Public Trust (HR) Questions


Hello, I'm going through the process of getting my Public Trust High Level background check completed. I have been given letter of derogatory and 30 days to respond to it. My issue is 95% of the issues listed for me to "explain" are all over 10 years old. Even a consumption of alcohol by a minor when I was 16 or 17. That was about 17 years ago or so. I was under the impression that a BI for public trust only goes back 5 years, with the NACI going back 7.

Was I mistaken in this? I have a DOD Secret that I was issued in 2009. The current entity I'm contracting for decided that my SECRET wasn't good enough and wanted me to go through the PT BI for high risk. Now they are pulling up several matters that happened in my early adulthood that I wasn't even questioned on when I obtained my SECRET. Also they have been doing this PT BI for approx one year. I have been on site for almost a full year, and now have to explain matters for a PT that happened 17 years ago? Is this common practice? Especially asking about my minor record? Is that even legal? It's not like I'm going for a TS or working for the CIA/FBI. This is for an armed security position with an entity under the Department of the Interior.

I'm wondering if this is authorized under the scope of a PT to go back over 17 years and question a minor conduct ticket that happened as a minor? Where does the 5 and 7 years come into play with the Public Trust? I ask because this investigator for this Fed entity is famous for telling people they are unsuitable for the job because of incidents (in most cases minor) that happened over 10 years from the BI. Is this guy going off the reservation and doing his own program or are they authorized to review your entire life for the Public Trust suitability?? It's weird enough I had an active secret and that wasn't even taken into account. I suppose maybe the BI was conducted lower than the high risk so that could account for that... but throwing an underage drinking ticket at me from 17 years ago? For a Public Trust?

Do I need to get an attorney to help with my response to the letter?

Any thoughts or advice is most appreciated

Thank you


The fact that you had a Secret clearance previously has no bearing because most are conducted using the lowest risk level investigation. In my experience, most Federal armed guard and police officer positions are high risk public trust, so it sounds like they are just now getting around to do the required upgrade investigation.
You say 95% of the issues are out of scope, but didn't say what the other 5% were. When recent conduct or issues of concern are present in an investigation then they can look at older issues that might indicate a pattern (e.g., alcohol abuse). In my opinion a lawyer will not do you any good as this is not a legal issue. You really need to make sure you understand what the issues are they are asking you about in the LOI and answer each concern with honesty, factual information, and any kind of information that will mitigate it. Go to the Adjudicative Desk Reference put out by DOD for information on issues and mitigation.