Resolving a Security Clearance Revocation
Although no one has a right to a security clearance, to revoke a clearance, the government must follow good due process requirements for the revoking and denial of a security clearance. A security clearance allows a party to have access to classified information.
Security Clearance Legislation
Executive Order 12968 sets forth the minimum due process requirements for Federal employees. If a clearance is denied or revoked, a detailed written explanation of the reason for the decision must be provided. It requires that any documents upon which the decision based be disclosed upon request. It details the employee’s right to counsel and a reasonable opportunity to reply. It requires that written notice of the denial or revocation be served. It also requires that the employee is given a chance to appear before an adjudicative authority other than the investigating entity.
Executive Order 10865 spells out due process requirements for federal contractors. It provides for notice of the reasons for the action, an opportunity to respond, the right to a hearing and the right to be represented by counsel.
Understanding Security Clearance Stipulations
Understanding why a clearance is denied or revoked requires an understanding of the guidelines that must be adhered to. Some of the guidelines are as follows:
- Allegiance to the United States. The contractor or employee cannot belong to a terrorist group, or advocate an overthrow of the U.S. government
- Foreign influence. The contractor or employee cannot have an association with foreign citizens or interest with a foreign business that potentially could coerce that person into interests contrary to the United States.
- Foreign Preference. The contractor or employee cannot act in such a way as to indicate a preference for a foreign country over the United States, service in a foreign military or accept scholarships or pensions from a foreign country.
- Sexual behavior: The contractor or employee cannot engage in criminal sexual behavior.
- Personal Conduct. The contractor or employee cannot refuse to cooperate with the clearance investigation.
- Financial Considerations. Unexplained wealth, participation in white color crime and the failure to meet financial obligations are all reasons for denial or revocation.
- Alcohol consumption. The contractor or employee must not engage in alcohol-related incidents, both at work and away from work.
- Drug use. The contractor or employee cannot use illegal drugs.
- Emotional, mental or personality disorders. Any condition that may indicate a defect in judgment is cause for denial or revocation.
- Criminal conduct. The contractor or employee cannot engage in criminal conduct.
Although not an exhaustive list, the aforementioned are the most egregious activities that the government will look at while deciding a denial or revocation. Defense of these investigations is crucial to overcoming them. The best way to protect your business is to avoid these activities. However, there are times when your employees can hide their record of such activities. Then your business suffers.
The attorneys at Dunlap, Bennett & Ludwig are experienced in all aspects of security denials and revocations. We can also assist in responding to investigations and appear at all hearings on your behalf. Applying for a security clearance? We can assist in completing the Questionnaire for National Security Positions. Your case will be handled with discrete, careful representation designed to protect your company and contracts. If you have encountered a denial or revocation, call our team at (866) 755-8745.