How is past employment verified for a SF86 secret clearance?

The government is sending out questionnaires to my former employers to verify my employment history. I sent out emails to the companies regarding this matter, but nobody replies. Does anybody have similar experience?

I don’t think all the supervisors could remember everybody in their teams, especially if you only worked for a short period of time.

There is no need for you to send out any emails. You do not need to direct your investigation. Unless you are contacted by an investigator who request additional information there is nothing more for you to do.

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What if all the companies / managers simply choose to ignore these questionnaires? Probably because they couldn’t remember me anymore or they simply don’t want the trouble to fill in the forms and mail the forms out? What could be the adverse effect on my clearance if they choose to do so?

If there is an issue, you will be contacted. Stop worrying about things that have not happened yet. Companies keep records of employees, even when the period of employment is short. As an investigator, believe me when I say, this ain’t our first rodeo.


I send a heads up to folks that I know will be contacted just so they know it’s coming and aren’t surprised, but that is personal references. Former employers I wouldn’t bother notifying. HR will probably be the ones responding and they probably don’t have any idea who you are, nor do they care. Besides, about all they can say is the dates you worked there and if maybe you’re eligible for rehire. If they say you’re not eligible for rehire there might be additional questions.

Would the questionnaires be sent to the managers instead of HRs?

A lot of companies won’t discuss anything more than the dates of employment. If it is a government contractor, especially a cleared defense contractor, they might be more willing to share more info with an investigator.

They can send it to anyone. But the manager is probably going to forward to HR.

Is the subject interview supposed to be arranged after these questionnaires are sent out (and / or returned from) to past employers? I mean, if there is a subject interview for a secret level clearance.

No. There’s no set order of events.

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Anyone here knows what happens if employers never respond?

PI told me it’s quite common, and DCSA simply "write it off“ if they don’t hear back from employers and close the investigation/move to adjudication. Anyone here knows how long they wait until they just “write it off?”