HELP! OPM Will Not Accept My Active Clearance!

I was recently in the process with an agency under DoS, which conducts and adjudicates their own TS clearances. I was not a federal employee and my clearance was approved in June of this year. I soon declined employment, because I was offered employment with an agency falling under DoD. They (OPM) said they will not accept my TS because my active TS was conducted and adjudicated by the agency under DoS. When I research this through OPM, they say all clearances have to be interchangeable between agencies. Anyone have any input on this, specifically an expert in this area?!?!?!?!

Just because you became eligible for a clearance with DoS does not mean they granted it. Regardless, once you leave an employer they withdraw the clearance. A new agency would then have to determine if the appropriate level of investigation was completed and if it meets the requirements to grant a new clearance. What they refer to is if you are with DoS and are interacting with other agencies in an official capacity then the other agency will honor your active clearance upon verification.

The agency told me they granted my clearance and then the next day, I declined employment with them to go to the other agency. Will the new agency under DoD accept the previous investigators work, interviews, etc., that was done? Or will they completely start my new TS over from scratch? Thank you for the reply and the information you can provide, it is greatly appreciated.


There is something called reciprocity. Not all agencies have it. It they don’t then you need another full SSBI to get you clearance.

Case in point. I once had to do an investigation on an FBI agent who happened to be a Navy reservist. He had FBI access to the same anti-terrorism area in the same joint command that he worked for on the Navy side. The Navy refused to accept his FBI clearance and wanted their own.

It is sad that your story does not surprise me at all. I will show OPM their own website where it discusses reciprocity and clearances being interchangeable… Thanks for the response.


If the investigation was conducted in accordance with OPM standards and they have a record of it on file then OPM will not initiate a new investigation if it meets the level of clearance needed and there is not a break of 24 months or more. The new agency should request a copy of the investigation, review it, and grant or not grant a clearance based off of it. There are certain agencies who conduct their own background investigations, e.g. FBI and CIA. Problems arise when individuals who had an investigation done by these agencies move to another agency is the inability of the new agency to verify the investigation information. That is a fallacy in the system.

and it does not help that the CIA has more rigid requirements for securing employment with them, even for those with TS/SCI clearances from other agencies.