Any employee who has ever applied for federal government security clearance will understand that the process can sometimes be overwhelming. Whether a person is applying for secret, confidential or top-secret clearance, a person’s entire life can be analyzed and/or interpreted.
A security clearance denial can happen for various reasons that may involve the involvement with illicit drugs, financial debts, financial affluence, technology misuse, gambling addictions, reckless sexual behavior, undue foreign influence, or other behaviors that the government can deem to be a risk to the nation’s security.
If you are a federal employee or a government contractor who has experienced a security clearance denial, you have a few legal options. Additionally, if you feel that you have been denied clearance unjustly, you could file for an appeal on that decision. Consider seeking the legal advice of a qualified attorney who can help you through the appeals process.
Responding to a Security Clearance Denial
The U.S. government can take up to 6 months to accept or deny a security clearance application. A person who has been denied security clearance will be issued a Statement of Reasons notice, which outlines the reasons or concerns that determined the clearance denial. A federal employee who wishes to contest the denial can request to see the records on file that influenced the reason for denial. Next, the employee can respond in writing to the reasoning stated in the Statement of Reasons. This written response, which could be required within 15 days, should explain why the denial was made in error, disclose mitigating factors that may merit reassessment, as well as cite any applicable legal precedents.
In the event that the security clearance adjudicator has agreed with the requester, then the security clearance will be granted. If the clearance is not granted, then the requester must proceed on to file an appeal.
When given the reasons for a denial, a requester may also be provided with a list of conditions. If the conditions can be met, the denial could be reconsidered. It is worth nothing that each application will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
With that said, mitigating factors may include proof that the employee engaged in an act only a few times, or received counseling as it pertains to the disqualifying factor. There are many mitigating factors that could help to establish good reason for a requester’s application eligibility.
Appealing a Denied Security Clearance Application
Any applicant has the legal right to appeal an application denial. A federal employee may request a hearing before a board or administrative judge, where his or her case will be heard. Government employees, on the other hand, will need to answer a set of questions within 20 days. Government employees will also need to state if they would like to have a written decision or a hearing for a response.
Obtain Qualified Legal Support
If you have received a rejected security clearance application, the legal support of a qualified attorney who make all the difference to having a successful application. A skilled attorney will ensure that all responses are clearly stated, dutifully researched, as well as entirely inclusive of the mitigating factors that could endorse an application.
The attorneys at the Brett O’Brien Law, LLC are highly skilled in the field of security clearance denials and appeals. The firm champions for the rights of employees and has succeeded in helping many employees’ approved applications. If your security clearance application has been denied, consult a specialized attorney today.