Working to Obtain and Maintain Security Clearances and Suitability for Employees and Applicants
In the post-September 11 environment, government employees, contractors, and military members are increasingly required to obtain security clearances as a condition of employment. It is critical to obtain and hold the proper clearance in order to begin or continue working in a sensitive position.
A security clearance investigation examines a person’s loyalty, character, trustworthiness, and reliability to ensure that he is eligible for access to national security information.
Problems such as overdue debts, arrests for driving under the influence, failing to be completely truthful in filling out the security application, dual citizenship, drug and alcohol issues, psychological problems, and having relatives in foreign countries can keep an employee from obtaining a clearance. Those problems can also prevent employers from hiring the best-qualified candidate for the job.
Suitability is a person’s character or conduct that may have an impact on the integrity or efficiency of the service. During a suitability determination, the adjudicator reviews information about the behavior of an individual (typically obtained from a background investigation and the individual) seeking to enter or continue federal service to ensure that he demonstrates appropriate conduct and character. Competitive service positions, excepted service positions where the incumbent can be noncompetitively converted to the competitive service, and career appointments to the SES are all subject to suitability determinations. Some of the criteria used to assess suitability are similar to those used to determine eligibility for a clearance, including: a history of problems in prior positions; violations of law or lying; alcohol-related problems; using illegal drugs; and trying to forcibly overthrow the US Government.
For more than 40 years, the security clearance attorneys at Kalijarvi, Chuzi, Newman & Fitch, P.C., have provided timely and knowledgeable advice to resolve security clearance problems. Our firm is proud to be a member of the Security Clearance Lawyers Association.
Employees: We Are Recognized Leaders in Security Clearance Appeals
Our lawyers represent federal employees and applicants in every phase of the security clearance process, including:
- Completing the Personnel Security Questionnaire, including how best to address potential disqualifying problems and obtain an interim clearance
- Helping employees prepare for a formal interview with an investigator
- Responding to interrogatories from the Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals (DOHA), the intelligence community, the military departments, and government agencies
- Advising employees on what to expect at a polygraph examination
- Responding to the Statement of Reasons (SOR) or Letter of Intent (LOI)
- Representing employees at DOHA hearings and personal appearances
- Preparing appeals to the DOHA Appeals Board
- Preparing appeals to the CIA and other intelligence agencies
- Accompanying the employee to Personnel Security Appeals Board appearances
Employers: Put Our Experience to Work for You
We advise employers who wish to avoid undue delays in obtaining clearances for their employees, minimize the number of uncleared employees they must retain in a nonbillable capacity, and maximize the likelihood that their employees will obtain the clearances they seek.
Contact an Experienced Security Clearance Lawyer
To learn more about the security clearance services we provide, call (202) 331-9260 or Contact Us.