Re-investigations a thing of the past?

Glad I got out when I did.


That’s what I heard in regards to CE that it’s eventually supposed to take the place of re-investigations and catch red flags in real time. I was also told that self reporting incidents is more important then ever. I’m not sure about a time frame but know my FSO enrolled me in March 2020 but told me due to Covid a lot of them were delayed until recently.

There are a portion of ppl who won’t self-report. There are also a portion of ppl who won’t tell the truth during interviews. It’s the same difference imo.

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That’s an interesting comparison. The person who does not tell the truth during an interview (or not disclose all the details) has to do so while talking to an actual person. The person who does not self-report doesn’t have to deal with anyone. Both run the risk of making matters worse by not being up-front in the first place.

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Its ususally the opposite during in person interviews. For the most part people tell the truth more than they need to by volunteering everything under the sun that’s not required which all has to be reported. Headache

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So the question is which method will garner more admission of issues? Self reporting (highly unlikely) or the tried and true methods of 60 years of investigative methodology that has been used in the past such as Subject Interviews, record reviews, and reference interviews?

I think we all know the most thorough way the process needs to occur and new methods and database driven re-investigations will prove to not enhance the process if you remove the most tried and true methods and the foundation of federal background investigation to include the Subject Interview, Source interviews, and many of the record reviews in the reinvestigation process.


What percentage of the people convicted of spying during the last 60 years made it through an initial and multiple reinvestigations? What percentage of the 18 year olds who lie about smoking pot or getting fired from McDonalds would actually go so far as to sell out their country?


What’s so tried and true about it? As Cal just pointed out, many of those who were convicted of spying or doing other national interest harm passed interviews.

I know guys who lied in their interviews. Unless you are going through a Poly, almost anyone can lie just as easily as they can not report incidents.

I would argue that lying during an interview is an active lie (especially when they would have now lied twice, once on the form and now verbally), while not reporting something is more of a passive lie. People are more likely to do things passively… So if they aren’t questioned they don’t feel like they are lying.

Also, regarding catching spies and clearances - There is a lot of damage that can be caused by those who are not actually spies. People with loose lips (especially after a few drinks etc) or lots of debt (especially delinquent debt) can be susceptible to blackmail… If a person is deep in debt and someone offers them 50K to leave a door unlocked - we may have a problem. The person who takes up the offer may not be actively spying but they sure are a problem for national security. So keep in mind an adjudicator is also trying to evaluate how susceptible a person may be, given the individual circumstances.


Some very good points there.

The tried and true method I’ve spoken about in length may not catch someone like Snowden that will divulge classified or leak classified information regardless of CE or the previous ways we’ve always done Background Checks but the methods of the past and present have a pretty good track record of uncovering issues and rescinding clearances of those that shouldn’t hold a clearance. It isn’t a perfect system. I never said it was but it is a system that is working. Why try to fix or replace something that isn’t broken?

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We’ve come to an impasse.

No worries, we can agree to disagree.


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I’m sure more reading would be done, if there were clearer guidance and communications out there, to read…

There is. Go read it instead of harping on here.

I have read it. It’s confusing and unclear. I suggest you focus your actions on improving it, instead of condescension and "blaming the customer ".

In 2020 I was up for reinvestigation. I had to do an addendum to the SF86 that basically made any updates I needed to make. Then months went by. One day I get an email that said mine was going into CE and it gave me a link to know my responsibilities. My understanding is that now instead of going around talking to people about me, they are “watching” me with whatever tools are available to them. I assume this also means social media.

Anyone who completes and certifies their SF-86 is eligible for CE and is usually automatically enrolled in the continuous evaluation program.

Gone is the myopic notion that “you’re good if you’re cleared; and you’re good for 5 years.” That thought process worked well for Ames, Snowden, Manning, Debbins, and many others.

CE hasn’t replaced reinvestigations, but CV is expected to in the future.

I don’t think so. At least not yet :slight_smile:

In my 12+ years of doing this, I have developed multiple major issues about subjects that would never be uncovered without in-person interviews. The two most serious were on military officers one a high ranking full colonel, that resulted in their clearance process being discontinued by the DOD. CE would not have found this on any database check as the information came from co-workers or former supervisors and confirmed by my interviews of sources developed from those interviews. CE or CV could never replace boots on the ground for a thorough investigation but now seems “good enough for government work”.


This is an accurate analysis from someone that actually does the job and is a “Field Investigator”.

I fully support CE/CV after someone receives a security clearance. These are good security protocols. Requiring people to self report should be a security practice. What I am not in support of is stopping the practice of conducting periodic Subject Interviews, reference interviews, and record reviews every 5-6 years as have been done in the past on reinvestigations. Without doing these interviews as part of the reinvestigation process, national security is potentially compromised as I have already stated on this thread.