How to Avoid Jeopardizing Your Security Clearance: Guideline F, Financial Considerations

  • Guideline F: Financial Considerations

Published: July 30, 2021

As the Federal security adjudicators return to the office full time, the scrutiny on security clearances and resulting reviews and adjudications will move back to their 2019 numbers. Approximately 2.3 million cleared service members, civilian employees, and contractors are now under the Continuous Evaluation (or “CE”) protocol. This represents over half the security cleared community. Guideline F leads to more denials and revocations than any other guideline.

“CE” radically changed security review. Gone are the days when you could duff around for four or five years and then try to clean up your record before filling out your periodic review documentation, the e-Qip/SF86, and then have a well-connected boss move you through.

Two lines of adjudicative guideline behavior are especially prone to CE triggers: Guideline F, Financial Considerations and Guideline J, Criminal Conduct. Running the algorithm through the Federal government’s National Agency Check (both NAC and NACI) program readily reveals local law enforcement records on the cleared person. A call to the town Police Officer by a threatened or angry spouse can launch a review quickly.

The same with profligate spending triggering Guideline F, Financial Considerations. At the high end, most Intelligence Community cadre and contractors maintain zero balances on credit cards and keep long term debt to discreet levels. Less is more, when it comes to your security profile. The Security Office expects you to sacrifice for the privilege of carrying a badge. Outside the IC, the review—always discretionary—is a little more forgiving.

Consider two Guideline F, Financial Considerations opinions handed down by the Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals just before the COVID pandemic hit Washington, D.C.

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