Notice of Unfavorable Fitness Determination

I received a notification from an organization with “Notice of Unfavorable Fitness Determination” for the position I worked at for 6 months. There is no LOI or SOR. According to letter the decision was based on TS security clearance investigation which was completed in Nov 2019 by DOD. I called FSO at the agency which completed the investigation and gentleman was kind enough to look into JPAS and notified me that there are NO RED FLAGS. My wife currently holds TS (obviously i was investigated for that as well).
The confusion here is, why no SOR and JPAS show no red flag for TS so why would Public Trust be denied? The current organization didn’t send any reason behind it and I cannot appeal "because I am a contractor and not a federal employee

1 Like

Tough situation. I suppose challenge it, verify SSANs. Hate when I read about these situations. Happens often enough to know its real. But if not currently active no real mechanism to address.

How do I challenge it?

The letter states “Since you are a contractor candidate and do not have permanent status as a Federal employee, you are not afforded any replies.”

I don’t even know where to begin other than FOIA request from DCSA.

I thought you might be interested in the following:

The agency that denied you should have, at a minimum, given you the specific reasons for the adverse determination and allowed you an opportunity to respond. I would seek out more information and ask for the appeal process.

1 Like

Just because you have a favorably adjudicated TS does not mean you will receive a favorably adjudicated PT.

What happened in your life between time of favorable TS and beginning of PT?

You should have received a LOI, you should have been given a chance to respond to that LOI, and then received a decision (a denial letter in your case).

You won’t be able to appeal, that is true.


This is an excerpt from that article… very interesting and possibly of interest:

My personal opinion is that agencies use “suitability” and “fitness” determinations as cagey end-runs around the security clearance due process protections outlined in Executive Order 12968. In essence, suitability and fitness determinations offer much quicker, easier, and more cost-effective means of getting rid of undesirable employees.

Note that this is the author’s personal opinion but it happens to be the same as mine.


You nailed it. Any time they can move on from a person and not do the requisite heavy lifting normally involved…human tendency is following path of least resistance. With adjudicator shortages more and more hit the “easy” button to duck responsibility. This destroys careers, lifetimes of work. I feel for anyone in this circumstance and I can tell you after three communications to FSO or HR…they will cut you off. My advice is remain polite, professional and calm. Communicate in writing showing read and delivery receipt. I believe your representative will need contacted to get any measure of detail to understand what sunk your boat. Keep us posted.

I have an appointment with the lawyer in this matter on Monday and have also submitted FOIA request thru DCSA.MIL…I think Amberbunny2, you are right, they are just sitting on their back and not really want to do anything.
Found our another juicy thing, 70% of the team I worked with never had their fingerprints done and did not go thru the process I had to go thru and they have been around more much longer than me.
I think there is something fishy going on, why they didn’t submit any fingerprints and I had to when we all had the same level of access. .

They used the investigation for TS which ended in Nov 2019 to make the decisions, if anything changed since then, the current organization would not know of the changes since they never conducted their own investigation.

Because they gave you a suitability denial, you don’t get an SOR. Acceptable behavior and fitness at one organization does not necessarily convey. So if you had some issues that might have been mitigated and accepted for your DoD TS, that might not be ok at your new organization. Depending on the state you are in too, if it is an at-will employment state, you are probably wasting your time and money with a lawyer.


It might take some time to do, but you can submit a FOIA request for a copy of your investigation report.

Did you have an interview? If so, were you confronted on anything? Did the investigator need to report multiple corrections to your form?

Excess of foreign nationals?

Financial issues?

Maybe a report or two from prior employment came back with issues.

Excess traffic tickets with high fines?

Member of questionable organizations?

Much like grocery shopping, several relatively small things can quickly add up.

Waiting on FOIA request to be processed.
Investigator only reached out to me 2 times, the whole investigation was completed in 14 months to be exact.
My sister is a foreign national, but it was the same while I was active duty military and didn’t affect my wife’s current TS.
On credit, I did a Died In Lieu on the property because of job relocation, did not owe the bank any more at the closer and provided investigator with the proper paperwork. I have zero collections, all accounts are paid on time and credit score is 700+.
Had 1 ticket, 145$ fine, paid in full before court date.
No organizations.
We will see what FOIA shows.

1 Like

Perhaps the process changed and they were grandfathered in?

Not true, you can do a Congressional Inquiry. If this is stopping you from being employed in a field of business/service that is your chosen field. Go on line, find your congressman and fill out the forms. You can get the information in that manner. It still might not provide you with what you want to see, but at least you can find out the why.

I am waiting on FOIA from DCSA to come back and see what they have cooked up in there. In the meanwhile, I have started a new position, learned my lesson, not working for any government agency ever again.

1 Like

A FOIA Request can and usually does take a VERY long time; More-so now because of COVID. I had a FOIA request from a specific agency take 6.5 years, no joke.

You can go thru your Representative and they “can” be quite helpful according to who they are that is. Not all Representatives are equal to be frank. When it comes to Intel Agencies, the one’s who sit on the Intelligence Committee have more contacts and frankly more power to push inquiries.

Also, Agencies will tell you that you can only do one; Either a FOIA request or a Congressional inquiry. Knowing what i know now, I would go with Congressional Inquiry because atleast you have an advocate that can call for you and possibly send a staffer to the Agency and just be a nuisance. This is hit or miss.

I would not spend money on an attorney in this regard. They, unless they have connections at the agencies, have no power to move things along at this particular moment. I know all you need in the info, but agencies are pricks when it comes to releasing info, especially when they know they are at fault.

With regard to me, i was denied an interview with an agency rep for a job and was never told why. I had always wondered if there was something in my security file or investigations, but when i got my FOIA request recently, there was nothing adverse in it and no mention of why i was even denied the interview. I still do not know.

Agencies make up their own play books unfortunately and much of it comes from laziness. I empathize with you, I wish i could tell you to hang in there and fight it, but from what i know now and how long they take to address requests, i would not waste my time; it will only leave you in limbo and depressed waiting on a response. Trust me on that.

As others have said, it’s not a clearance denial it’s a suitability denial. You wouldn’t get an SOR. What did the investigator reach out to you about?? Your wife’s clearance and suitability has nothing to do with yours. Your suitability has nothing to do with the clearance you had in the military. Suitability is based on your character and conduct. You mentioned you did a deed in lieu. Which is in lieu of foreclosure correct? Did you report that to your agency while it was going on? Your credit does take a hit when you do that and although we don’t get credit scores, they do look at that. Was the mortgage behind when you did that? Each agency decides your suitability. There are some agencies who don’t allow anything negative especially when it comes to credit. Hopefully for FOIA will provide some information to you but luckily, it’s not a clearance denial. By you already working for them, did you have any incidences that you had to list on your clearance?

Thank you for your input. My wife and I have all the joint accounts to include Died in Lieu. She reported it to her FSO and I notified the investigator. I only spoke with investigator twice. Yes, mortgage was behind because since approval till recording of the died, the process took 8 months and mortgage during those 8 months shows as past due.

Follow up question, Where would a “Suitability denial” be reflected; is it on JPAS or SC?

Wondering if that is what happened to me when i was not even given access to site for an interview.

I have my Security records from a FOIA request and also a PR request and ind there is nothing in them about that interview or anything about suitability.