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news and resources for acquiring, maintaining, and retaining government-issued security clearances


Material, including links, that contain a variety of background information on aspects of security clearance policies and procedures.

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Company Heads Must Have Security Clearance

A January 4 article posted to Satellite Today informs that the senior-most management official of any company wishing to hold a facility clearance license must himself or herself hold a U.S. security clearance. And one company, EMS, recently had to reorganize its leadership to comply.

A facility clearance license apparently allows a company to store and handle classified materials onsite and manage employees who hold security clearances. It may even be required for a company to secure classified government work. Read more about facility clearances here.

Posted by The Editors on Jan 05, 2010 at 08:52AM | Comments (0)

New Online Service for Security Clearance Help

A new website,, promises to match individuals with lawyers versed in the security clearance process to help them acquire a security clearance or resolve security clearance issues.

The site also contains a large library of resources about security clearances.

Launch of the new website was announced in this press release.

We cannot help but notice that the community of online resources devoted to education and services related to security clearances continues to get more crowded since the launch of our site,, in August 2006.

Posted by The Editors on Aug 08, 2009 at 04:59PM | Comments (0)

More than 2.4 Million Hold Clearances

Citing a Government Accountability Office report to Congress, Secrecy News reports that at least 2.4 million Americans hold security clearances. That figure does not include an unspecified number who work in national intelligence, making the 2.4 figure awfully vague.

Posted by The Editors on Jul 29, 2009 at 02:44PM | Comments (0)

Clearance-Holders Continue to Enjoy Premium Pay

The Human Resource Association says that persons who hold a security clearance continue to enjoy salaries higher than those of colleagues without such a clearance, though the differential decreased slightly from a survey last year.

Posted by The Editors on Sep 05, 2008 at 02:59PM | Comments (0)

Hill Bill Creates Security Clearance Ombudsman

The appointment by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) of an ombudsman to handle and report on complaints involving security clearance investigations is one improvement included in H.R. 5959, the Intelligence Authorization Act of 2009, passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on July 16.

The bill now awaits passage of and reconciliation with its Senate companion, S. 2996.

Though creation of an ombudsman is an important positive development, the House bill would limit his or her jurisdiction only to matters involving applications for new clearances, and not include reinvestigations or readjudications of existing clearances or adverse actions taken against holders of current clearances. Additional procedural protections are needed for these individuals as well.

Posted by The Editors on Jul 27, 2008 at 05:40PM | Comments (0)

Executive Order Designates Officials to Manage Clearance Reforms

The White House has issued a new Executive Order putting into place new officials and entities to better manage security clearance reform.

Posted by The Editors on Jul 01, 2008 at 01:57PM | Comments (0)

Industry Holds Seminar on Clearance Reforms

An industry group on May 7 held a half-day seminar near Washington on security clearance reform, timed to the release of a federal report to President Bush on security clearance reform efforts. View the seminar agenda and bios of speakers here. A summary and assessment of the federal report from is forthcoming.

Posted by The Editors on May 15, 2008 at 11:10AM | Comments (0)

Cleared Workers Continue to Command Premium Salaries

In late March, a website catering to security-cleared job-seekers released the results of its annual survey of salaries for security-cleared professionals.

Workers with clearances enjoy pay premiums of as much as 12 percent, with “the quantity of qualified candidates in much shorter supply than the number of open jobs.”

Posted by The Editors on Apr 11, 2008 at 12:59PM | Comments (0)

Metrics on Clearance Processing Released

The minutes of the May meeting of the National Industrial Security Program Policy Advisory Committee in Washington reveal useful metrics of progress made in security clearance processing. The minutes also restate mandated federal guidelines for clearance processing times.

Other sections of the minutes address reciprocity issues affecting a cleared employees ability to efficiently move across agencies.

Posted by The Editors on Oct 25, 2007 at 12:30PM | Comments (0)

False Statements or Claims in Clearance Investigation a Crime

A recent law review article, excerpted here, mentions a federal statute used to prosecute individuals who knowingly provide “false information to pursue a government privilege, such as employment or a security clearance.”

Posted by The Editors on Oct 25, 2007 at 11:22AM | Comments (0)

Security Clearance Oversight Group Issues Rept

The Security Clearance Oversight Group, created by the President to study and recommend reforms in the security clearance process, issued its report in February 2007. The report is extremely comprehensive and tracks progress in expediting clearance processing and improving reciprocity across several government entities.

Posted by The Editors on Feb 18, 2007 at 04:46PM | Comments (0)

Steps to Acquire Top-Secret Security Clearance

According to a graphic accompanying an article in yesterday’s USA Today, to get a top-secret security clearance, a candidate must successfully complete several steps…

Posted by The Editors on Feb 15, 2007 at 05:16PM | Comments (0)

Three Levels of Security Clearance

There are three basic levels of security clearance, as identified in a recent USA Today article. Those with a top-secret clearance may also hold a Sensitive Compartmented Information, or SCI, clearance. SCI clearances allow one to be “read into” any of several “compartments” based on the holder’s need for access to specific, and often extremely sensitive, intelligence.

Posted by The Editors on Feb 15, 2007 at 05:09PM | Comments (0)

New Adjudicator Training Aims to Promote Reciprocity

A policy committee of the National Security Council has released a “program of instruction” intended to encourage security clearance reciprocity – that is, mutual recognition of security clearances issued by Intelligence Community components – by standardizing adjudicator training.

Posted by The Editors on Dec 21, 2006 at 02:50PM | Comments (0)

The Polygraph Revisited

The Federation of American Scientists’ Project on Government Secrecy’s Secrecy News has disseminated a tribute to David Lykken, a “psychologist who did pioneering research and public education on the limits and abuses of polygraph testing,” who died this week.

Secrecy News references a newly-released Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Inspector General report which reviews the use of polygraph examinations by DOJ entities, including the FBI. The report is a critical tool for understanding the types of exams and circumstances in which they are employed by DOJ in administrative, security, and criminal, counterterrorism, and counterintelligence investigations. Anyone planning to take the exam for any reason would be wise to first read the report, as well as other resources on polygraphs available by searching

Posted by The Editors on Sep 20, 2006 at 10:09PM | Comments (0)

Overview of Clearance Process Problems, Reforms

Published in The Government Contractor_, two Washington, DC, attorneys at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP completed an exceptionally well-researched and detailed overviewmccullough.pdf (pdf) of problems in the security clearance process and assess progress toward reform. Their May 2006 paper is a must-read for anyone needing to get up-to-speed on the issue.

Posted by The Editors on Aug 11, 2006 at 12:41AM | Comments (0)

Changes Forthcoming in Clearance Reciprocity

July 17, 2006: According to the Secrecy Project of the Federation of American Scientists (FAS), “reciprocity” refers to “the acceptance by one agency of a security clearance granted by another agency, and vice versa”. Read more from FAS on this here.

The White House has issued a Checklist of Permitted Exceptions to Reciprocity.

The Strategy Page opines that denying reciprocity may enhance national security by allowing more detailed investigations that may identify persons of risk.

Posted by The Editors on Jul 28, 2006 at 10:22PM | Comments (0)

No Surprise: Study Finds Cleared Personnel Win More Pay

June 2006: The latest edition of The Officer magazine includes an article on a study completed by which found that personnel who hold security clearances receive substantially more pay than do their counterparts lacking clearance. Unfortunately, hasn’t an approved link to the article, or the study, but invites users to supply one if they find one.

Posted by The Editors on Jul 27, 2006 at 08:59PM | Comments (0)

Best Practices in Completing Security Clearance Applications

October 2005: An article in Federal Computer Week discussed how to best complete required security forms in order to facilitate the expeditious processing of a security clearance application.

Posted by The Editors on Jul 27, 2006 at 02:37PM | Comments (0)

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