Magazine article Security Management

The Big Switch

Magazine article Security Management

The Big Switch

Article excerpt

The Big Switch by John F. Donnelly

Last year, new government security forms were introduced to enable industry, the Department of Defense (DoD), and the military all to use the same forms to request clearances and investigations from the Defense Investigative Service DIS). Using a standard set of forms is beneficial and cost-effective.

The new forms are DD Form 3982, national agency questionnaire; DD Form 398, personnel security questionnaire; and DD Form 1879, DoD request for personnel security investigation to industry. These forms replaced DD Forms 48, 48-3, and 49.

Problems, however, have arisen with the conversion. Developing forms for all users and uses-which include initial clearances, conversion from government or military to industrial clearances, revalidations, reinstatements, and concurrent clearances - has been a formidable task.

One item DoD contractors find controversial is the requirement that they review local-or company-files. Concern has focused on two factors: contractor liability or litigation, which may result from the disclosure of adverse information contained in local files, and the review of medical records. Medical records are not always open for review or available to nonmedical personnel. In the latter instance, the concern includes which department-medical or security-is most qualified to review and provide information from medical records. Reporting information from local file checks on clearance applications is synonymous with the requirement of paragraph 6b(1) of the Industrial Security Manual (ISM), which requires contractors to report adverse information on employees cleared for access to classified information. The personnel security clearance (PCL) application provides another format for reporting th information.

Over the years various a ave been published on what constitutes adverse information and what must be reported to the Defense Industrial Security Clearance Office (DISCO). This guidance should be followed when completing a request for a PCL. Unfortunately, specifically defining all "reportable" adverse information is not possible.

DIS maintains that any information that reflects adversely on the integrity or character of an employee and suggests that his or her ability to safeguard classified information may be impaired should be reported to DISCO for evaluation. Situations with no precedent or that are otherwise unusual or questionable should be discussed with an industrial security representative.

Company policy often prohibits nonmedical personnel from reviewing medical records. …

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