Clearance discontinuance rate


Does anyone have a rough estimate about what the discontinuance/denial rate is for an SSBI more or less? I don’t mean the 1%-3% who are denied after a full investigation, rather, the people actually discontinued before the SSBI occurs.

the people actually discontinued before the SSBI occurs.

Does this mean before the SF-86 is submitted?

Or is there a gap between when the SF-86 is submitted and the SSBI starts?

I was told by my FSO that my investigation had started on the day my SF-86 was submitted.

Not likely. There is time set aside to review the SF-86 for errors or funny business.


Dont know if they are still doing this, but when the backlog was at it worst, some SF-86’s would wait in limbo before being submitted in an effort to manage the workload.


Makes sense. I imagine FSOs would try to prevent submitting any applicants with disqualifying backgrounds. Now I’m also interested in how many are stopped after the SF-86 is submitted and before the investigation starts.

I was so frustrated with forms shredded for missing minor blip of info that a call resolved. So I set up a steep bar for submitting, 4 reviews, line by line…easily 8 hours into a package. We still missed blips here and there. Naturally we screened out a lot of non responsive candidates. Or if a candidate suddenly gave disqualifying info on drug use…or revealed an arrest previously hidden…

At one point I was eliminating 75 to 95% in my screening interview. Mind you, this was for a 350 person support contract: grass cutters, culinary, housekeeping, etc. All required clearances, but hiring from a portion of society with low credit, arrests, intergenerational recreational use…

Fast forward 3 years, we had a much better workforce, much more reliable, absenteeism dropped, conflict dropped, terminations for cause dropped. And my approval rate took the companies previously abysmal 48% approval rate to 99%.

How often are people canned for this stuff?

For absenteeism? Individual work cultures, strength of management and HR determine that. With cleared folks hard to come by…often contract companies tolerate far more than they should. We had a sea change of attitude with a new PM making clear…he would take the hit for not having enough housekeeping staff as opposed to a major hit with senior leadership accepting that a company maintained a troublemaker, making everyone’s life difficult, hostile work environment etc.