Question about failing polygraph and still getting TS-SCI

I have been working for a company for almost a year and I need a TS-SCI. My clearance has already been going forward for almost a year. I just recently took my CI polygraph twice and the results will be sent to my adjudicator. The first was inconclusive and the second showed deception on 2 questions. I told the 100% truth and honestly don’t know why it showed deception. My worry is that I wont be able to get my clearance because of this. Does anyone know if this is a major deciding factor in getting my clearance? will I be able to appeal the denial?

If I am denied a TS will I be able to re apply for a secret clearance with another company or will I have to wait? I wonder if I quit this job will my clearance stop so it wont be denied.

This is my dream job and I just recently graduated college and am newly married. I moved us across the country for this and I’m terrified I will be denied a clearance and lose my job. So I wonder if I should go ahead and look for another job now, while I still have one.

Thanks, sorry if this is confusing I just need to talk to someone who may be able to give me some advice

UPDATE: I GOT A CALL BACK ON FRIDAY FOR A 3rd POLY .But its over a month from now

Yes, the polygraph is a major deciding factor in your getting a security clearance. Where polygraph screening is required, passing is a sine qua non. Unfortunately, there is no meaningful appeal process for the many who end up being falsely branded as liars.

So there is no course of action that I can take? How long after I am denied can I re apply for a secret clearance?

Keep in mind, you might be called for a third polygraph. So, there is still a chance.

Anyway, failing a polygraph will almost always end the process (ie: you will likely be found unsuitable for the position). There is nothing you can do about that unless you have a rather deep pocket. So, you will probably not be denied. In that case, there is no negative impact for you in term of applying for other jobs except for applying for jobs with the said agency in which you did not pass the poly.

If I were you, I would keep looking for other jobs even if everything works out in the end. there is no harm in advancing and marketing yourself. (ie: applying for jobs).

I have no idea about anything but from things I’ve read, I think the polygraph just gives them an area to dig into. If it “shows” deception in a certain area, that area may be magnified later in the process to try and uncover something. I’ve basically been told that I’ve raped and murdered an entire village during one of my polys. I believe you will be fine with whole person concept if that’s the only issue you have.

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I should add that I’ve been with this company for almost a year and my clearance has already been started for almost that entire year

@hawk911 I’ve seen people say that the whole person concept should make it ok. I hope that’s true because I am a military brat born and raised and I have no ties to terrorism so hopefully the ajudicator will see that.

I have heard the same thing as hawk, that it becomes an area that is dove deeper into to see if anything is there and, though it may extend the investigation and make things longer and more up in the air, is not an automatic deal breaker.

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“No adverse action concerning these guidelines may be taken
solely on the basis of polygraph examination technical calls in the absence of adjudicatively
significant information.” SEAD-4, Appendix A.1.©

But that’s for adjudication. I think AWoodhull is right that they can do whatever they want for their suitability criteria.

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The poly examiner said the results would be sent to my adjudicator. My clearance has got to be almost done (background investigation etc.) since it was started almost a year ago.

@alleycat did you meet with an investigator? That’s near the end of that part since they will talk about what they found.

So . . . The test showed that you were “deceptive” on two questions? A large portion of this is going to revolve around what those two questions were. But, I suspect that you will get a chance to show an investigator and/or adjudicator that you were not lying about those questions and you may even discover why those to questions caused you to react.

I spoke with an investigator months ago

Look for something in your life that could make you nervous when talking about terrorism. Your father is active duty? He could be a target or may have been a potential target in the past. Have you ever been close to anyone who did, or almost, lose their life in a attack? Friends of your father? Was it a common discussion in your home?

I’m almost 58 years old. I was in Southern New Jersey on 9/11/2001. I frequented NYC for many years. I still can’t talk about it without my eyes tearing up and I get agitated.

There may be far more going on than you realize.

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This is the complete opposite of what my polygraph examiner told me when I was told I was showing “deception” for the question about serious crimes. I said that maybe the word “serious crime” makes me think of murder and maybe that is causing my body to react. They told me that I would have to be thinking of a crime that I committed and that my answer would not be causing the test to show deception. They said I would know what was causing the deception and that I just didn’t want to talk about it. I was told by all 4 different examiners to not think into the questions or it would cause inconclusive results.

They are allowed to tell you just about anything that they want. Anything that makes you react can make the machine show your reaction. The operator has no idea why you are reacting and you certainly may not either.

@Marko, does suitability determination apply to contractor employee with Title 10 organizations?

I do believe that contractor employees will need to be determined suitable for a position with a Title 5 organization, which OPM has jurisdiction. OPM, recently, issues guidance or policy regarding to suitability determination for contractor employees in which contractor employees will undergo suitability determination as do Federal employees.

Anyway, background investigation is one part of the process and suitability determination is another part. Both usually go hand-in-hand; however, agencies have much more flexibility when it comes to suitability determination. Point is that, applicant can be adjudicated favorably, but not suitable for a position; thus, will not get the job.


I had mentioned that to my examiner and he said that wasn’t it. That it couldn’t be it, but how could he know?? Everything I suggested to him as to why it could have read that way, he said it wasn’t it


I will try to figure out what is going on. It was always common to talk about it and yes unfortunately my father lost friends. Do you know if I will be given a chance to speak to my investigator again since my interview was conducted months ago?

If a person needs a security clearance they are adjudicated under national security adjudicative guidelines and suitability, fitness and credentialing is automatically granted if favorable. If no clearance is involved the agency adjudicates for suitability if a civil servant and fitness for a contractor and credentialing is automatically applied based on the decision.