It is interesting how the concept of “dropping back to Secret” became a workable “urban legend,” and I understand how people come to the conclusion. If a Secret is normally not re-investigated for 10 years…but a TS requires Re-investigation after roughly 4.5 to 5 years (and goes away after 24 months outside a cleared position)…It does seem a logical argument for simply allowing a clearance to drop down to “Secret.” However, and yes it sounds like semantics, but is crucial to understanding terms: Nobody has a clearance. They have eligibility. Positions drive clearance requirements. So if one leaves a position requiring TS eligibility, the person departs…the position and requirement for TS eligibility remains. Positions go away as well, but lets not muddy the waters; its murky enough already. Now, if said departed person wants to accept a position requiring a Secret clearance…and they were last investigated 24 months and a day ago…and a Secret clearance is normally good for 10 years…people come to the conclusion the TS BI is more than sufficient. I too think major portions of that BI can, could, and should be used. Would like to have the BI folks and adjudicator, or the cleared lawyer chime in. It’s reasonable believing they meet the standards for Secret. As explained to me many times, it is the position requirement driving the bus, and adjudicative standards are the same. Plus…being away from a cleared position for 24 months…leaves a good measure of time for activity not living up to standards, warranting another review.
My client has crossed over folks up to 7 years after their BI if they were cleared for this client. They routinely cross over DoD clearances up to 5…and at times tell me 26 months is too far and they want a new BI. No real rhyme or reason there. I’m thinking of building a folder for each of those to reference when I want to push back. Not that I expect to win any argument with Clearance division…if I can can at least force them to acknowledge they don’t always follow a standard rule of thumb I feel better.