Resign before incident report is filed?

If a person is currently a federal employee and they know they are going to fail a urinalysis, and they resign prior to being fired, before the positive is received by HR, or an incident report being filed, can an incident report be filed after separation? The SF 50 would read “resigned for personal reasons”.

Would an incident report be filed post separation? Are there any rules or guidance for this situation, or would it be at the discretion of HR or the command?

It is my understanding that any “credible derogatory information” received on a person holding a security clearance has to be reported. I suppose there is some chance that if you are already gone, such an action could somehow “fall through the cracks” but that might be a long shot.

The caveat here is that if the individual resigned prior to any adverse action being proposed or taken, then they no longer have a clearance, therefore, no requirement by the agency to report if if he is off their rolls. That being said, the information most likely will make its way to their security file in the event he returns withing two years before the agency file is destroyed.It would be incumbent upon the security officer to initiate an incident report JPAS if it was for DoD.

What often happens is once the person is off the rolls the agency HR does not want to take the time or effort to follow up with the clearance folks, so the information may never get reported.But if there are diligent security folks at the helm then the information will get into local files and if the person ever undergoes a PR and the security office is contacted, then it will be discovered.


So, it may or may not be filed as an incident report in JPAS depending on HR and the FSO? If it is, it would be flagged as “unadjudicated - loss of jurisdiction” correct? If it is flagged as such, that never expires correct? And would only be adjudicated if another org sponsors?

JPAS is used by the DOD. Could the individual get a public trust clearance working for a different government agency directly or as a contractor? Does say DOJ or DHS use JPAS? In other words, would a public trust investigation for another agency out side of the DOD see a “loss of jurisdiction” in JPAS?

If your question really is “I used drugs, I want to resign, not face repercussions, but get another cleared position, am I in trouble?” Well…the correct answer is…you can run but you cannot hide and remain ethical. In reapplying for a cleared position section 23 b asks “Have you EVER illegally used a controlled substance while possessing a security clearance?” This supersedes the concept of a 7 or 10 year history. There truthfully is no way to avoid speaking to this and remain ethical. My employees are a mix of Secret and TS FS Poly. There are times where employees use drugs for recreation. They forget how they characterized past usage on the SF 86 for Secret, or feel they can BS their way through the Poly. Once they fill out the SF 86 and they sign and submit…they might have falsified the form stating there was no recreational use. In each case the employee suffered a denial of the upgrade and revocation of the Secret clearance.

Now, social mores are changing. Will we eventually see federal law take a less harsh stance on MJ? Possibly but not holding my breath. If 10 years pass and you honestly speak to using MJ 10 years prior while cleared…depending on age you may get away with youthful indiscretion. But use while cleared is held to more scrutiny than use prior to clearing.

Resigning to “do other things” or whatever the reason stated means you will not face the urinalysis. However, once notified of testing, if you resign, it does send a red flag. If HR and Security work closely together this may be communicated. I for one would not want my resignation to be characterized as resigning in lieu of urinalysis.


Thanks for responses!

For most clearances, I’d suspect that use, even of MJ, after hire would be quite problematic!

I agree. Once cleared you are evaluated differently than when you were uncleared. You can still use the mitigation available: remove certain people from your life, get past a troubled period of time…but if you are older than say 24…the window is more narrow. I had an employee speak to multiple use of MJ at age 55. Denied upgrade to TS, revocation of Secret clearance. 365 days later he wants to re clear as if it was of no consequence.

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MJ use at an “advanced” age will probably become more common as the “Baby Boomers” age!

Your question seems to be, “Can I game the system and get away with doing what I want without facing the consequences?” The answer to that question, as it is under any circumstances, “Maybe.”

Amber points out the real problem. You can avoid getting fired from your current position but you can not get another without falsifying your request to have your clearance reopened. It doesn’t matter if the new agency doesn’t use JPAS. They are still going to ask you about drug use and you will have to lie. If you are OK with that, and willing to risk the repercussions, go ahead and give it a try.

Now, you don’t say what drugs you are going to test positive for. Your best chance MAY be to fess up, get yourself into a program (even if you don’t believe that you need it), get yourself into counseling (even if you think that you don’t need it), get yourself clean and show that you are contrite and concerned about the issue and it’s implications. If it grass and you can show that it was legal when you did it or if it was prescription or other drugs used to self-medicate for a physical problem, you may have a chance to work through this one.

My expectation is that there was nothing random about the drug test. They expect you to fail. They already know something about what you did. Who was with you? Has it been persistent or a one-time issue? Has your work or attendance suffered so that a coworker or superior may have reported you?

Get out in front as quickly as you can.

Or, if you are prepared to not work in cleared positions anymore, resign.

Concur. Just read the local government in Virginia is putting together a legislative effort to decriminalize small amounts of MJ for personal use. As more states join forces and move forward to collecting taxes it will become unstoppable at the state level. Sooner or later the federal government realizes the difficulty of maintaining a standard the states are not. I do see several applicants who report going to Colorado and sampling. Until the federal government changes it will be a problem.


PA and NJ are likely going to do the same in the next few years. Very few. The trouble is that it isn’t a matter of the federal government maintaining a standard. Pot is still illegal at the federal level. This isn’t just a clearance issue. I can’t see the clearance industry treating this like alcohol until the DoJ, well congress, treats it like alcohol.

I don’t see that happening any time soon. The current opioid issues are very likely to influence the move to legalize MJ. Although, some will argue in favor of legalization in order to provide a legal outlet for those interested in getting high and some will argue against legalization because of the possibility of MJ usage being a gateway.

Personally, I don’t see grass as all that bad but I still oppose legalization. I believe that legalization will simply cause those buying and selling to move to a harder drug. Sixteen year old kids will not be able to buy legally and the dealers will not be able to move as much product when adults can buy legally instead of dealing with criminals.

This will encourage the dealers to stock and move another drug. Opioids?

Good input. When I speak to “federal standard,” we are saying the same thing. The federal law must change for the clearance standard (I over simplified in haste).

My opinion has changed the older I get. I had friends growing up who were heavy users and still use though I moved away and do not associate with them.
The vast majority seem no worse for wear. However, there is a distinct enough amount of them who “lost a lot of speed” along the way due to use. Some spent time in jail others had petty misdemeanor convictions hanging over their heads preventing them from obtaining clearances and higher order jobs. A few suffer from…well, “mush-brain” for lack of a better word. I see it as prolonged MJ use over several decades impairing their cognitive functions. There is a permanent haze around how they speak, think and act. Sad really. Will this happen to all? No. Does it happen to more than a handful? Yes.

What I find interesting politics wise is how the left and right treat the subject. In a rough cut the right claims to be the corner stone of law and order (not passing judgment), the left likes to indicate it is open to legalization and personal use (not passing judgment). Yet the democrat contenders early on in the Presidential campaign were distinctly against legalization. Clearly the talking points were to lean towards MJ remaining “evil.” Was this from drug company pressure and lobbyists? I do think legal MJ directly impacts opioid sales and use. Plenty of studies to choose from both sides of the argument, each making a few decent points. But unless and until the federal law changes…and that takes at least another decade…but as Millennials age into maturity…we just may start to see this over this next 20 years.