DoD leaders, supervisors, and managers, have the following responsibilities:
- Designate civilian positions with appropriate position sensitivity and regularly review those designations to ensure the degree of sensitivity and number of sensitive positions are held to a minimum, consistent with the efficient conduct of business.
- Review the number and level of clearances required to encourage the minimum, consistent with a strict determination of “need-to-know” in the performance of individual employees’ official duties.
- Ensure that, when hiring or assigning new duties, the required clearance eligibility is requested in a timely fashion.
- Approve requirements for access to classified information to only those employees who hold the appropriate clearances, ensuring that they are appropriately briefed and debriefed.
- Report to the appropriate Security Office, through the security representative, when an individual no longer requires a clearance (without prejudice) or when an individual’s clearance or eligibility to occupy a sensitive position is to be temporarily suspended due to information which raises doubt about the wisdom of continued security eligibility.
- Maintain an environment where security is known to be important and compliance is expected and required.
- Be aware of situations that may impact the individual’s clearance eligibility or eligibility to perform sensitive duties.
- Provide ongoing training for employees in the proper handling of classified or sensitive material.
Supervisors are responsible for identifying problems at an early stage, so that any assistance will have a reasonable chance of preventing long-term performance or security problems.
Supervisors should not become personally involved in an employee’s personal problems. They should, however, ensure that a troubled employee who needs help is referred to the professionals who are trained to give it.
The first step in dealing with any performance problem is normal supervisory counseling. If this does not solve the problem, consider referring the employee to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP). The EAP staff is trained to assess whether or not an employee’s performance deficiencies are rooted in some personal problem and, if so, to help the employee deal with these difficulties.
The employee should be advised that referral to the EAP is not an adverse administrative action. It is, rather, a means of trying to avoid an adverse administrative action. The employee has the right to refuse EAP assistance. Whether EAP assistance is accepted or refused, the employee remains responsible for improving work performance to acceptable levels.
Supervisors often have unnecessary concerns about referring an employee to the EAP. They are often afraid of hurting an employee, even though an EAP referral may be the only chance an employee has of getting the help they need. Supervisors should focus on the harm caused by not referring a troubled employee to the professionals who are trained to help.
Supervisors may feel that referring a problem, rather than solving it themselves, means they are not doing their job. But it is not the supervisor’s job to diagnose the employee’s personal problem or to solve it. Part of the supervisor’s job is knowing organizational resources and exercising good judgment about how and when to use them.