Originally published at: https://clearancejobsblog.com/updated-sf-86-targeted-for-release-in-july/
Word on the street (because it is nowhere to be found online) among security professionals is that the Suitability and Security Clearance Performance Accountability Council has approved and targeted the deployment of the updated Questionnaire for National Security Positions (SF-86) for some time in July 2017, provided all parties involved are in agreement and processing…
Originally published at: https://clearancejobsblog.com/updated-sf-86-targeted-for-release-in-july/
Too bad, was hoping the new SF-86 would address what a foreign contacts really is. Oh well.
Doesn’t matter what they add, as long as there is no mechanism to make sure they are filled out correctly, the ESI will remain an administrative cluster-f of clarifications.
Alas, still no teeth to properly deal with security officials who don’t make subject’s complete the paperwork properly from the start. One of the biggest hold-ups that I would think would help immensely with much of the back-log that has existed over the years!
Have not heard once of a falsifying recruiter being dealt a harsh and just dessert for their laziness!
Would seem “real, known, continuing” contact in any form with a foreign national would be clear but I think social media contact and being an FB “friend” is different than being a friend in real life.
And what on earth is this council?
I’m really hoping there is a huge bold disclaimer on there that specifically spells out to list deployments. I go into every single interview with military personnel knowing that I’m going to have to spend a good amount of time gathering information of deployments that the subject didn’t know they needed to list.
I used to be able to put a “note” under residences that I was deployed during such-and-such a period and lived someplace else for a time. I think about 2014 was the first time they wanted me to list each deployment over 30 days (or whatever it is) as a separate residence.
I’m pretty sure I’ve always had to list deployments in the ‘employment’ section.
A negative response to the second clause of the definition (sharing affection, influence, common interests, obligation) would negate the need to list anyone, even if a positive response is given for close/continuing contact–at least that’s how a lot of people interpret it. You can have close/continuing contact with a foreign national but if you believe you don’t share affection, influence, common interests, or obligation, you (in theory) wouldn’t be lying if you answered ‘no’ on the SF86.
I think what @fed-investigator means to say is that our overall pretty logical interpretation of what a constitutes a foreign contact differs from what is asked for on the SF86, and we should probably address that.
Opening oneself up to a “lack of candor” impression because they are splitting hairs and quibbling isn’t an approach I recommend. One can argue they are technically correct all day long. And still not have a clearance. I lean towards over report than under report but then I have debriefed, and escorted out at least 8 or 9 people in my current position. Normally because they felt they could talk around a point of questioning. I say report honestly and frankly. Because if one dwells on it and requires a polygraph…it will show up.
Absolutely straight on point. When you start being selective in the type and amount of information you disclose it raises the antennas of an adjudicator and he will start digging further to find other anomalies.
I understand what you’re saying but the current definition of what constitutes a foreign contact is too complex and should be simplified if we want to cast a larger umbrella. If it’s going to be complex it needs to get even more specific. It shouldn’t be something you get to dwell on.
Sure, you shouldnt be selective in your reporting (as you point out) but perhaps the very fact that you can be selective based on a technicality is a problem. And I’m certain there’s people who get away with it.
As I work in a polygraph mandatory environment, 4 in 6.5 years…it is an easy question for me: real, known, continuing, and yes social media contacts, foreign pages I’ve “liked” or the Bull Terrier community I participate with online in FB (big breed in Europe apparently) must be reported. Defining affection in a polygraph is easy. “Do you not have affection for a friend or acquaintance? Why would you contact one you do not like or have affection for?” Trust me they can and do get in your do loop faster than one can imagine. Once you start tripping over definitions and quibbling…you are in for a miserable 5 hour ride strapped to multiple measurement devices. Now, for those not requiring Poly…I agree it is FAR too easy to rationalize away contacts. Having a foreign housekeeper who tends to your home while you are away from a job agency is not reportable. If you are home when they clean…it is reportable. You have “contact.” Over report instead of under-report and your poly’s still stink. But in your heart you know you are squeaky clean.
I’m taken back by the fact that participating in a FB dog community is a reportable event. On the surface it seems absurd but I suppose one could develop an “affection” for a foreign dog owner. Or maybe a foreign dog, lol? I’m sure the latter would be a reportable event!
In all seriousness though, I’ve been through the poly process exactly once and agree that there’s no hiding anything. I also agree with over-reporting which I’m doing on a regular basis even though I still don’t have an interim clearance. I also find that I’m becoming increasingly paranoid about everything and everyone around me trying to figure out how much I should report while not driving my FSO crazy.
Paranoid equals system working as designed and intended, lol. Honestly, absurd as it seems the truest metric for any self reporting or insider threat program must be “actual reports submitted.” This does require reframing the concept of “snitching.” And “Big Brother.” FSO’s across the board will have to listen to ever more mundane outside activity reporting while screening for o legitimate items of interest. As an FSO I know I did a good job conveying the message of self reporting and reporting of others when I have a large amount of…wait for it…mundane reporting. I strive to make people comfortable coming forward to report items such as foreign travel, cruises, friendships with foreign nationals, etc. To that point, DSS does not consider posters on bulletin boards as an indicator of a strong insider threat program. I agree. Those are “eye-wash” supporting a program. Part and parcel thereof but not the desired end product. This means the FSO will drown in innocuous reporting. But if those reports are made by both people involved and co-worker observations…then you know people are watching. And reporting. Keep in mind the Snowden’s and Chelsea Manning’s of this world will not self report they have copied record amounts of classified material and shared them in non legal ways. But if their coworker shares the anomaly of seeing them using stick drives where they aren’t authorized…or substituting a non authorized UPS for one recently crashing…then you know people are reporting and you have a chance of actually catching someone.
@amberbunny Thanks for the detailed response. Now I understand why my FSO rarely returns my emails and never returns my phone calls lol…
There’s a quality of life issue here. Paranoia for the sole purpose of retaining a job isn’t quality of life. As a contractor, I simply want to do my job 9-5 and then forget about it. I have no vested interest in the success of the client company I work for other than continuing to receive a paycheck. They offer me no benefits and can walk me out the door without notice (I’ve seen this 3 times in the past 2 months). Unfortunately, with the clearance investigation hanging over my head, I find myself retreating from social media friends (some of whom are lifelong friends) lest I unwittingly offend the clearance gods. I also stopped participating in political discussions lest I offend the clearance gods. After 15 months, I find myself second-guessing everything I say, who I associate with, and who I communicate with which makes me feel that I’m being smothered by a clearance I don’t have and may never get. I understand your position as a FSO about the need for reporting. Your job requires that level of paranoia, it’s what you do and what you get paid for. I get paid to do something completely different which I can do elsewhere without the need for a clearance. I feel sorry for my FSO and to be honest, I’m losing interest in getting the clearance. It’s not worth it with other positions out there not requiring a clearance. As others have stated, the longer the clearance process drags on, the more of us who will look outside the defense industry to find other work.
Understood on all points. I find myself in the camp of “I greatly appreciate my company,” while I have a job. Part of my job is walking people off who suffered a revocation. We are never given specifics of the revocation and I always leave the departing employee with the best advice I can, which is “Once the statement of reasons arrives, if you wish to appeal, please give me a call.” I am sincere in wanting to help challenge anything that would possibly be seen as a possible over reaction from clearance. That said, I have never had an employee follow through with a challenge and I have never seen a revocation for a minor item. It isn’t an action taken lightly. In cases where I did see the SOR, there were substantial SF-86 falsifications, crimes committed and not listed, multiple incidents of drug use, etc. Though I can’t ever speak to anything on the SOR I hear from many co-workers “Jim was such a nice guy, he wasn’t bad” or words to that effect. So not being made aware of the reason doesn’t mean there wasn’t a valid reason. The people one associates with, your finances, drug use and drug culture can lead to an Insider Threat reporting requiring an investigation.
I understand the point you can work “outside the gate” doing the same thing without a clearance. The cleared life isn’t’ for everyone. It can be confining and limiting in the extra-curricular areas. I would not worry about the political discussions other than your blood pressure and aggravation. However, I do caution that FB and other social media posting are often monitored by uncleared companies as well. Derogatory comments, inflammatory speech…most companies do not want to be associated with bad behavior. So for the purposes of maintaining any employment…exercise caution. At times I type a response, pause, think better of it and nope my way out of the conversation.
Update on FI progress - the designated FI is here for 6 weeks, tomorrow marks her 3rd week so she’ll be half-way through our group of inmates. Those who I’ve spoken to post-interview have described markedly different interviews ranging in length from 30 minutes to over 3 hours. No one has received a status update since the interviews began 3 weeks ago, not at all surprising from the remarks posted here. A few contractors have been let go and a couple have quit due to a lack of work and/or discontent. In one particularly lousy case, one guy is being strung along without work/pay for the past 2 months. He has no income and can’t collect unemployment since he hasn’t been formally laid off. Others naively hold out hope that a clearance is right around the corner (one was actually told no more than 2 weeks after the interview… really?). Needless to say, morale is low and rumors abound about a lack of work and possible layoffs. Those who are at risk claim that if laid off, they will not return to the defense industry. If I end up in the risk pool, this will be my position as well.
Sorry I can’t offer a more rosy outlook but honestly, the entire process has sucked.
Wondering where is your location. I just had my interview about 2 weeks ago. I have not hear a thing also. It is my 11th months for secret
@jennynd, I think we may be in the same area but I’d rather not reveal it. I believe we have a long wait ahead of us, as much as 3 months from what’s been posted here. I still haven’t been interviewed and I’m not sure I’m on her schedule for the remainder of this month. I’m at 10 months and counting.
Back in November 2016 OMB posted a copy of the “Predecisional Draft” SF86 at https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewIC?ref_nbr=201306-3206-005&icID=44214. The most important change is the new wording for Question 21, which was approved by ODNI on the same day the draft SF86 was released. US District Courts haven’t issued Naturalization Certificates in well over 10 years (ever since INS moved from the Justice Department to Homeland Security and became USCIS); nevertheless, the SF86 continues to ask for the name and location of the court that issued the certificate.