Security Clearance Revocation

Jennifer Duke
May 26, 2016
For many federal employees, a security clearance is vital to their ability to do their job. In many cases, and even some entire agencies, a federal security clearance is a job requirement. For federal employees who need a security clearance in order to perform the duties of their job, the revocation of that security clearance can mean a demotion, reassignment, or even removal from federal service.

In order to revoke an employee's security clearance, an agency must follow the procedures laid out in Executive Order 12968. The Executive Order provides that employees who do not meet the standards for access to confidential information must be:

1. Provided as comprehensive and detailed a written explanation of the reason for the denial as national security interests and applicable law permit;

2. Provided documents, records, and reports on which the denial is based to the extent they would be provided under the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act (this must be provided within 30 days);

3. Informed of their right to counsel or other representative, to request documents, and to request the entire investigatory file. If requested, these materials must be promptly provided prior to the time set for a written reply;

4. Provided a reasonable opportunity to reply in writing to the determination, and to request a review of that determination;

5. Provided written notice of and reasons for the results of the review, the identity of the deciding official, and written notice of the right to appeal;

6. Provided an opportunity to appeal in writing to a high-level panel appointed by the agency head. This panel must be comprised of three members, two of whom must be selected from outside the security field. Panel decisions must be in writing and are final; and

7. Provided an opportunity to appear personally and to present relevant documents, materials, and information at some point in the process before an adjudicative or other authority, other than the investigative entity, as determined by the agency head. A written summary or record of such appearance must be made part of the employee's security record, unless the appearance is made in the presence of the panel deciding the appeal.

The first step in an agency's security clearance revocation process is always to provide the employee with a Notice of Intent to Revoke. Given the importance of a security clearance for many federal jobs, it is advisable to contact an attorney as early in this process as possible, preferably as soon as an employee receives the Notice of Intent to Revoke. If you are concerned about losing your security clearance, or have been notified that your agency is beginning the process to revoke your security clearance, Melville Johnson, P.C. may be able to help. Contact us today using the form on this page.

This blog and web site published by Melville Johnson, P.C. should not be used as a substitute for seeking competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney. Readers of this information should not act upon any information contained on this blog or website without seeking professional counsel.
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