn’t come out during Sam’s DoD adjudication.

Not very clear is it . . .

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Short answer is depends. If he is denied an access (hence the SCI), then he should be okay. However, if he is denied a security clearance from a USG agency, it will have negative ramification for Sam including at least a suspension of current clearance pending the result (internal process) and potentially a termination. Additionally, Sam, I believe, has an obligation to inform his current employer (DoD) of the security clearance denied as this is reportable.

In reality, it takes a lot to be denied a security clearance. So, if Sam is denied a security clearance due to a recent incident, then that incident should have already been reported to the security manager at DoD.

I suppose it never is! Thanks for the reply.

Many thanks for your helpful reply.

A couple quick follow-up questions:

  1. RE: your first paragraph, what is the difference between “access” and a security clearance? I’m wondering whether the distinction is germane here, because I believe for Sam’s current processing, he has to receive a new clearance - along with access - from scratch.

  2. RE: your second paragraph, can you please clarify what you mean by “incidents?” No updates for Sam in terms of criminal record, drugs/alcohol, or anything like that; just some recent extended foreign travel and new foreign national contacts.

Nobody has a security clearance. Those cleared simply have eligibility to access classified information.

Refer to the following article

So the only thing I don’t understand, then, is there a scenario in which someone would be denied just access and not a clearance altogether?

It happens sometimes. For example one may be granted TS but denied access to SCI.

Thanks much for your response!

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