Continuous Evaluation (CE) enrollment issues

Quick background on me. I am retired Air Force (as of Sept. '22). I have held a TS/SCI with CI poly since 2007/2008. My last full/adjudicated background investigation was 2/2013. I filled out and submitted an SF-86 in Sept. '19 while on active duty and was put into the CE program. I got a cleared job last summer after retiring using my full clearance and poly. I was unfortunately let go from my company last month. After applying for multiple job over the last several weeks, I was awaiting an expected job offer for a job supporting the same government customer that I was supporting in my previous job. I was declined an offer because they saw my BI (Background investigation) date was from 2/2013 and they therefore said my clearance was overdue (past 10 years). Has anyone else had this problem? The recruiter told me that she had other very good applicants having similar problems; meaning, they had an older BI date and were put into CE program later, only to have problems getting a cleared job because there BI date was older than 10 years.

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Thanks for sharing your story; I have been following this whole CE process and wondered if this sort of thing might happen. I am concerned that the recruiter said this is not the first time she had seen this situation.


The key thing to keep in mind with CE is they go 5yrs out from either the date you were placed in CE or the date of your last BI. Personally, Id bet most current and prior BIs dont like this as its placing people on the honor system and as an an ex, if someone completed thei last BI in 2018 and was placed in CE in 2021, they are good until 2026, bascially going 8yrs w/out completing a new SF-86, though self reporting is suppose to take care of these matters.

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Absolutely agreed. Her exact words to me were, ‘If your BI date is older than 10 years, DON’T CHANGE JOBS!’ Which, is obviously a ridiculous idea, but the fact that she said it means something.

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CE enrollment doesn’t matter if your clearance expires due to job loss.

I believe a clearance can be inactive for two years following a job loss/change debrief. It’s recommend to keep the clearance active while job hunting via part time support positions like escorting or admin work.

Once a clearance lapses companies don’t want to pay to have a clearance reinstated - instead they go to the next in line.


Very true but one comment: contractors dont have to pay for the investigation. However, if they hire someone without an active clearance then they cannot put that person to work right away and that’s where the financial cost comes in.

And if you’ve ever seen the actual ‘cost’ that agencies (not contractors) are billed for the investigation, it is not a large amount of money.


You bring up some good points. A follow-up question is; when does a clearance expire and what defines an ‘active’ clearance and an ‘inactive’ clearance?

When I left the active duty last year, I was debriefed in Feb/Mar 2022 and wasn’t picked up by my company and had my clearance crossover until June/July 2022. There was no problem there.

A very basic explanation- maybe others will chime in- each clearance holder is sponsored by an entity that needs employees to have cleared access. When that sponsorship is concluded, the employee’s clearance becomes inactive - a short term status which expires within 24 months of becoming inactive.

Sponsorship (which can be known as SMO/FSO ownership) concludes in a variety of ways: military transfers, employment separation, adjudication denials, contract changes, program completions or declassification and so on.

Clearances had a shelf life that would require renewal every 5, 7 or 10 years depending on situational requirements. Now that CE (continuous evaluation) is in vogue, renewals have become derogatory notifications with varying responses.

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When I was employed as a BI contractor, the company made sure me and my coworkers understood that the first year or so of employment had a pay-back clause. If employment ended during the clause timeframe, the employee was expected to reimburse the employer for the clearance processing expense. There was a sliding scale for how much money would be owed according to time employed.

While this tactic seemed to be geared toward curbing competitor poaching, I’m not sure if that financial penalty threat did much to garner company morale or dedication.

How did you end up, were you able to find another job with your TS? I’m in the exact same situation as you, so very curious what your experience was.

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It looks like I should be starting my new job next week (finally). From what I can determine, it looks like that company saying my clearance was overdue was total BS. My recruiter for them did a little more digging with her security team and it ended up that after talking with my former company’s SSO, they confirmed that I was indeed in the CE program and my clearance is still good. I think they were using that as an excuse as to why they didn’t want to take me on. I am learning that every government customer has different opinions and reactions to an individuals clearance and security history. Some seem to be extremely stringent with no room for budging, and others are more reasonable. But in the end, the defense contract company wants to please their government customer and will almost always bend to their opinion on a potential new hire.

I added some weasel words to your very wise observation :slight_smile: . And if you add the layer of uncertainty introduced by adding contractor security (to include possible additional layers if your employer is a sub and they have to deal with a prime) it gets very hard to make any predictions.

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Yes, very true and good point.

Thanks for the update, good luck on your new job

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Once your clearance expires you only have 24-months to get it reactivated or you have to redo everything and most civilian employers do not want to spend the time and money sponsoring your clearance, unless the role is hard to fill or they definitely want you. That is why most job posting say “Must have active clearance.”

In reference to the CE Program. I recently had to do mine and was freaked out because I have held multiple clearances since 2008, and had no idea why I was being reviewed, and then received an email stating I was no enrolled in the Continuous Evaluation Program, but after speaking to my Security Officer they explained in the past someone could go 10-years without an investigation, and most people would have a random one about half way through their clearance life. In the past few years with all the high profile intelligence leakers, they implemented some changes, this program has been going since at least 2021 and something like 95% of all civilian clearance are already enrolled in the program. All I had to do was update my information since my last approved clearance in 2018, investigation took 5-weeks and I received a good to go email. I wish they did a better job of explaining all this because I had to do a ton of research and then asking my Security Officer what was going on. Clearance Jobs posted a video explaining.