08-09-2020

Cyber And Intelligence Security Clearances Process

A security clearance is a determination by the United States Government that a person is eligible for access to National Security classified information.

A security clearance can be obtained when an employee or consultant for Parsons is working in support of a classified contract and has been identified as having the need to access classified information in support of his/her duties.

At Parsons, the Personnel Security team consists of highly qualified security professionals. This team handles processing security clearances for Parsons employees and/or consultants.  Parsons does not directly process security clearances for subcontractors, and coordinates with the subcontractor security personnel. The Personnel Security team works together with the Program Managers and the local security officers to ensure a timely and seamless clearance process.  Personnel Security also coordinates with Program Managers to determine if a security clearance is still required for periodic reinvestigations and as part of the continuous evaluation program.

Fun Facts:

  • Clearances are granted and adjudicated based on federal law, NOT state law. For example, while cannabis is legal at the state level, it’s still illegal at the federal level.
  • US citizens who require access to classified information in support of work with the U.S. Intelligence Community or Department of Defense are eligible for a clearance.
  • A clearance may be at the Confidential, Secret, or Top Secret level and is typically granted through the DoD via the Office of Personnel Management.
  • U.S. citizenship is required.

Applying For A Security Clearance: Are You Qualified?

Clearance Disqualifiers

  • You are not a U.S. citizen.

Clearance Qualifiers

This process is designed to select those that exhibit high standards of honesty and integrity.

Eligibility to obtain a security clearance requires meeting the 13 adjudicative criteria:

  1. Allegiance to the US
  2. Foreign Influence
  3. Foreign Preference
  4. Sexual Behavior
  5. Personal Conduct
  6. Financial Considerations
  7. Alcohol Consumption
  8. Drug Involvement
  9. Psychological Conditions
  10. Criminal Conduct
  11. Handling Protected Information
  12. Outside Activities
  13. Use of Information Technology Systems

What May Not Disqualify You But May Delay The Receipt Of A DoD Clearance?

  • You have significant foreign national contacts (immediate family members living in other countries).
  • You own property in another country.
  • You have been convicted of a felony within the past 10 years.
  • You have a significant history of financial problems with bad debts, fairly current tax liens, repossessions, garnishments, and heavy indebtedness and late payments (over 180 days).

Already Hold A Clearance?

If you currently hold a clearance at your present employer or through the military, it may be transferable to Parsons. Clearances are typically transferable for a two-year period from the date of debrief. Please notify the Talent Acquisition representative handling your application if you hold a current DoD clearance.

If you have current “access” from a restricted program customer, please tell the Talent Acquisition Representative handling your application. If you cannot reveal the name of the customer who granted the access, the Security department will determine the access level without violating any secrecy requirements.

Change In Status

Per NISPOM 1-300 contractors are required to report certain life events that have an impact on the status of an employee’s personal security clearance. 

If any of the following items occur while you hold a security clearance, please notify Personnel Security.

  • Change in name, marital status, citizenship, cohabitation, etc.
  • Adverse information: criminal activities, treatment of mental or emotional disorders, excessive use of intoxicants, use or investment of illegal controlled substances (including CBD)
  • DUI/DWI/Public Intoxication/Reckless Driving/Arrests, etc. (at the time of the occurrence)
  • Excessive indebtedness or recurring financial activities (i.e. liens, judgements, garnishments, short sales, foreclosures, bankruptcy, etc.
  • Loss, compromise or suspected compromise of classified data, proprietary information or controlled unclassified information (CUI)
  • Foreign Travel (business or pleasure) prior to travelling
  • Suspicious activities and contacts (to include foreign)
  • Involuntary termination of employment
  • Outside work (part-time or consulting, etc.)

Qualify, But Do Not Currently Hold A Clearance?

If you do not hold a security clearance, you will be required to go through a background investigation prior to being granted clearance. You will be asked to complete an eQip that contains information regarding your family and questions about your personal background.

The Electronic Personnel Security Questionnaire Requires Disclosure Of The Following:

  • All locations you have lived
    • Person who can verify that location
  • Your education
  • Identify who your parents, your siblings, your spouse and children are
    • Note where they live (if you do not know, you may indicate that)
  • All places you have worked
    • Name of supervisor
  • Full military history
    • Name of supervisor
  • All places you have traveled outside the U.S.
    • Purpose of the travel for each location
  • Records of the following:
    • Employment
    • Police
  • Names of close contacts with foreign nationals in the U.S. or overseas
  • Any ownership of overseas property
  • Any use of drugs or alcohol that may have been illegal or resulted in arrest, counseling or treatment
  • Current mental state and whether you have been in treatment or counseling (other than marriage counseling)
  • Personal financial history including bankruptcy, wage garnishments, repossessions, tax liens, and unpaid judgments
  • Whether you have been a party to any civil court actions
  • Whether you have ever had a security clearance revoked
  • Whether you belong to an organization that advocates the overthrow of the U.S.

Consider Your Digital Footprint

Your digital footprint may be considered during a background investigation.

Steps to consider taking before applying for a security clearance:

1. Enter your name into a search engine

  • Note if you appear in images, videos, articles, text
  • Note if any comments you’ve made on others’ content

2. Review social media profiles

  • Are they accurate and updated? Are they consistent?
  • Are there any fake accounts using your info?

3. Clean it up

  • Set limitations and privacy features.
  • Delete old accounts and be consistent across accounts.
  • Delete or remove inappropriate content.
  • Request others remove negative content (if you don’t own it).
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