Self-reporting is an essential component in maintaining the integrity of the Personnel Security Program. Although an employee may obtain a clearance or may be assigned to a position of trust, the initial adjudicative decision can be overturned at a later date if the employee concealed relevant information during the investigation or after the clearance was issued.
Employees who occupy positions of trust or have access to classified information are expected to self-report changes or incidents that may impact their clearances. Once again, the 13 Adjudicative Guidelines are a valuable tool in determining if a life-event or situation might result in a need to self-report. Self-reporting, while mandatory, is also a question of personal integrity and certainly preferable to the incident or change being discovered.
Listed below are some incidents and life events where self-reporting is expected or may be appropriate.
- Change in Personal Status - Marital status (marriage, divorce), cohabitation (living in spouse-like relationship, intimate relationship, or becoming engaged), change of name
- Foreign Travel – A security briefing before any foreign travel, whether for personal or business reasons, clearance for travel to hazardous countries for Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI)-cleared individuals
- Foreign Contacts – Contact with individuals of any foreign nationality, either within or outside the scope of your official duties, in which illegal or unauthorized access to classified or otherwise sensitive information is sought, personal concern that you are a target of an attempted exploitation, all close and continuing relationships between SCI-cleared individuals and foreign nations
- Loss or Compromise of Information – Inadvertent or accidental loss or compromise of classified or other sensitive information because the first priority in such a situation is to regain control of the classified material
- Financial Problems – Filing for bankruptcy, garnishment of wages, having a lien placed on your property for failing to pay a creditor, eviction from a residence for failure to pay rent, or simply your inability to meet all your financial obligations
- Arrests – Any arrest, regardless of whether or not charges were filed, other involvement with the legal system (such as being sued), any circumstance where you were sworn under oath to testify about your association or involvement in questionable activities
- Psychological or Substance Abuse Counseling – When counseling is needed, you are encouraged to seek assistance from your employer-sponsored Employee Assistance Program (EAP) or other counseling service. Counseling for certain situations need not be reported if you sought the counseling on your own initiative to help you cope. Counseling must be reported if you were advised to seek counseling because of work performance or other undesirable behavior
Seeking help for life stressors does not reflect adversely on an individual’s judgment. Instead, it may be viewed as a positive sign that an individual recognizes that a problem exists and is willing to take steps toward resolving it.
- Outside Activities – Any planned or actual outside employment or volunteer activity that could create a real or apparent conflict with your responsibility to protect office.
- Media Contacts – Any media inquiries about your job or organization should be reported: ongoing personal contacts with media representatives who cover your organization or your subject are specialty should be cleared with security.
- Pre-Publication Review – Any technical paper, book, magazine article, or newspaper article that you prepare for publication or for posting on the Internet, or lecture or speech that you prepare to give, must be cleared in advance if it contains information or knowledge you gained during your current or any previous job.