"unfavorable adjudication" letter from ATF but no SOR?

Received a letter stating I was “unfavorably adjudicated” and decision was made to "“discontinue the personnel security process” “the basis for discontinuation was not otherwise sufficiently mitigated to allow me to proceed through the hiring process”.

This is not the letter and wording that I was expecting for a denial. I have not received a SOR and have not had any response for a FOIA. Agency is ATF for a TS/SCI. I have an idea what the issues are, and they are all fixable. My question is, does this look like a denial? Do all denials owe you a SOR and opportunity to appeal? Or is this some legal way of not technically denying my clearance so that I can’t appeal?

I have another offer for another agency that requires a TS/SCI. What should I do?


I’m pretty sure the ATF does their own investigations and don’t owe you an SOR. I got the same kind of letter from CBP who also does their own investigation. I think this is the end of the road with this position and I don’t think there is an appeal process. I would now focus on the other position you have an offer for and hopefully you don’t get denied for the same thing.

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If they are “discontinuing” then your investigation was not likely completed. This is more like a “suitability decision” than a security denial.

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I had a phone conversation with a clearance expert in DC (adjudicator with 20 year career). He advised that the wording of the letter indicated that it was not a “denial” but instead they stopped the process knowing that I either wouldn’t be cleared, or they didn’t want to hire me for suitability reasons. He said it likely won’t affect the other investigation, and I shouldn’t state I was “denied”.


Exactly, similar to what myself and Ed said. You didn’t get a clearance denial, they are just stopping with the process based on what they have discovered thus far. You still have a chance with the other offer you have. If this was based on finances at all, get on top of that before you are investigated again.

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On one hand I find these suitability denials cheesy and back door dealing. On the other hand…it isn’t a denial, and the person likely knows the rough patch in question if finances are up tight…is it it recreational use to recent…misconduct at work, ? The more distance placed between this and them increases the favorability of getting cleared. And it doesn’t harm them…big plus. It doesn’t give you a concrete thing to fight against…but you are not damaged. In some ways it is like an administrative discharge from the military. No appeal. But you aren’t damaged.

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Agreed. I am submitting a FOIA to OPM. If It is actually a denial, they would have it on record. If I get the eqip from the other job, I’ll fill it out with the corrections. Time should have mitigated my issue. If the next BI is underway and I receive evidence from OPM that it is actually a denial, then I’ll stop the process so I don’t get two.

Did you submit your SCA through eQip? OPM/NBIB won’t have your information if you did not submit through them. ATF uses their on investigators which means OPM won’t have the investigation reports. If I remember from experience,

Yes the application was submitted through eqip. Does that mean they can just see the SF86 or can they see everything ATF said?

There is complete transparency, they can see everything.

Hey Charlie1,

Do you have the contact information for the adjudicator as I would like to know the status of my clearance.

Thanks for your help