What if a current federal employee fails a clearance?


#1

Hi I am a current federal employee with a Public Trust High Risk determination. I work for a civilian agency whose clients are DoD agencies. Been doing my job for about 12 years. No problems. Several folks on my team PDs were just updated to include a statement that our tasks MIgHt require access to classified data… as a result we received EQUIPs for a Top Secret determination. To this date, we did not have access to classified data.

I don’t anticipate any issues with obtaining a TS…have clear financials, don’t have any foreign influences, naturalized citizen…
but… I am curious what happens if I don’t get adjudicated. Will I now lose my job or can I still support tasks that I support right now? What will happen to my Public Trust High Risk determination?


#2

That’s a hypothetical that I think your agency FSO and/or management would have to answer.

Since Public Trust is a classification, I’m not sure how that plays into it if you are denied a subsequent investigation for a topsec clearance level.


#3

When I was going for a TS I asked if I failed for whatever reason do I go back to just having a Secret. I was told nope you’re out. So it seems you may be doubling down each time you get a new ticket. That was my experience, don’t know if things changed.


#4

Was that for a contractor position?


#5

I’m curious how my agency would handle this. Only two thing in worried bout is

1 have a passport from another country. I have not used it since I became I us citizen in 05. Passport was reviewed at my previous investigation.

  1. Wife exchanges emails with a girl in the UK. I met her twice. She came to our wedding. And a year later while touring Europe we stayed with her for 2 nights. Have not talked to her since like 2014.

  2. My parents, wife, and in-laws are naturalized citizens. ( they haven’t been back to their countries or have any connections to the country of origin)

  3. I don’t really know what my neighbors will say about me. I don’t really talk to my neigbors so I don’t know what they might or might not say.

Interesting that I have to deal with all this and I’m not even getting a promotion out of the whole thing.


#6

Nope, it was for government.


#7

Interesting… was it a condition of employment that you hold a TS clearance?

I’ve worked for contractors where they made you sign a statement that you understood that if you did not get cleared, you could be let go.

Or maybe I am getting confused… in the original post they said if you dont get the TS “you’re out.” Does that mean you’re fired? Or that you just lose the Secret clearance?


#8

Do you think the things I’ve outlined above are things that I should be concerned about?


#9

My mother and all my extended family are non-US. As a kid we went to Canada and UK every summer. I thought every kid did this and it was normal. never had a grandma living 15 minutes away.

I was told my neighbors were interviewed too, i don’t even know them. I guess as long as I don’t party and pay loud music I am fine. I only had passports while working, never really looked at other national rights or benefits until retiring in 2014 from that work.

Side note: Had a co-worker who married a Chinese national. No permission or anything, just showed up one day wanting to add her to his admin paperwork. Three months later I never saw him again.


#10

I was fine with a Secret but I was moving up and TS was the expectation of the office. Once I got the TS I found a slot that required SCI and went over to them, thus starting a new career. My advice to to plan for the next step as soon as you get the one you are shooting for. By getting a red passport it opened doors for me as I was able to start work “the next day” where ever I was needed. I had a leg up on the eligible yet not prepared.

Sorry about the confusion on the you’re out bit. If I did not pass the TS I would lose my current S and probably be unemployed quickly as S was needed for the job. So, it was all or nothing.


#11

So it sounds like I should not worry about those things.


#12

@sbusquirrel, see Sean Bigley’s piece: https://news.clearancejobs.com/2018/07/16/if-i-lose-my-top-secret-clearance-can-i-keep-a-lower-level-clearance/.
The same scenario applies to Government employees and it depends on many different factors such as tenure status, position occupied status (competitive service, exempted service, SES), probationary period status and bargaining unit status.

Let’s say, you are a tenured employee in a competitive service, you successfully completed the probationary period and you are in a bargaining unit, the collective bargaining agreement should govern something like that. For my understanding, the agency will need to place you in a position that doesnt require access to sensitive or classified information for the same duties assuming you were denied for issues that the agency deemed “minor.”


#13

The two issues that you mentioned shouldn’t be much of a concern. Just make sure you put down everything on the SF-86 as truthful and honest. There are many TS holders who were in similar situations as you were and they were favorably adjudicated.

If you are truly concerned, you should talk to your Union steward about that (I assume that you are a GS employee).


#14

A public trust position is not a national security position. I would imagine the loss of your federal employment would only occur if the national security investigation (T3/T5) uncovered information that not only bars you from holding a clearance but also from holding a public trust position.

Just because you are a risk for a security clearance does not make you an employment risk, though the risk might impact your employment.

I believe the key is having been honest and upfront during all of your investigations - then nothing new that would impact public trust adjudication would be discovered during any subsequent investigations. Just my observations - I have no hard data on this subject.


#15

Don’t worry but don’t hide it. They are looking for things that prove you are not dedicated to the US or can be blackmailed. if it bothers you then it may be a concern at the interview. Just spill the beans if it comes to it. You want to show them it’s not going to stop you from doing your job.


#16

Thank you all for the feedback. I just submitted my equip. I was very transparent! I’ve heard that the process takes a while. When should I be expecting my first interection with the investigator?


#17

There is no concrete timetable. Some public trust investigations at my employer take as little as 3 months while others go up to 2 years. It sounds like you put a lot of thought into submitting an accurate BI form (SF-85p?) a lot of delays in the investigation process stem from the employee spending 20 minutes to fill out the form without reviewing it.


#18

Mines a TS. No poly, No SCI. I’ve been super transperant. Hopefully the process will be pretty quick and painless.