Recovering from Debarrment


I was debarred from Government contracting for mischarging a contract in 2017. My debarment was shortened to 6 months, due to cooperating with the OIG investigation and paying back in full the money mischarged shortly after the investigation. The amount was less than an egregious act, but had a little bit of hair on it. I held an TS/SCI at the time. I went through the SOR process and my SCI was revoked. The board appeal people told me that it is likely I could return to the agency in 2020. They seemed to think I would be able to come back or that I would be back. I was a top technical contributor to this agency and the COR was surprised by what happened because I was getting my work done. I made a stupid mistake and have remorse. I was with this agency for 15 years prior to the action.

Since the incident, I have been working with a private sector company and scoring great yearly reviews. It seems that my JPAS still shows I have a TS, but would likely hit the two year of non-use this summer. What do you think I should do? Stick with the private sector? Apply for a secret or TS only job to try to keep it active? I like the private sector work, but I feel like I am leaving behind a past that I liked a lot, even though I messed up. I would like to get back to that agency again.

Any advice on the path forward? If I started to use the TS, would another revocation action start up?

Let’s say this is an ‘opinion’ and not ‘advice’ but I think that if you try to reactivate the clearance now, there may be some kind of ‘incident’ which will need to be cleared up, and that could take many months… a turn of events which probably eliminates the possibility of being reactivated quickly.

If you are satisfied where you are, why not stay there? You’ll probably have to go through a new investigation anyway, so why not wait until a really great opportunity comes up?

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I would imagine the incident would require scoping, and they would deny a crossover until an initial investigation is started. Now, you can start that process with whatever agency you were at. You can have them submit and run their BI process for as long as it takes while you remain in access on your current contract. Technically there is supposed to be reciprocity between all cleared agencies and when a clearance is suspended or revoked all should be notified. This does not happen. In your case it is a blessing. Did you respond to the initial SOR and have a hearing or get a response? It may just be best to let time continue to add up in your favor. The longer you demonstrate you are living the right life, making the correct charges, being diligent…it establishes a new norm of following the rules, and helps offset that you did something questionable. Remorse is always a plus as well.

Sounds to me like the person who looked you up in JPAS didn’t 100% know what they were looking at. I’d bet money your TS was revoked. Wait for the two year break in service and re-apply if you find an opportunity you’d like to go for. Keep the private sector job while you’re waiting.

Hello, it’s been a couple more years. I am still working at the job I started in 2018, and moved into higher ranks (I am now a director level software engineering manager). I am doing okay. I sometimes think about my time at DoD and miss it. Do you think I could ever make a comeback with this debarment in my past? That was a dumb mistake on my part. If anyone has had similar incident, my advice is to keep moving forward and better yourself. It does get better with time.