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What is a Statement of Reasons – Suspended Security Clearance

A Statement of Reasons matters because it is typically the first time an employee will be notified that their security clearance is suspended.  Without a security clearance, you cannot work in a classified facility and many of the military services have their own specific rules that prohibit an employee from even being able to access an unclassified computer system.

A Statement of Reasons or SOR for short is issued by the Consolidated Adjudications Facility (CAF) after they review all pertinent information and apply it against the thirteen adjudicative guidelines found in Department of Defense Manual 5200.02, Procedures for the DoD Personnel Security Program (PSP) and Security Executive Directive 4, National Security Adjudicative Guidelines.  The CAF makes an initial decision to deny or revoke a Subject’s eligibility for access to classified information and/or assignment to duties that have been designated national security sensitive.  Pursuant to the National Security Adjudicative Guidelines, the Subject is entitled to a written statement of reasons outlining why the Subject’s access is denied or revoked.  The notice must be as comprehensive and detailed as national security permits.

Once you receive your SOR, you can challenge the preliminary decision by responding in writing, with any information or explanation that you think is relevant in reaching a final decision. Your response should address the National Security Adjudicative Guidelines and the relevant facts that support an argument in mitigation or extenuation.   Lastly, if you chose to respond your written response must be submitted within 30 calendar days from the date you acknowledge receipt and you can receive a 30 day extension upon a formal request to your employing organization. You can chose to be represented by legal counsel in preparing your response.

 

About the Author

Brett O'Brien, Esq.
Brett O'Brien, Esq.
author

Brett O’Brien specializes in security clearance appeals. He has dedicated his career to learning the entire security clearance process from start to finish. He started his journey by working for the federal government before entering private practice. Learn more about Brett here.