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Clearances: Self-Reporting Derogatory Information

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Soldiers and civilians with security clearances have a responsibility to conduct themselves in a manner that will not jeopardize their clearances. 

This includes keeping the security office informed of changes in their personal lives or activities that may have potential security ramifications.

Executive Order 12968, Access to Classified Information, sets the standards of conduct and dictates that access to classified information shall be granted only to individuals "whose personal and professional history affirmatively indicates loyalty to the United States, strength of character, trustworthiness, honesty, reliability, discretion, and sound judgment, as well as freedom from conflicting allegiances and potential for coercion, and willingness and ability to abide by regulations governing the use, handling, and protection of classified information."

Failure to comply with this standard may cause security clearance eligibility to be reviewed and possibly revoked. The concept of continuing evaluation is an important part of the personnel security process. Personnel are subject to periodic re-investigation and to a reasonable degree of monitoring by supervisors, co-workers and security professionals between investigations. These safeguards are necessary because people change over time. Experience shows that people approved for a position of trust sometimes fall into a pattern of unreliable or untrustworthy behavior after being granted a security clearance. 

People holding security clearances are expected to report the following actions to the security office: 

Change in personal life: Changes in marital status, co-habitation (living in a spouse-like relationship), and change of name must be reported. Special requirements may apply if an intended spouse or partner is a foreign national.

Foreign travel: For business or pleasure. 

Foreign contacts: All cleared personnel must report contacts with individuals of any foreign nationality, either within or outside the scope of their official activities.

Financial problems: Serious financial difficulties must be reported. This includes filing for bankruptcy, garnishment of wages, having a lien placed upon property for failing to pay a creditor, or eviction from a residence for failure to pay rent. One reason for requiring that these financial problems be reported is to assist you in obtaining appropriate financial counseling.

Loss or compromise of information: If a person inadvertently or accidentally loses or compromises classified or other sensitive information (including For Official Use Only and Personally Identifiable Information), this must be reported immediately as the first priority is to regain control of the information.

Arrests: If a person is arrested for any reason, this must be reported regardless of whether or not they are convicted or charges were dropped for lack of evidence. Minor traffic violations are the only exception to this reporting requirement. 

Other involvement with the legal system: Any other involvement in legal or court proceedings should be reported if the person is a target of the legal action, such as being sued for any reason or if there is any possibility the individual might be required to discuss their job or organization under oath.

Psychological or substance abuse counseling: When counseling is needed, individuals are encouraged to contact their Employee Assistance Program or other counseling service. A person does not need report counseling if they sought counseling on their own initiative. A person must reporting counseling if they were advised to seek counseling owing to their work performance or other undesirable behavior.

Outside activities: Any planned or actual outside employment or volunteer activity that could create a real or apparent conflict with one's responsibility to protect classified information. 

Media contacts: Any media inquiries about their job or organization should be reported. Ongoing personal contacts with media representatives who cover the organization or the subject area specialty should be cleared with security.

Pre-publication review: Any technical paper, book, magazine article, or newspaper article prepared for publication or for posting on the Internet, or lecture or speech must be cleared in advance if it contains information or knowledge gained during their current or any previous classified job. 

(The information was provided from the Defense Personnel and Security Research Center, Self-Reporting Your Own Activities, Online Guide to Security Responsibilities)

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