Foreign Business/Professional/Government Contacts Detail Question

For the past many years (7+) I have worked (in the United States) in the private sector promoting US companies and business interests in about a dozen different NATO member countries. Few days passed by that I did not email a foreign government contact in an Embassy or Ministry to coordinate logistics for an event or meeting. Every month we hosted events with foreign government officials as guests of honor. I planned multi-day events in the foreign capitals that involved many group meetings for US companies to meet with foreign government officials. These foreign trips were planned with coordination and support from the local US embassies, but were private trips.

This experience is exactly why I was hired for the job for which I’m now seeking a (I believe secret) clearance, as it is what I will be doing for the USG.

My question is what level of detail to go into when disclosing these contacts through my job. I am no longer at the firm where I did this work, so I have no access to my archived email to pour over looking up every last official I ever contacted. I certainly remember my key foreign interlocutors over the years, and I have records of the principals I met, but is it expected that I list every office administrator that I ever emailed in coordinating logistics for their bosses? In many meetings there were lower level foreign government staff members who I might have never met or if I shook their hands kept no record of their presence. Is there a threshold for “meaningful” contact? If my contact with foreign government contacts was so fleeting that I have no memory of who they were and no record available to me of their existence, how do I characterize that in E-QIP?

Ok so from my understanding and experience with foreign contacts, there seems to be a big difference between foreign work contacts and personal/continues foreign contacts. I did work in a foreign country as a US citizen for a State Dept project for years. but I only mentioned the contacts that I still have with those foreign individuals or if that foreign work contact morphed into ‘friendship’ (for lack of better word) contacts.
During the BI you will be asked, that’s for sure, how many foreign contacts you have/had. But when I mentioned my work contacts to the B. Investigator, he/she was like: No, do you still have contacts with those foreign individual(s) or is the contact continues. In my case, out of all the foreign contacts during my years of overseas work, I have/had continuous contact with only 1 person and I declared that in details. The rest of contacts I was not asked and I was told those were work related contacts.
I guess the BI didn’t care much about work contacts.
But that’s my experience and knowledge.

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Thanks. That’s certainly how it feels it should be. The one difference is, you say you were working on a State Department project. At other times in the form you’re allowed to ignore anything done for official US business. My job was totally outside the government. We worked closely with US government agencies, but were not sponsored by them.

Follow up question. My job just ended a couple months ago, so I can’t really say whether I’ll have “lasting” contacts with them or not. I haven’t specifically had any contact with them yet, but that doesn’t seem like enough of a “cool down” period. Should I list a few of my most regular contacts at least?

I did contract work too, it was a company working on a State Dept. project.

Regarding your Questions, I think one of the more experienced BI-ers here on the forum could give you an accurate answer. I don’t want to add my personal thoughts that might be incorrect.
I have seen both side of the coin. On one side some say you need to add/include extra information, as one FSO once said “It is always better to give a little too much then not enough.”
On the other side of the debate I have heard BI-ers say don’t give too much if not required, just include what is asked.

So …

Foreign contacts in the performance of US government duties as part of your government work are not reportable.

Foreign contacts at work in the performance of your non-government employment are normally reportable. Most agencies are not interested in the foreign associate in the US working in your office that you have no contact outside of work - though some sensitive agencies want that information to screen that foreign coworker.

Subjects and the peanut gallery spend a lot time trying to over-analyze the “close and/or continuing” part of the personal foreign association question. Here is the dirt. We are looking for foreign agents from ANY country that could possibly be cultivating/grooming you.

I won’t go into the silliness of people trying to tell me foreign relatives/friends/etc are not “close” therefore don’t have to be reported. If you truly don’t care about them, dump them from you social media. If you hesitate - you are too close to them.

You are truly better off listing these people on the questionnaire, responding to the questions on the expanded SF 86 (the questionnaires since 2010) and showing that you are not hiding anything or anyone.

I have an issue similar to this check out my post. What I did is i declared everything. I clearly stated that outside my employment i had no further contact with foreigners. I clearly stated that it was bc of my job that i had contact with foreigners including having to give advice for various issues. I stated all the foreign contact that i have close and continuing contact such as family and friends and what they all did for work.
Be very very very thorough! It may take a long time to complete but best to be honest bc this section can pinch you.