Security Clearance Appeals
Because classified information is necessary for national security, many servicemembers require a security clearance to perform their duties. A security clearance investigation is required to obtain and keep a security clearance. The purpose of a security clearance investigation is to ensure the servicemember is law abiding, trustworthy, honest, emotionally stable and financially responsible. If a servicemember commits misconduct or has financial problems then they may either be denied a security clearance or have an existing security clearance suspended or revoked causing a servicemember to lose their billet, future assignments, promotion or their military career.
DoD 5220.6 governs the security clearance review program. If a servicemember’s security clearance is denied, suspended or revoked after a security clearance investigation, a statement of the reasons (SOR) will be provided along with information regarding the procedures for appealing the decision. If the information in the statement is inaccurate, you have the opportunity to correct it before filing an appeal with the Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals (DOHA).
In order to appeal an adverse decision, the servicemember must submit a detailed written answer to the SOR under oath admitting or denying each listed allegation and specifically requesting a hearing. The written answer must be received by the DOHA within 20 days from receipt of the SOR. Requests for an extension of time to file an answer may be granted only upon a showing of good cause. Failure to file a timely and responsive answer to the SOR could result in the denial, suspension or revocation of a security clearance.
If a hearing is timely requested, the case will be assigned to an Administrative Judge for a clearance decision based on the hearing record. The hearings are held at different locations around the United States near the servicemember’s location. Following the issuance of a notice of hearing by the Administrative Judge, the servicemember shall appear in person with or without counsel or a personal representative at the time and place designated by the notice of hearing. The servicemember shall be notified at least 15 days before the hearing. At the hearing the servicemember can present evidence in the form of documents and witnesses.
If you have been informed that your security clearance has been denied, suspended or revoked, then it is imperative that you have an experienced civilian military counsel fight to get the security clearance required.