Question about FSO access to eQIP and potentially delaying the application process

I recently started at a new job and now they would like to put me up for a TS clearance. In my interview they had asked if I would be willing to apply for one and I said sure, but that I wasn’t familiar with the process/requirements at all. I’ve been working for about a month now and I had a meeting with our FSO. She explained everything I had to do (fingerprints/SF-86/etc.) and added that my ability to get the clearance would have no effect on the state of my employment since our company has plenty of non-classified work to do.

Now that I’m filling out the form and researching the expectations / requirements, I’m 99% sure that I’m currently ineligible for TS due to substance use that continued up until around January of this year. Will my FSO examine my eQIP answers and come to that conclusion and terminate the process or should I bring it up beforehand? It seems like a waste of money to attempt to put my application into the process to me, but I’m also worried that this discussion would cast me in a bad light which is something I’m not eager to do as I’m a new employee here.

I’m also confused about her statement that it doesn’t make a difference whether or not I am granted the clearance. She said that they like to have as many people as possible with clearances in case contracts come up, but reading elsewhere it sounds like the process is costly and that you have to provide specific reasons for submitting an application to even be granted access to the eQIP system.

If you used drugs in the last 10 years, don’t even think about applying for a TS. Your opening up a huge can of worms and I suspect your reputation with your current employer will go south fast.

I disagree with the previous poster. I would say go through the process, be open and honest and you never know what may happen. These processes are taking a LONG time, up to 2-3 years. So by the time you get to a poly or adjudicative review, some time will have passed since your mistake. Own up to it, be honest, and try to mitigate by describing steps you are taking to not let it happen again. I would say it looks better to try and not get approved than to not go through with the processing.

My advice…respectfully withdraw from the process. Tell them you are new and want to focus on getting into the rhythm there first. If your current position does not require access or clearance eligibility they should be okay. As an FSO/Security Manager, I cannot “not” disclose substance abuse for cleared people. If a worker tells me, I must inform clearance division. But if a person is struggling financially and we want to put them in for TS, they are honest about a lower than ideal FICO score, I do not submit them. I can work with some areas. We are a business and our business is not submitting people we know we will lose. I would not submit until you have 12 solid months of no drug use. I would also take other mitigating steps to remove yourself from that world. Tell the FSO you need take care of a few things first and want to be a strong candidate. If current employment is not contingent upon submitting you need not tell them anything else. Whatever you do, do not fib on the SF86/Equip application. Period. Do not stretch the timeframe to put you into the right time frame. If the drugs used are harder than MJ, and your age is higher than 24, you may need wait 18 months of no use or 2 years.

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Thanks, I appreciate the replies even though they contain conflicting opinions :sweat_smile:.

Unfortunately my age > 24 and substance harder than MJ as recent as January 2018.

Do FSOs read the eQIP before submitting to JPAS to weed out any egregiously unsuitable submissions?

Most do . . . or should anyway . . . But, I don’t think that’s the way that you want the FSO at this company to find out that you may be ineligible.

One of the biggest problems is that if you go through with the application and are rejected by the government, you will need to report that denial with any future clearance application. So, while you may get your clearance now, you are risking getting in the future.

This person also said “while i am filling out the form.” Which I assume means he has already been granted access to E-QIP. Can this person really back out now without making himself look worse or less trustworthy than just going through with the process and seeing what happens?

I think that is the wrong question to ask.

Yes, I already have the majority of the form filled out…

I talked to my FSO about it and they made it sound like it’s no huge deal and that I should still submit the form. They basically reformulated what lmikelowrey stated. One of my big concerns was what EdFarmerIII mentioned, that if I fail to attain a clearance at this point then later on in the future it will be more difficult. I expressed this to my FSO too.

Anyways I feel like I was slightly thrust into this situation unaware of the gravity of everything. I had the initial meeting with my FSO early on and then immediately had access to the eQIP. There was no indication that I would need a clearance on the job posting (although during one interview I was asked “Would you be willing to apply for a security clearance?” and answered yes offhandedly, but stated that I have no experience with that sort of thing). Five months ago I never would’ve guessed I’d be in a situation where I’m being put up for a TS clearance

@lmikelowrey, I dont think it will look bad. However, it certainly beats going through the process and potentially have a security clearance denial.

Nonetheless, I agree with @amberbunny here and I suggest you to withdraw… Admittedly, I am surprised that your FSO gave you the advice after the disclosure. One of the concerns is the agency that will be adjudicating your ability to obtain clearance. If you read around, you will see that adjudication is a very subjective process. If it is wit If you are still unsure, you might want to contact security clearance lawyer and see.

You likely need talk to your manager to express you want to remain and grow but for right now as you are getting finances together you want to make sure you are a solid candidate for clearance and need some time to get things together financially. I do NOT mean to apply I would hide known financial difficulties. Only that if a person is struggling, I give advice on how to raise the credit score which is, no surprise: get in a payment plan, review credit report, challenge what isn’t yours, pay off low hanging fruit. If the clearance is not currently part of the job and they want to grow you…retain you…they should be willing to work with you and give you the minimum 12 months since last use. There is significant case law presented here showing a lot of previous drug use can be overlooked and clearance granted. But one need not enter the process by shooting themselves int he foot. It is true your investigation likely does not begin for 4 months. That still leaves you shy of the 12 months minimum. It will take 6 to 8 months to clear Secret putting you in the required minimum, but amount of use, involvement, type, selling or conspiracy to distribute moves it to a different level. And yes simply talking to a friend about your stash and who may want to purchase some is conspiracy to distribute. You really need not disclose to the FSO why you do not wish to do this right now. However, if the job absolutely requires you get cleared…you get into a narrow position. If you stick with "I am willing and I shall…but for right now I need get my financial house and other aspects of my life in order so I will be a far greater candidate, " If I was your manager I would accept that. If your FSO has submitted numerous people and they cleared with the same background…they may understand the process for your client. But it is more likely he just submits papers and lets chips fall where they may. As a senior manager and something called “key Staff” here I take in the much bigger picture of retaining solid employees. Recruiting in an under 4% unemployment environment is already difficult. But that works in your favor. Simply stick with “I need get a few things in order first.”

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