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Legal Insider: Continuous evaluation for security clearance holders

This is a sponsored column by attorneys John Berry and Kimberly Berry of Berry & Berry, PLLC, an employment and labor law firm located in Northern Virginia that specializes in federal employee, security clearance, retirement and private sector employee matters.

By John V. Berry, Esq.

Continuous evaluation (CE) is an ongoing screening process for security clearance holders that monitors cleared employees in between periodic reinvestigations. Many government employees, military personnel, and government contractors have already been placed in the CE system over the past few years.

What is Continuous Evaluation?

Continuous Evaluation (CE) is an ongoing security screening process reviewing the background of a cleared individual. Traditionally, the government has investigated individuals with security clearances through periodic reinvestigations after 5 or 10 years, depending on the level of the individual’s clearance. This has often caused gaps where the security clearance process has not uncovered potential adverse information on individuals between investigations.

CE is an effort by the government to reform the security clearance system and increase the timeliness of potentially adverse information reviewed between periodic reinvestigations. CE employs automatic record checks to provide near real-time security risk information on an individual. CE checks utilize commercial databases, criminal databases, U.S. Government databases, public records and other available information. Presently, CE does not use social media, although there have been some test programs using social media analysis.

When an individual is enrolled in CE, the government will be alerted to any changes in a clearance holder’s eligibility. If adverse or unreported information is identified through the CE process, the system will alert the sponsoring agency. One example of CE is where a security clearance holder is arrested for a crime which is then reported to government clearance adjudicators. The agency will then review the potentially adverse information to determine if further adjudication of the security clearance is required. With CE, it is important for individuals to focus on self-reporting issues that arise before they are later discovered.

CE is a work in progress. There will be changes and updates to CE as the government makes adjustments to the security clearance process as part of reform. The ultimate goal is full Continuous Vetting (CV), which is a more comprehensive form of CE. CV will likely eventually eliminate the need for periodic reinvestigations in the future.

Contact Us

When an individual is facing security clearance concerns it is important to obtain legal advice and/or legal representation. Our law firm advises individuals in the security clearance process. We can be contacted at www.berrylegal.com or by telephone at (703) 668-0070. Additionally, our Facebook page is located here and our Twitter account is located here.

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