Hold a TS but work is secret

I hold a TS but I’m switching employers and my work will only be at the secret level. At the six year mark, what happens? Am I downgraded to secret and the window is stretched to 10 years? Am I submitted for a T3R instead of a T5R and will hold secret after this? Or will I continue with a T5R?

The clearance stays with the position, not the person. It seems like splitting hairs but it is an important distinction. You will need put in for a Secret clearance by your new sponsor. If it is the same company…they likely will just carry you at the TS clearance and you can utilize and work with “up to and including” TS. If it is a new company altogether, they will put you in for a Secret clearance. If you leave the old company they will end sponsorship of the TS or should end sponsorship. So it isn’t really correct to say you get “downgraded,” though I understand what you are saying.

I should type this up and just say “see standard response #5” but I will say it again, that in years past, it was not a big deal to carry people at the TS level if they didn’t really need it, as long as they had a current clearance. But all the customers are really cracking down on such things and it seems like contractors are being pressured to limit access to what is actually needed to do the job.

Hopefully when it is time for your periodic update, the security office will be able to justify a reinvestigation that will keep you current at the TS level. But who knows…

So a company with secret level work can’t pick back up a TS and let me work on secret?

I only know how DoD works and I think they would have to have at least one contract that requires TS work… and then have the ability to submit people for a TS under that contract.

Maybe somebody else can correct me or verify this… but I don’t think they can sponsor you for a TS reinvestigation (Tier 5R?) without a contract at that level.

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I figured they can’t submit for a T5R if I/they don’t need it. My new employer does have TS work but my particular work will be under secret. They didn’t seem to have a problem with the knowledge that I have a TS beforehand when I got hired.

You simply need to be allocated to a TS position and have a need to know.

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Comp is correct. It is the position driving the need for eligibility. That said, many companies will simply tell the government they put this person in for that work as the government cannot tell a company how many FTE’s full time equivalents they must pay to do a task. If a company says and wants to pay 18 people for work…so be it…they still must win the contract and accept the pricing. Obviously if a company has 2 people, and they deliver…the company makes more profit on the contract. But if a company likes cleared contracting they will not have a problem trying to get as many cleared as they can possibly get away with…but it requires a 254 stating they have a cleared contract, or whatever the document is now referred to as. .

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There’s the question of how many people they want to put on the job, but there is also the question of how large a pool of cleared employees they need. In order to have maybe 5-10 people working on a contract they may be able to justify 20 or more cleared people, since contracts come and go and not everyone will be available for the big push to get past the next delivery.

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The company I’m going to is fairly large and we’re talking thousands of cleared employees so I don’t think it’ll be that hard to say they need more TS people. Is there such thing as a clearance downgrade at all? Like at the 5 year mark with a TS, the company decides they don’t me at a TS anymore but a S will do. Does their exist a process to push the clearance down a level and extend out the reinvestigation for a T3R instead in another 5 years? Or would they have to put me in for a fresh T3 instead at the 5 year point?

@DALcal I think you should ask your new company and FSO, because in the end, it is in their hands what level they sponsor you at. These are valid questions during an interview. Generally, if they have TS work, they will likely submit you for a T5R, but even so, it is up to them and their contracts and limits. It doesn’t matter what any of us say on this forum.

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Opamp restated my point (better actually). If the company has cleared contracts requiring TS cleared people, and you are favorable in the eyes of the company, they will fight to keep you cleared TS. Why? Because they can continue to fight for other cleared contracts. However, if they no longer have TS cleared, or any other cleared work…and you come up for reinvestigation…you can lose sponsorship. I always recommend people follow their clearance dates so they know when they are due. If the current company doesn’t want more cleared work and you are on the bubble…look around for other cleared work.