Federal employment is a highly competitive arena. Certain certifications, such as security clearances, are highly coveted because they open doors to opportunity and advancement. At the same time, losing the classification can mean the end of a career.
Right now, the environment for government workers, whether they are in an agency or employed by a contracting firm, is more challenging than usual. The party in power currently has stated a commitment to reducing the size of the workforce. If you have security clearance, but face losing it and everything else you have worked for, you have more reason than ever to exercise your right to protect your rights, livelihood and reputation.
The issue as it relates to security clearances has come into stark relief in recent days. Many readers may be aware of news headlines declaring that the Department of Defense and some other agencies have discovered that interim security passes have been issued allowing felons to get jobs. The head of security for DOD says there are murderers, pedophiles and rapists among some 100,000 workers with interim passes across the country. The DOD official says the clearances are necessary because of the need to keep weapons programs on track.
News reports say about 700,000 security clearance requests are in backlog. Some 400,000 of those requests are from workers who have had clearances before. Another 300,000 or so are from first-time applicants. The DOD security chief says without interim clearances no work would get done. But he says he's pulling errant clearances weekly.