FAQs

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FAQs 2017-03-07T20:41:52+00:00

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To obtain a National Security Clearance, you must have a sponsoring employer. Thus, individuals who want a National Security Clearance who are unemployed and have never had a clearance must find employment that requires access to classified information.

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If you have left the military, your clearance may have been withdrawn. A Security Clearance can be withdrawn for administrative reasons, without prejudice as to a later determination.

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It is generally best to be completely candid with investigators. If you fail to disclose relevant information and it is later discovered, your trustworthiness will also be in question. You may contact the Edmunds Law Firm for consultation prior to your interview.

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If it was an interim denial, the Government is not required to provide an explanation for the denial. However, this office can assist you in obtaining a copy of your investigative file, which will usually reveal the reasons for the decision. If the denial was a final clearance determination, then a Statement of Reasons (SOR) will be issued to you.

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This office can assist you in obtaining a Statement of Reasons if your clearance has been suspended and you are still employed. It is often necessary to correspond directly with Government agencies to obtain documents. The help of an attorney can ensure a more timely response from the Government in obtaining the Statement of Reasons.

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An interim denial does not result in the issuance of an SOR. There is also no formal appeal process for an interim decision. However, this office frequently assists Applicants in amending their investigative files to address any negative information. This can greatly increase an Applicant = s chances of obtaining an interim clearance the next time they apply.

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An Applicant has the choice to admit or deny each allegation contained in the Statement of Reasons. If the Applicant admits an allegation, this removes a huge burden from the Government to prove the facts alleged. If there is any doubt about accuracy, the Applicant should always deny the allegation.

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You can request a copy of your investigative files from your employer and from the Government agencies that investigated your clearance. Most agencies have specific format requirements for such a request. The Edmunds Law Firm routinely assists Applicants with this process.

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Keep in mind, a National Security Clearance is a privilege. The Government can request that any Applicant submit to a polygraph examination.

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The government can request medical examinations and testing to complete their review of every Applicant = s request for a National Security Clearance.

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Generally, any refusal to participate in the investigative process will result in a negative decision on the Applicant = s request for a National Security Clearance.

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This is a very common allegation raised by the Government relative to Applicants who were born in other countries. However, the Edmunds Law Firm has effectively argued this issue and has succeeded even where the Applicant has had numerous family members still living and residing in foreign countries.

DoD Contractor General Questions:

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In this type of case, the Applicant is permitted to submit a written response to the allegations and/or request a formal hearing before an Administrative Judge.

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In most contractor cases, a written response to an SOR is insufficient. Most Applicants have already submitted documents to the Government prior to the issuance of the SOR. A written response is a required formality; however, it seldom results in a successful conclusion for the Applicant. The best opportunity for any Applicant to prevail is at a formal hearing.

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In many cases, the procedures and rules that will be applied at a formal hearing are complex. Without an attorney, the Applicant will miss opportunities relative to the production of evidence, the examination of witnesses, and arguments to be made to the Court during the hearing. Additionally, Applicants are at a distinct disadvantage if English is not their primary language. An experienced attorney who handles National Security cases on a regular basis can ensure that the best possible case is presented on your behalf. Many attorneys advertise that they have National Security experience, when in fact they have little or no experience. Individuals are well advised to ask for specific cases that any attorney has successfully handled at a formal hearing.

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A formal hearing is scheduled for a precise date, time, and location, as specified in the Hearing Notice. The hearing can last from two (2) hours to a full day or more. The length of the hearing should be discussed in advance with the Administrative Judge and the Government Attorney. The Edmunds Law Firm frequently works with the Government to set a hearing date that is convenient for the Applicant.

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The formal hearing is an opportunity for the Applicant to produce evidence in the form of testimony, documents, and official government reports. The specific documents that should be produced depend upon the allegations contained in the Statement of Reasons.

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DoD Directive 5220.6 states that the Government Attorney and the Applicant shall serve one another with a copy of any pleadings, proposed documentary evidence or written communications to be submitted to the Administrative Judge at the formal hearing. The exchange of information should be mutual and done in a timely fashion prior to the hearing.

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Yes, there is an opportunity in every case to object to the documents the Government submits. The objectionable documentary evidence must be identified by the Applicant at the time the evidence is offered by the Government at the hearing. Objections are a technical part of the hearing process and Applicants are encouraged to consult with an attorney about their opportunities to object.

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Witnesses are a definite benefit to every Applicant provided that they are aware of the allegations in the SOR, can make a good appearance, and have knowledge about the responsibilities of a National Security Clearance. Professional witnesses are highly regarded at formal hearings and witnesses that have known the Applicant for several years can be a tremendous benefit.

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No, the Administrative Judge takes all matters under submission and will issue a written opinion following the hearing.

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Typically, the Administrative Judge issues a written decision within 1-3 months. It may take longer in some cases.

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In most cases, the record is closed after the hearing. However, if you are waiting to obtain certain favorable documents, you can request that the Administrative Judge keep the record open for a specified period of time. The Edmunds Law Firm routinely obtains extensions for our clients.

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Following the formal hearing, a notification will be sent concerning the Applicant = s right to an appeal. The written appeal is a very important opportunity for the Applicant to change the decision of the Administrative Judge. In a surprising number of cases, the adverse result at a formal hearing can be overturned. The Edmunds Law Firm has been very successful in written appeals in DOHA cases.

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Every Applicant has the right to reapply for clearance one year after the final adverse decision. The Edmunds Law Firm can assist you in preparing documents for your re-application. Please call us for further information.

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A written request for an extension should be made if the Applicant is not prepared or needs additional time to obtain documents or witnesses. The request should be in writing and should be sent to the agency that issued the Statement of Reasons.

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Yes, and I encourage all applicants who are handling cases without the benefit of an attorney to open up lines of communication with the DOHA judges. The Edmunds Law Firm can help applicants by providing contact information and telephone numbers. It is important that the applicant have access to the Judge assigned to the case. You can communicate with the Judge by phone, email, or letter. When you communicate with the Judge in writing, you must send a copy to the Government Attorney.

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Yes. Applicants are encouraged to speak with the prosecuting attorney at DOHA. Please understand that the prosecuting attorney that’s detailed to your case is not there to be your friend or to assist you with the presentation of your case. They may start to interrogate you over the phone and ask questions which you do not have to answer if it pertains to specific issues in your case. A very common topic for discussion, however, is the identification of evidence and witnesses. The government attorney frequently wants the applicant to sign a stipulation for the admission of his exhibits into evidence. Be careful! If you have any questions about communications with the government attorney, detailed on your specific case, please call the Edmunds Law Firm.

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Yes. This is a very common method of communications. Frequently, Judges want to talk with both parties, the government and the applicant, or the applicant’s counsel telephonically. The Judges do not like to have ex parte communications with just one party. Asking for a conference call is a great method of resolving problems. Again, please understand that neither the DOHA Judge nor the government attorney are not your friends. They are not there to hold your hand and walk you through this process. Applicants are held to the same standard as attorneys in these cases.

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Immediately contact the detailed Judge on your case. Ask the Judge to set up a conference call between you, the Judge, and the government attorney to discuss your problems.

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Immediately call the Judge that has been detailed to your case and ask for a conference call. Tell the Judge that the Court date that has been set is not convenient and that you need a continuance of that date. This must be done in a timely fashion, as soon as you hear or receive notice of the Court hearing. A written request would also be appropriate. All correspondence with the Court and the government attorney can be done both orally and in writing. A written record of your attempts to communicate is very important.

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You can ask the Judge to continue the hearing based on the unexpected failure to appear of a witness. You can also ask the Judge to keep the record of trial open so that your witness can submit their testimony in the form of a declaration. The government attorney will object. If you have issues or questions about this procedure do not hesitate to contact the Edmunds Law Firm.

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Ask the Court to keep the record of hearing open for a period of two to three weeks so that you can submit the documents at a later date.

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Be certain that you have the cell phone numbers, or contact information for the Judge and the government attorney. Frequently, they are traveling a day or two before the hearing. If you have a problem, you should contact them immediately.

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Business interests and property in a foreign country can cause concerns about your application for security clearance. Property and bank accounts in a foreign country establishes “ties” with that country and can be inconsistent with the national interest of the United States. Most Judges in these types of issues want to see the applicant divest themselves of any financial interest in a foreign country.

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Sending money to a foreign country shows that the applicant still has contacts in that country. The Judges are generally very concerned in security clearance cases about money being sent from the United States to a foreign country. It raises issues of foreign preference and contacts with a foreign country. There are cases where applicants have been successful obtaining a clearance when they sent small amounts of money to their parents.

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