One of my investigators revealed information to my parents?

Hi guys. I am a 22 y/o recent grad who just recently got her first job as an auditor in an OIG. I need a TS and the process is currently underway.

On my SF-86 and during my subject interview, I confirmed with the investigator that I did have a fake ID while I was in college for common activities (going to bars, purchasing alcohol) and he assured me that it happens, and I would need an additional reference to verify this. I gave the investigator the name of a friend who know about my fake ID and said he could confirm the fact I had one/used it, etc. This was a couple week’s ago and my friend said he had an interview and it was fine. He was honest about everything. My investigator asked about unemployment and if anyone could verify the time I was a student and he said parents were okay so I gave my dad. He was interviewed earlier this morning and then just a few minutes ago, called me and started asking about my fake ID and went on this whole tangent about what I was doing in undergrad and what ELSE was I spending my time and money on while I should’ve been studying.

Long story short, used a friend to verify my undergrad illegal activities, used parents to verify unemployment. Parents get asked about illegal activities instead.

Is this allowed? I didn’t lie on any form and was completely honest to my investigator, I just didn’t want my parents knowing about what I did in undergrad because I come from a strict family and yeah, I graduated but it just put the thought into their head that I was one of those college girls they didn’t expect their daughter to be.

Absolutely not allowed. It is a violation of the Privacy Act of 1974, which applies to all source interviews. Please, identify the investigating agency (either OPM, DCSA, etc) who is doing your clearance investigation to have that Investigator reprimanded. That is actually a very serious breach in our line of work.

It usually happens when an Investigator is too lazy to develop the information from knowledgeable sources, so they spill the beans to one hoping that they can write it up as a knowledgeable source.

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All sources get asked about your illegal activities. The question are the same for each Source. However, we are not able to divulge any information to Sources. So if he asked “Are you aware of any criminal conduct?” And they said no, and he followed up with “Are you aware of her having a fake if in college?” He was wrong.

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I don’t know if he followed up with “Are you aware of her having a fake id in college?” Or if it was along those lines. I just know the information got to my dad somehow.

Thank you both. The investigator that did my subject interview stated he was from the National Background Investigations Bureau. I’ll try to ask my dad if he remember his name and file a complaint. They’re back in Massachusetts (I’m in the DC area) so he had a different investigator.

I don’t know how the fake ID topic came up with your parents and I am curious how the topic came up.

Three comments on this one -

  1. We need more than 1 person to confirm the fake ID, so the first investigator should have asked for more than 1 person. This might be why the Massachusetts investigator was digging to see if your parents had knowledge. Still not okay to disclose any info to any source, but maybe this was the reasoning behind it.

  2. Why did you use your parents as unemployment verifiers? I am actually annoyed that the first investigator let you use your parents (likely because he didn’t have to interview them and could schedule the interview to another investigator. Investigators like to pawn off work on other investigators so they can close their own items). Parents are usually the worst verifiers of unemployment because they can be living in a different state and (obviously) did not know what you were actually doing with your time while in college. You “Friend” that knew of the fake ID, likely also knew you were unemployed in college. If the first investigator did his job correct and actually got the unemployment coverage from someone who saw you regularly in college, this would have never happened (still not okay of the Mass Investigator, I am just sick of all the parent interviews because it is assumed that they know everything).

  3. It seems like this fake ID is a big deal in your life and knowing that you wanted to keep it hidden from certain people (parents), would caused me to wonder if this information could be used as blackmail or coercion. It always baffles me when subjects say nobody knows about their “issues” in their life and they don’t want them to know…but no worries, it can’t be used as blackmail or coercion. Makes no sense to me.

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This is unacceptable. If it happened to me I would write a letter to my congressman.

Have my parents find out I used a fake ID in college or risk jail time and other penalties by divulging classified info to an adversary. I can’t imagine anyone giving up classified info for the sake of their parents finding out they used a fake in their youth.

More of a different concern but where on the form did you even list this? Bringing it up is one thing but there’s no section applicable for actually listing it.

Yeah, I didn’t do anything with the ID that led to further criminal acts (try to open a credit card or get arrested and used that as my ID) so it’s not going to harm me. I don’t think anyone is going to come up to me in 10 years and say they’ll tell my parents I got drunk the night before a midterm if I don’t tell them some secret. That would be such a stretch.

Misspoke, I didn’t put it on the form but during the interview was asked about my alcohol use and then disclosed it then.

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Did your father tell you the investigator told them about the fake ID? Or did the investigator ask general questions and your father surmised from the questioning? Could your father have suspected you had a fake ID but did not say anything until now?

I would by crystal clear on this information before reporting the investigator. If the investigator did divulge the information to a source, then they need to be looked into and disciplined.

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You bring up a fair point- I do not believe my father would have surmised it from the questioning but my belongings are his so when I was home over summer break, he could have been poking around and found it. I’ll try and clarify after the tension blows over.

Hold your horses guys. We ask everyone about criminal activity. If your parents didn’t come to you and say tell me about that ID then you please know the investigator did no wrong. All sources get the same questions

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Interviewing parents just for the sake of some sort of coverage is one of the most annoying things about this job. I’ve been assigned items where I’ve had to interview parents for simple unemployment or residential coverage. As much as I’d like to hear someones mom rant and rave about how their child is the perfect human being, I’ve always found it’s a nice waste of time interviewing parents.

Divulging specific informations is always a problem. It seems that the investigator either divulged information directly to your parents or asked a question in a way that divulged information. Questions should be asked generally, such is “are you aware of any criminal activities that she may have engaged in?” Now if the investigator expected your parents to know of the issue and got a “no” response it would be absolutely fine to ask another more specific follow-up question. I tend to try to ask these more conversationally and apply it to the larger population. You could pry slightly further and say something such as “So she never got in trouble even when she was younger, such as underage drinking, drug experimentation, using fake ID’s to get into clubs, or any of that other stiff kids do these days?” This doesn’t divulge anything specific about your actions. However, the question cannot be so specific as to give away information such as “Are you away that your daughter used a fake ID?”

Now if there was no expectation that your parents would know of this fake ID anyways, then there would be no reason to pry any further, and the investigator should have just reported their lack of knowledge, if necessary.

If this fake ID wasn’t used for criminal purposes then I assume it come up in the “other names used” section in which case it would apply more to questions regarding honesty.

Anyways, if your parents now know about the fake ID, whoch they did not beforehand (safe assumption if your parents are just bringing the issue up now), then it is safe to assume that the investigator messed up (unless your friend would have talked to your parents about the interview for any reason). In which case, the investigator violated the Privacy Act of 1974, and you should report him or her as this is not an acceptable practice.

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