Is there a System to the Madness?

Question for Marko or any others in the “know”: I’m seeing varying timelines for conducting an investigation which continue to perplex me. Let’s consider a TS/SCI Poly clearance investigation. Some folks post timelines which have some sort of activity every month or so, indicating progress. For example, credit report pulled in December, follow-up questions in January, references contacted in February, subject interview conducted in February, Poly/Psych conducted in April (or conversely, poly/psych conducted earlier with subject interview following a month later) --> adjudication.

Whereas for others, I see a similar beginning timelines as the foregoing, leading to a subject interview in February, except no word on scheduling the poly/psych, or vice versa, with the horse jumping before the cart. What would be the possible reasons for this? Hoping that there’s a system to the madness and that it’s not a matter of “luck of the draw”?

Thanks folks.

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I think that “luck of the draw” describes EXACTLY what constitutes the whole BI process and its results for applicants.

Oh… that is just no good. No good at all… huge loss to all parties, esp the US Govt.

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There are many variables to the clearance process that have to be considered, as well as the applicant’s history and complexity of the investigation. Each case is different even though they all follow the same general process. The fasted 90% go through routinely, some get stuck waiting for a certain item to get completed. On previous posts I identified the FBI name check and military service files as the ones that most often hold up cases. IC agencies have their own nuances depending on their mission and what their thresh holds are.


Thanks Marko. Are the recruiters/security office not supposed to give updates on where the application may be hung up? Recruiters often say that they don’t know anything (asserting that there’s a wall between them and Security) and to just wait and be patient, while the Security folks don’t seem to ever respond to inquiries from applicants. Are they permitted to give a simple update for courtesy - as in, hey, we haven’t forgotten you and we’re waiting on x/y/z portion, etc.?

They don’t have visibility on each case item pending completion, only whether it is still open or closed. The few security folks who do have visibility most likely are inundated with other things and don’t have the time or incentive to be checking individual cases when they have other priorities. It is what it is.

Based upon actual experience, I think that you are absolutely correct!