Security Clearance Defense — A Good News Update

Updating the topic below on Security Clearance Defense. If and when you receive an LOI and SOR (Letter of Intent and Statement of Reasons), give us a call. We have a proven track record and can help save your clearance, position and career. As a matter of fact, we received word this morning that an aviator client’s eligibility to access confidential information — pulled by DoD pending our response to his SOR — was reinstated. This first class professional now gets to continue his distinguished career unabated.

Yours respectfully, Bill Meili

Dallas Office: 214 363-1828

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DoD revamps security clearance policies
Changes based on probes into Navy Yard shooting

By Andrew Tilghman atilghman@militarytimes.com

Security failures that were part­ly to blame for the Washington Na­vy
Yard shooting last year have led the Pentagon to overhaul the way
background checks are conducted, and possibly shrink the massive roster
of 3.5 million people who hold active security clearances.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced several policy changes March 18
as he unveiled the results of investigations into the shooting that
killed 12 people inside a re­stricted- access Navy building.
The gunman, Aaron Alexis, was a contractor and former sailor who held a
security clearance despite “a pattern of misconduct and disturb­ing
behavior,” investigators said.
Alexis was granted a security clearance “even though he never needed it
while on active duty with the Navy. This eligibility, valid for 10 years,
allowed him to later gain employment at a [Defense Depart­ment]
contracting firm” at the Na­vy Yard, according to an outside review of
the shooting incident.

Hagel said DoD may reduce the number of secret-level security clearances
by at least 10 percent.
The military also will begin “con­tinuous evaluations” of people holding
security clearances, mean­ing background checks will be con­ducted
continually and randomly. Current policy calls for updating background
checks only when the security clearance is up for renew­al, typically
every 10 years.

“This will help trigger an alert if derogatory information becomes
available, for example if someone with a security clearance gets
ar­rested,” Hagel said. DoD also may start conducting its own background
checks instead of letting the civilian Office of Per­sonnel Management
handle those reviews, as it now does, he said.

Security clearances are critically important to many service mem­bers who
would be unable to per­form their day- to-day work without them.
Moreover, clearances are of­ten valid beyond military separa­tion, and
allow veterans to compete for lucrative jobs in the private sec­tor that
require clearances.
But the external review pointed to “a growing culture of
over-classi­fication,” and noted that since 2001, the number of
individual se­curity clearances approved each year by DoD has tripled.
The review recommended that background checks should exam­ine applicants’
social media ac­counts; such accounts currently are not considered in the
process.

Background checks also should have more complete access to
law­enforcement databases that in­clude arrest records. Today’s checks
often only screen for convic­tions, the report said. Background checks
also should include reviews of applicants’ fi­nancial status, the report
said.

Finally, DoD should consider changing its policy that does not disqualify
applicants for “omis­sion, concealment, or falsification of relevant
facts from the person­nel security questionnaire,” ac­cording to the
outside review.

The Sept. 16 shooting highlights DoD’s flawed approach to insider threat
prevention, said Paul Stock­ton, the former assistant secretary of
defense who helped lead the out­side review of the Navy Yard shoot­ing at
Hagel’s request last year.
“For decades, the department has approached security from a pe­rimeter
perspective — if we strengthen the perimeter, build our fences if you
will, against threats on the other side, we’ll be secure,” Stockton said
.
“That approach is outmoded. It’s broken, and the department needs to
replace it. Increasingly, threats — cyber, kinetic, all threats — they
are inside the perimeter. What the Department of Defense should do is
build security from within,” Stockton said.

Hagel announced plans to create a “Defense Department Insider Threat
Management and Analysis Center,” which will help track the policies and
procedures designed to prevent future incidents like the Navy Yard
shooting.

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