NCMS Conference

I’m at the NCMS conference this week, to hear from DSS, OPM, ODNI, NISPPAC, and more - what are your biggest questions/concerns about the security clearance process?

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How can we reconcile the timelines being cited in official statistics with what folks are seeing in the real world? When does the clock actually start ticking?

They tell us investigations take 246 days but folks are seeing much longer times. They tell us adjudication takes 30 days (or 90) but folks have to wait much longer after they see that their investigation has closed in JPAS.

Why are security investigations above confidential level even being done for foreign nationals? Including full SSBIs where all the verifiers/REFEs are themselves fully foreign nationals. This is mostly on DoD cases. You have foreign nationals from hostile parts of the world coming to the U.S. as students and then joining the U.S. military and then getting security clearances. Or at least secret or TS clearance investigations.

That’s interesting! I didn’t realize that was happening. I know of a relatively small population who join the military and get their citizenship that way, but not from hostile countries. So you’re saying you’ve seen that in multiple cases? Have you been allowed to/been able to use VOIP/phone to track down references?

I’ll ask about the adjudication issue - I haven’t seen that addressed. The processing times issue has come up a lot and they don’t have a great answer to that. As far as the stats, they always highlight the numbers are for the fastest 90 percent of investigations - there are many outside of those figures. I’ve met people with personnel working for two years on an interim clearance, which I’ve never seen before!

I’ll try to get an answer on the adjudication issue - they shouldn’t be sitting in adjudication for 90 days, assuming the investigation is closed. NBIB isn’t moving that many cases forward!

Most but not all entering the military. All references were in U.S. and I met them, but clearly they were FOBs (fresh of boat) foreign nationals (e.g., schoolmates). I’ve had SSBIs on Chinese nationals (no dual). SSBIs on Africans (no dual) where residences within coverage period included villages w/o street names (everyone knows everyone there). I’ve had Latin Americans, East Indians, SE Asians, Ukrainians, etc, non-citizens. I think a FOIA request should be done, the actual numbers of foreign nationals (non-duals) obtained, and this information be told to Americans. The person who does this could get a serious article out of it and be invited on some Fox News shows (e.g., Tucker Carlson), etc.