I’ve had Public Trust clearance for Gov’t contractor work since 2/2006. Found a job on 7/1 supporting a DOD contractor and got put in for a Interim SECRET after submitting E-QIP, 7/5/19. On 7/29/19, FSO reported Interim Secret denied. I called OPM yesterday and was told the Background Investigation ended 8/6/19 and its off to DOD adjudication. I’ve since requested my BI report via FOIA website, kind of nifty.

I just found out this week, the new client/job unbeknownst to me, required the ability to obtain an Interim Secret, in order to work on the project long term so sadly my last day is near. On a positive note the company is telling me I’ve done great so far, and they will keep the investigation going and it seems the client is in full support of my return once SECRET is obtained but leaves me in quite the conundrum.

–My background:
I’m US citizen, 37, happily married w/ 1 kid. I have owned my condo and have lived in same address for past 12 years and have been on same job past 13 years. I currently have 788 credit score, with no baddies, and a little over 30K in credit card debt with roughly 14% util. Monthly income roughly $16K. No foreign travel to note other than the Bahamas. No speeding tickets, issues with drugs or alcohol, no foreign contacts or family, and have decent relationship with past employer.

Ok for the not so good. Early on in my career I wasn’t very financially responsible and from 2008 - 2011 I racked up over $110K in back taxes which resulted in 2 tax liens. This came primarily from buying too much house and living beyond my means with respect to a very high interest rate on $500K in mortgage, a loan that I should’ve not been able to obtain, due to the No-DOC fiasco of 2007 era. In 2013 having learned of the IRS fresh start program I applied and got accepted after hustling to pay the tax balance down to $49K, under 50K basically to enter the program. As part of the Fresh Start, in the summer of 2014 the tax liens were withdrawn and I entered into a 5 year tax payment plan agreeing to pay $1K a month, while also having to remain current on any federal tax filings and adding any new balances to the current payment plan before going delinquent. On eQIP I answered “No” to the delinquent tax filings/payments question, but I mentioned successfully managing the Fresh start program in the comment section since it was in the 7 year window. The FSO consultant requested I give more details before sending it the Gov’t but he did seem like it would be an issue without flat-out telling me it would deny my interim. I am happy to report as of 8/1/19 I have successfully payed off the full remaining back tax balance. I managed to keep new filings (Federal) always on time but maybe being delayed on State once or twice but always filing and paying and/or having payment plans for any balance due. I’ve filed extensions and have had bigger amounts due, due to estimated tax payments maybe not being enough, in order to mitigate the back taxes as part of a balancing act clearing the old while maintaining the new. I really waited 5 years to try and get cleared again but hoping I didn’t pull the trigger too soon.

As part of the SECRET investigation I was looking forward to chatting about it, but I have not been interviewed or contacted by a BI and neither has any of the contacts that I put on the eQIP. My past employer did reach out in mid-July saying they got a form to fill out from the investigator and there were a few discrepancies with end date and supervisor name none of which the FSO said to worry about as it could be discussed if need be during the interview. So my big question now is what the heck is going on? I would really like to keep the new the new job and support the WarFighter again??

Interim decision is not based on any interview. They could have not granted an interim for any reason, who knows. Many people don’t get interims, don’t have interviews, and get final clearance. Usually no interview is a good thing for Secret.

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Interims get denied on even “neutral” information. Likely, they just want to review the tax situation and not simply approve the interim. It isn’t a negative thing so much as it doesn’t punish you clearance wise…but if the company walks you off in the interim, that is a bad thing. A recovered FICO is strong evidence you no longer have a financial or tax issue. However they are interested in the story behind the tax issues. Did you make unwise decisions, did you get in too deep, etc. It isn’t really about taxes or money it is about your decision making. You are correct in 07 the no doc world was flowing fast. And then in 08 the no doc repossession market happened and crushed a lot of people. If you can manage to work on uncleared projects until the full clearance comes back, super. If you cannot or if it takes to long to clear, the company may be forced to replace you and end sponsorship of the clearance.

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The thing that is often forgotten is that your employer has to request and justify an interim clearance. They used to be pretty much standard but aren’t as easy to get as they used to be. It seems like some companies still thing that they are easy to get.

You may have been denied because they want to look at your tax situation but since they didn’t interview you before completing the investigation, I don’t think that this is it. It seems more likely that the DOD doesn’t think that the position you are going to warrants an interim at this time.

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Thanks for all the info and taking the time to reply ! I reached out to my FSO today and alerted him to call DOD CAF. He verified SECRET ELIGIBILITY PENDING as of 8/21. He asked the agent if there was something that could be done and he was able to put in a EXPEDITE request. Of course the rationale is probably the most seen and I hear the selectable reasons were low on the totem pole compared to some of the more important “type of people” or reason for this requests that will really move it up in the queue. I’m happy he took the time at 6pm on the Friday to try something. Thanks all I’m remaining optimistic.

I had a opportunity with a government contractor that required a interim Secret to get started. I submitted the eQIP on 9/11 and got denied for the interim today. Not sure if they’ll be keeping me on for the full process or dropping me, but I hope they give me a shot. No interviews or anything, just like in your scenario. My wife of six years just became a citizen last month, but I did list her mom and sister as foreign contacts (this is the only family she has - they’re from India). I talk her sister literally a couple times a year, and her mom maybe a handful. I’m assuming that most folks with foreign contacts get denied the interim clearance?

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My FSO reported that my full SECRET clearance cleared today!

God is good, as I was out of a job :slight_smile:

Full Timeline:
Submitted e-QIP- 7/8/19
Interim Secret Denied - 7/26/19
Investigation closed - 8/26/19
Full SECRET granted - 9/25/19

The FSO reported expedited the clearance Friday 9/20/19. God only knows if that did the trick but we both don’t see how it could given everything. Thanks everyone for your help and helping reduce some anxiety about this whole process.


How did your FSO expedited the clearance?