I’m not very well versed in the clearance process and would appreciate some perspective.
In 2016, I had a conditional offer from an IC agency. I was a recent grad who was so caught up in the allure for working for this agency that I didn’t think about what it would be like to be scrutinize for a Top Secret Clearance. I completed a SF-86 and sat for a lifestyle polygraph. The polygraph did not go well. I mistook the polygrapher for a therapist, brought up some of my insecurities and an immoral, but not illegal behavior that occurred in 2010. In March 29, 2017, I received a letter from the agency that rescinded my conditional offer. But the letter said that I was not “denied clearance” and I should note as much when I complete security forms in the future. I think if I got it in my head that I’m a good person it might have been a different result. I was disappointed but I moved on.
Fast forward to today. I recently started a job for a federal contractor and recently completed a SF-85p for a public trust position. Question 18a asks “Has the United States Government ever investigated your background and/or granted you a security clearance?” I thought I met the criteria for having my background investigated so I said yes. The agency that’s conducting the public trust investigation said the IC agency was contacted and they said I was “denied clearance” in April 4, 2017, four days after I received the recension letter. I already submitted a response and provided a copy of the recension letter, but I have lingering questions.
Was I correct in thinking that I met the criteria for a “background investigation?” I did some research and I’m thinking that maybe a background investigation is a specific step within the hiring process, where an investigator will interview former neighbors and associates. I did not reach that stage in my previous offer. If “No” to 18a was the correct response, maybe the IC agency wouldn’t have been contacted and this whole can of worms could have been avoided.
Since the IC agency has already been contacted, should I assume 100% transparency between them and the current government agency? I’m concerned that the things I said during the polygraph almost 2 years ago will be used against me without due process. Since I am going for a Public Trust and the polygraph was for a Top Secret, are there any boundaries that will apply?
Lastly, I don’t know why the IC agency told me that I wasn’t denied clearance but apparently four days after our last correspondence, denied me clearance. Maybe the benign answer is someone made a human error somewhere along the way, but I can’t shake the idea that maybe I’m being administratively railroaded by the IC agency.