I have over 12 years experience as an investigator on the OPM contract. I recently took a new job working for a DOD contractor (non investigative in nature) which requires me to have a secret level clearance. I had a SSBI-PR done within the last two years. During the process of switching jobs, I found out that as investigators, we do not get adjudicated for a TS/SCI, TS, or Secret level clearance. We only get a “favorable adjudication.” Therefore, my recent PR investigation was not accepted as legitimate and I had to start the whole process of being investigated for a Secret clearance all over again. Why doesn’t the government investigate for an actual clearance eligibility in this type of situation? It seems like a waste of a lot of money and time spent on thousands of investigations when we have to go through the same investigative standards as everyone else but we only get rated as having a “favorable adjudication” and aren’t given a positive eligibility status.
If the investigation was favorably adjudicated and you did not have a break in employment of more than 24 months then it should have been acceptable under reciprocity guidelines. Regardless of whether or not you were granted a clearance, you were deemed eligible if access was needed. The security personnel at this agency should know that.
This information came from a high up in the PSMO-I office. I had never
heard that before and neither had my Personnel Security Manager. I only
need a secret level now (which is in process right now) but there is a
chance my position will require a TS in the near future. It would suck to
have to go through a whole new SSBI and wait for it to come through when I
might not need to do that because of my most recent PR investigation.
It’s weird. I’m very sorry about your situation. It really does make no sense to have OPM investigators be “favorably adjudicated for TS” and then not be able to be read on for a full TS or even a Secret in your case.
I don’t know much about the adjudication /reciprocity side of things, but I was always told that it should be accepted as a TS no problem. Honestly, I think it’s a security personnel training issue.
I had a friend that went for a DoD contractor position (who was an OPM investigator) and had the exact same issue and lost out on a job because his clearance wasn’t in JPAS. Too many security professionals believe that JPAS is the “end all be all” to verify a clearance (and yes OPM should still put their investigators in it), but there’s also Scattered Castles for the IC community and I believe OPM uses a system called CVS. I was always told there’s a simple procedure that can be done by someone on the personnel security side to recognize a favorable adjudication and parlay that into a full clearance. Otherwise what’s the point of OPM guys/gals going thru SSBIs/PRs/Tier5s? I really think it’s just a training issue which is unfortunate.
I’m just glad I actually have a clearance showing up in JPAS and not a “favorable adjudication” since I went to a different investigative vendor (not OPM).
You new Agency had the opportunity to review/adjudicate your last investigation but apparently decided not to do so. This is on that Agency - not you or OPM.
OPM can only grant clearances for OPM. Reciprocity is supposed to happen and is an administrative action. I have held a DoD Secret, DOE Q, and an OPM secret as a contractor and/or agent (I jumped to the Fed side after a very short stint with KGS. I was an USIS refugee in fall 2014).