After I’m Granted a Clearance, Can it Later Be Revoked?

Certainly. There is a continuing evaluation requirement for all personnel holding security clearances. DoD regulations require the military services and DoD agencies to establish security programs so that supervisory personnel know their responsibilities in matters pertaining to the cleared individuals under their supervision. Such programs provide practical guidance as to indicators that may signal matters of possible concern which would call into question whether it is in the best interests of the country for an individual to continue to hold a security clearance. Each service and agency provides supervisors with specific instructions regarding reporting procedures (for adverse information). Facility Security Officers (FSOs) are also obligated under the NISPOM to report adverse information on cleared employees. If considered necessary, on review of the reported information, the appropriate authority can request an investigation to determine whether that individual’s clearance should be removed. In cases of grave concern, a clearance can even be suspended pending the results of the investigation.

Whether a specific incident would be reported promptly to clearance adjudicative personnel, and whether it would then result in an investigation, and possibly a clearance revocation, would depend on a number of factors. These would include: who is aware of the incident, the seriousness of the incident, whether previous incidents were a matter of concern in the past, and whether the incident relates to areas considered to be of concern for persons holding a security clearance. Incidents that are not immediately investigated may also be noted and explored later when that individual undergoes a routinely scheduled Periodic Reinvestigation. Information relating to the following issues may be considered significant in relation to holding a clearance:

  • Allegiance to the U.S.
  • Foreign Influence
  • Foreign preference
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Personal Conduct
  • Financial Considerations
  • Alcohol Consumption
  • Drug Involvement
  • Emotional, Mental and Personality Disorders
  • Criminal Conduct
  • Security Violations
  • Outside Activities Misuse of Information Technology Systems