Investigator,Reviewer,and Adjudicator

What’s the difference and similarities between Investigator, Reviewer, and Adjudicator?

Can an investigator look at your case and say “I believe you will get you clearance based on the information in your case”?

What does the reviewer do and at what stage in the entire process that the reviewer come into play?

If your case has moved from OPM to DOE agency, and you receive a letter from the Agency, does it mean that the reviewer did his/her work and sent you a letter? OR the letter is from the assigned adjudicator?

An investigator only sees his or her own assigned pieces of the case and cannot advise on the probability of getting cleared. A reviewer only ensures that all required items are completed for the type of investigation needed before it gets closed and sent to the requesting agency. The adjudicator sees the entire closed case and makes the decision.


We here on this site that many investigator apparently say things like, “everything looks good, you should be OK” or “you should have your clearance a few weeks after I close my part of the investigation”. But, as Marko noted, they don’t really know much about what is going to happen after they finish their work and really shouldn’t say anything like this. I don’t think that they are being truly false when they say this. I suspect that it is just the natural inclination to try to make someone feel better about what is going on.

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Investigator - Does all the work, talks to numerous people, gets records, goes to addresses etc.

Reviewer - sends reports back because they like the word “the” instead of the word “A”

Adjudicator - rubber stamps almost everything because financial issues, drugs, alcohol, criminal past really don’t matter anymore.


Love this! 100% true!

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At one time I would have disagreed with you, however now that I am seeing people clear with so many serious issues. I think I have to agree with you now unfortunately. I am starting to become cynical, and think this whole process is broken and just another botched up money grab.

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Do you not find it funny that agencies will help employees with things like drug and alcohol addiction AFTER they’re cleared? I feel like if two years ago when someone was in college they did something dumb and they’ve been spotless since then… they should have more of a chance than someone who’s been in the field for x amount of years and KNOWS what is expected as a government employee and chooses to still do the wrong thing. I’ll hop off my soapbox though.

Times have changed, and I suspect it’s because people are becoming more corrupt in their ways.

It may just be because it’s hard to find people with flawlessness.

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I’ve found that most people don’t have a work ethic anymore; they do not care about doing a job fully or to the best of their abilities. They do their tasks half-ass and still expect a full paycheck.

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The word is “Discipline”. One needs discipline to have a good record. These days folks with high class discipline are hard to find. The govt can only work with what they have (Human Resource).

It’s not the adjudicators fault, but the society(ies).

Some of the civilian employees I dealt with while in the military defined a new class of ???. Lazy, didn’t want to help anyone. If you questioned them them threatened to file a grievance. They were there to collect their GS paycheck and nothing else. And of course nothing could be done to to unions.

Hello ipsecmerlin,

What kinds of “serious issues” have seen from people who get cleared? I have some issues on my background but nothing I see as too serious, so I’d just like to compare.

Thanks for your help,

Semper fi! being over 50k in delinquent debts, alcohol and drugs violence. Its easy to clear these days.

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Drug and alcohol addiction are legally considered diseases and fall under the ADA. Employers are required to allow the employee the same opportunity for addiction treatment/rehab/recovery that they would allow for any other sickness or disease, whether they’re cleared or not.

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I hope you’re right!