Guidance on Answering Department of Defense Security Clearance Interrogatories
Before the Defense Security Service (DSS) will grant a security clearance, they must conclude that it is “clearly consistent with the national interest” to do so. Unlike a criminal case, in which the the prosecution must prove the person guilty, in a security clearance case, the applicant must prove eligibility for a clearance, or else it will be denied. In other words, the burden is always on the applicant to prove they can be trusted.
For government contractor positions, if all questions have not been resolved by the investigator, the file is sent to the Defense Industrial Security Clearance Office (DISCO). At that point an adjudicator might issue a set of questions for the applicant to answer. These questions are called interrogatories.
Responding to the interrogatories is a critical part of the process of receiving clearance from the Department of Defense (DoD). If the responses are adequate, the applicant may be able to obtain a security clearance without needing a DOHA hearing. If the responses are not sufficient to overcome the preliminary concerns, a Statement of Reasons (SOR) will be issued.
For full-time government employees, the personnel security office sometimes sends out questions for the employee to answer. This does not occur as frequently as it does for contractors.
Contact One of Our Expert DOHA Hearings Lawyers
If you have received interrogatories during your security clearance application process, our law firm can advise you on the appropriate methods to answer them. To schedule a consultation, call (202) 331-9260 or visit our Contact page.