Amy Clark | Chief, Legal Assistance
The ability to obtain and maintain a security clearance is vital to the careers of many soldiers and Department of Defense civilians. That being said, sometimes circumstances beyond a person’s control occur that can have a negative impact on their security clearance. If this occurs, understanding the adjudication process and the steps that can be taken to maintain a security clearance is essential in ensuring job security and career success.
If an issue arises with someone’s security clearance, he or she will receive notification from the Central Clearance Facility. The CCF is the designated single central adjudication facility for the Department of the Army. Army Regulation 380-67, “Personnel Security Program,” governs the program, including the revocation and appeals process.
When information indicates a person’s loyalty, reliability or trustworthiness may be contrary to the interests of national security, a Letter of Intent is issued through the command security manager. The LOI will inform the person that CCF intends to revoke his or her security clearance based on that questionable or derogatory information.
For example, a common form of derogatory information is a bad credit report. If a credit report demonstrates that someone does not pay bills regularly or on time, this information can trigger the initiation of the revocation process if it is substantial enough to indicate a potential security risk.
The LOI will state, in detail, the substance of the derogatory information and the proposed action. The commander will have the person acknowledge receipt in writing and will counsel him or her regarding the severity of losing the security clearance. The commander will also have the person indicate whether he or she intends to submit a rebuttal.
The affected person has 60 days to submit a rebuttal of the CCF’s intent to revoke his or her security clearance. Requests for an extension of the 60-day period must be submitted to Headquarters, Department of the Army, in writing and endorsed by the immediate commander.
In accordance with paragraph 6-3 of AR 380-67, the ultimate consideration in making a favorable personnel security determination is whether such determination is clearly consistent with the interests of national security. In making this determination, the following factors are considered: the nature and seriousness of the conduct, the circumstances surrounding the conduct, the frequency and recency of the conduct, the age of the individual, the voluntariness of participation, and the absence or presence of rehabilitation.
The appeal must address each issue raised in the LOI. Written documents should be submitted to support a favorable determination. These supporting documents can include letters of recommendation from supervisors, counselors, creditors or other relevant, credible sources. Once complete, the appeal packet must be submitted through the chain of command. At least one commander must endorse the LOI and recommend whether the clearance should be revoked or restored.
CCF will issue a decision regarding the appeal within 60 to 90 days of receiving the appeal. If the appeal is denied, the individual has 60 days following receipt of notification of denial to appeal to Headquarters, Department of the Army. If during the 60 days following receipt of the CCF’s final letter of determination the person has additional information in rebuttal or mitigation, he or she should submit it to CCF, rather than submitting an appeal to HQDA. If the CCF review results in denial or revocation again, the person can then appeal to HQDA.
If all appeals are denied, another request for reconsideration can be submitted to CCF after one year from receiving the final denial letter or appeal decision, whichever was later.
For more information about the security clearance revocation appeal process, call 684-4944 to schedule an appointment with the Legal Assistance Office.