Security Clearance Defense — Answering a Department of Defense (DoD), Consolidated Adjudications Facility LOI or SORPosted: March 31, 2014
PROTECTING AND DEFENDING SECURITY CLEARANCES
If you are in the military, a government contractor, or if you are a government civilian, your security clearance is, in all likelihood, a pre-requisite to your career.
Over the past twenty five years, I have represented military service members, government contractors and federal government employees who have had security clearance problems. Most people come to me when their existing security clearance has been suspended, or when they’ve received notifications in the form of a Letter of Intent (LOI), or Statement of Reasons (SOR) that they must show cause why their clearance should not be revoked permanently. In some cases, clients have had their eligibility for access to classified information or employment in sensitive duties suspended, and must defend against a permanent revocation of eligibility to hold a clearance. Regardless of the individual facts, the bottom line in security clearance work is this: If your security clearance is jeopardized in any way, your career is at risk. If you have received a Letter of Intent (LOI) to respond to a proposed suspension of eligibility or access, or if you are having problems anywhere in the process with a clearance suspension, revocation or issuance, please call my office as soon as possible for consultation and review.
Letters of Intent (LOI) and Statement of Reasons (SOR)
Although it may seem counter-intuitive, receiving an LOI or an SOR is actually the military or government’s way of saying, “Please help us.” Tasked with ensuring the integrity of the security clearance process, the relevant agencies will, from time to time, screen individual records and find potential disqualifying information during the course of that screen. When that happens, the agency will usually issue the individual a letter identifying the potential disqualifier. In addition, the letter will ask the individual to respond and “show cause” why the problem is either no longer a problem, or not serious enough to warrant disqualification, suspension and/or revocation. There is a proper and effective way to respond to LOIs and SORs. One of the keys is found in the appropriate regulations which underpin all security clearance work, and specifically in those sections dealing with extenuation and mitigation. The other essential factor is to uncover the real truth behind an individual’s current and past circumstances, and then to be able to tell that story succinctly, credibly and with sufficient proof to satisfy the agency’s adjudicators that the person in question poses no credible threat to national security.
Military Security Clearances
Military deployments almost always require that the service member have a valid security clearance. Without it, he or she will likely be deemed “non-deployable,” which could then carry further implications for possible involuntary separation, and a foreshortened military career. I have helped many service members over the years retain their clearances in a variety of situations. As a result, those individuals have been able to deploy and otherwise extend, grow and continue their careers.
DoD and other Federal Agency Security Clearances
As with security clearance work for those in uniform, defending Department of Defense (DoD), Consolidated Adjudications Facility (CAF) actions generally usually focuses on the following areas of potential disqualification:
• Finances or Financial Difficulties
• Foreign Preference and/or Foreign Influence
• Alcohol and/or Drug Abuse Allegations
• Alleged Criminal Misconduct Generally
While each case is different, it helps to keep in mind what the issuing agency is really concerned about. Regardless of the facts or allegations, the agency’s primary concern is one of trust: someone whose trustworthiness, reliability, judgment and/or loyalty are questioned, poses a risk for continued access to sensitive, classified information. What we do for clients facing a suspension, revocation or non-issuance of a security clearance is similar to what we do for clients whose professional licenses are in jeopardy. We do everything necessary to establish that the client is, in fact, trustworthy, reliable and sufficiently possessed of sound and discerning judgment. By so doing we can argue that the client poses no credible threat to national security, and that the reinstatement of eligibility or lifting of the preliminary suspension is clearly in the best interests of the U.S. Government. Once we reach that plateau, it is usually only a matter of time before the security clearance is issued, or the “flag” or suspension on the clearance is lifted.
Please call my office for comprehensive help and representation with your security clearance issue or problem.
Respectfully, Bill Meili Dallas Office: 214 363-1828