The Defense Security Service (DSS) announced a new procedure of the Defense Industrial Security Clearance Office (DISCO) pertaining to periodic reinvestigations for personnel security clearances (PCLs) in early June, 2010, which takes effect immediately. Because this new procedure is a significant change and can result in the personnel security clearances of employees being suspended if their employer(s) are not careful, I thought it important to highlight this news here.
As you may know, periodic reinvestigations of a cleared person’s background are required every five years for Top Secret personnel security clearances, every ten years for Secret level clearances, and every fifteen years for Confidential level clearances. These periodic reinvestigations do not occur automatically; they must be initiated by the person’s employer via JPAS. Till now, this was largely left up to the employers (a.k.a. cleared contractors).
With this new procedure, DISCO will now notify cleared contractors when their cleared employees are due for periodic reinvestigations of their personnel security clearances. Though it will still be up to the cleared contractors to initiate the periodic reinvestigations via JPAS and eQIP, a very important change that you should be aware of is that you must now initiate those periodic reinvestigations within sixty (60) days of notification from DISCO. Failure of the employee to submit their SF-86 (Questionnaire for National Security Positions) via eQIP within sixty days will result in DISCO suspending that person’s eligibility for access to classified information (i.e. security clearance).