ADJUDICATIVE GUIDELINES FOR DETERMINING ELIGIBILITY FOR ACCESS TO CLASSIFIED INFORMATION

prepared by
the Personnel Security Committee
of the US Security Policy Board

June 9, 1995


PURPOSE

The following adjudicative guidelines are established for all U.S. government civilian and military personnel, consultants, contractors, employees of contractors, licensees, certificate holders or grantees and their employees and other individuals who require access to classified information. They apply to persons being considered for initial or continued eligibility for access to classified information, to include sensitive compartmented information and special access programs, and are to be used by government departments and agencies in all final clearance determinations.

ADJUDICATIVE PROCESS

The adjudicative process is an examination of a sufficient period of a persons life to make an affirmative determination that the Person is an acceptable security risk. Eligibility for access to classified information is predicated upon the individual meeting these personnel security guidelines. The adjudication process is the careful weighing of a number of variables known as the whole person concept. All available, reliable information about the person, past and present, favorable and unfavorable, should be considered in reaching a determination. In evaluating the relevance of an individual's conduct, the adjudicator should consider the following factors:

Each case must be judged on its own merits and final determination remains the responsibility of the specific department or agency. Any doubt concerning personnel being considered for access to classified information will be resolved in favor of the national security and considered final.

The ultimate determination of whether the granting or continuing of eligibility for a security clearance is clearly consistent with the interests of national security must be an overall common sense determination based upon careful consideration of the following:

Each of the foregoing should be evaluated in the context of the whole person. Although adverse information concerning a single criterion may not be sufficient for an unfavorable determination, the individual may be disqualified if available information reflects a recent or recurring pattern of questionable judgment, irresponsibility, or emotionally unstable behavior.

However, notwithstanding the whole person concept, pursuit of further investigation may be terminated by an appropriate adjudicative agency in the face of reliable, significant, disqualifying, adverse information.

When information of security concern becomes known about an individual who is currently eligible for access to classified information, the adjudicator should consider whether the person:

(1) voluntarily reported the information;
(2) sought assistance and followed professional guidance, where appropriate;
(3) resolved or appears likely to favorably resolve the security concern:
(4) has demonstrated positive changes in behavior and employment;
(5) should have his or her access temporarily suspended pending final adjudication of the information.

If after evaluating information of security concern, the adjudicator decides that the information is not serious enough to warrant a recommendation of disapproval or revocation of the security clearance, it may be appropriate to recommend approval with a warning that future incidents of a similar nature may resort ln revocation of access.

The information in bold print at the beginning of each adjudicative guideline provides a brief explanation of its relevance in determining whether it is clearly consistent with the interest of national security to grant or continue a person's eligibility for access to classified information.

A. ALLEGIANCE TO THE UNITED STATES

An individual must be of unquestioned allegiance to the United States. The willingness to safeguard classified information is in doubt if there is any reason to suspect an individual's allegiance to the United States.

Conditions that could raise a security concern and may be disqualifying include:

(1) involvement in any act of sabotage, espionage, treason, terrorism, sedition, or other act whose aim is to overthrow the Government of the United States or alter the form of government by unconstitutional means;

(2) association or sympathy with persons who are attempting to commit, or who are committing, any of the above acts;

(3) association or sympathy with persons or organizations that advocate the overthrow of the United States Government, or any state or subdivision, by force or violence or by other unconstitutional means;

(4) involvement in activities which unlawfully advocate or practice the commission of acts of force or violence to prevent others from exercising their rights under the Constitution or laws of the United States or of any state.

Conditions that could mitigate security concerns include:

(1) the individual was unaware of the unlawful aims of the individual or organization and severed ties upon learning of these;

(2) the individuals involvement was only with the lawful or humanitarian aspects of such an organization;

(3) involvement in the above activities occurred for only a short period of time and was attributable to curiosity or academic interest;

(4) the person has had no recent proscribed involvement or association with such activities.

B. FOREIGN INFLUENCE

A security risk may exist when an individual's immediate family, including cohabitant, and other persons to whom he or she may be bound by affection, influence, or obligation are: (1) not citizens of the United States or (2) may be subject to duress. These situations could create the potential for foreign influence that could result in the compromise of classified information. Contacts with citizens of other countries or financial interests in other countries are also relevant to security determinations if they make an individual potentially vulnerable to coercion, exploitation, or pressure.

Conditions that could raise a security concern and may be disqualifying include:

(1) an immediate family member, or a person to whom the individual has close ties of affection or obligation, is a citizen of, or resident or present in, a foreign country;

(2) sharing living quarters with a person or persons, regardless of their citizenship status, if the potential for adverse foreign influence or duress exists;

(3) relatives, cohabitant, or associates who are connected with any foreign government;

(4) failing to report, where required, associations with foreign nationals;

(5) unauthorized association with a suspected or known collaborator or employee of a foreign intelligence service;

(6) conduct which may make the individual vulnerable to coercion, exploitation, or pressure by a foreign government;

(7) indications that representatives or nationals from a foreign country are acting to increase the vulnerability of the individual to possible future exploitation, coercion or pressure;

(8) a substantial financial interest in a country, or in any foreign owned or operated business that could make the individual vulnerable to foreign influence.

Conditions that could mitigate security concerns include:

(1) a determination that the immediate family member(s), cohabitant, or associate(s) in question would not constitute an unacceptable security risk;

(2) contacts with foreign citizens are the result of official U.S. Government business;

(3) contact and correspondence with foreign citizens are casual and infrequent;

(4) the individual has promptly reported to proper authorities all contacts, requests, or threats from persons or organizations from a foreign country, as required;

(5) foreign financial interests are minimal and not sufficient to affect the individual's security responsibilities. June 9, 1995

C. FOREIGN PREFERENCE

When an individual acts in such a way as to indicate a preference for a foreign country over the United States, then he or she may be prone to provide information or make decisions that are harmful to the interests of the United States.

Conditions that could raise a security concern and may be disqualifying include:

(1) the exercise of dual citizenship;

(2) possession and/or use of a foreign passport;

(3) military service or a willingness to bear arms for a foreign country;

(4) accepting educational, medical, or other benefits, such as retirement and social welfare, from a foreign country;

(5) residence in a foreign country to meet citizenship requirements;

(6) using foreign citizenship to protect financial or business interests in another country;

(7) seeking or holding political office in the foreign country;

(8) voting in foreign elections; and

(9) performing or attempting to perform duties, or otherwise acting, so as to serve the interests of another government in preference to the interests of the United States

Conditions that could mitigate security concerns include:

(1) dual citizenship is based solely on parents' citizenship or birth in a foreign country;

(2) indicators of possible foreign preference (e.g., foreign military service) occurred before obtaining united States citizenship;

(3) activity is sanctioned by the United States;

(4) individual has expressed a willingness to renounce dual citizenship.

D. SEXUAL BEHAVIOR

Sexual behavior is a security concern if it involves a criminal offense indicates a personality or emotional disorder, subjects the individual to undue influence or coercion, or reflects lack of judgment or discretion. (Sexual orientation or preference may not be used as a basis for or a disqualifying factor in determining a person's eligibility for a security clearance.)

Conditions that could raise a security concern and may be disqualifying include:

(1) sexual behavior of a criminal nature, whether or not the individual has been prosecuted;

(2) compulsive or addictive sexual behavior when the person is unable to stop a pattern of self-destructive or high-risk behavior or that which is symptomatic of a personality disorder;

(3) sexual behavior that causes an individual to be vulnerable to undue influence or coercion:

(4) sexual behavior of a public nature and/or that which reflects lack of discretion or judgment.

Conditions that could mitigate security concerns include:

(1) the behavior occurred during or prior to adolescence and there is no evidence of subsequent conduct of a similar nature;

(2) the behavior was not recent and there is no evidence of subsequent conduct of a similar nature;

(3) there is no other evidence of questionable judgment, irresponsibility, or emotional instability;

(4) the behavior no longer serves as a basis for undue influence or coercion

E. PERSONAL CONDUCT

Conduct involving questionable judgment, untrustworthiness, unreliability, or unwillingness to comply with rules and regulations could indicate that the person may not properly safeguard classified information.

The following will normally result in an unfavorable clearance action or administrative termination of further processing for clearance eligibility:

(1) refusal to undergo or cooperate with required security processing, including medical and psychological testing, or

(2) refusal to complete required security forms, releases, or provide full, frank and truthful answers to lawful questions of investigators, security officials or other official representatives in connection with a personnel security or trustworthiness determination.

Conditions that could raise a security concern and may be disqualifying also include:

(1) reliable, unfavorable information provided by associates, employers, coworkers, neighbors, and other acquaintances;

(2) the deliberate omission, concealment, or falsification of relevant and material facts from any personnel security questionnaire, personal history statement, or similar form used to conduct investigations, determine employment qualifications, award benefits or status, determine security clearance eligibility or trustworthiness, or award fiduciary responsibilities;

(3) deliberately providing false or misleading information concerning relevant and material matters to an investigator, security official, competent medical authority, or other official representative in connection with a personnel security or trustworthiness determination;

(4) personal conduct or concealment of information that increases an individuals vulnerability to coercion, exploitation or pressure;

(5) a pattern of dishonesty or rule violations;

(6) association with persons involved in criminal activity.

Conditions that could mitigate security concerns include:

(1) the information was unsubstantiated or not pertinent to a determination of judgment, trustworthiness, or reliability;

(2) the falsification was an isolated incident, was not recent, and the individual has subsequently provided correct information voluntarily;

(3) the individual made prompt, good-faith efforts to correct the falsification before being confronted with the facts;

(4) omission of material facts was caused or significantly contributed to by improper or inadequate advice of authorized personnel, and - the previously omitted information was promptly and fully provided;

(5) the individual has taken positive steps to significantly reduce or eliminate vulnerability to coercion, exploitation, or pressure;

(6) a refusal to cooperate was based on advice from legal counsel or other officials that the individual was not required to comply with security processing requirements and, upon being made aware of the requirement, fully and truthfully provided the requested information;

(7) association with persons involved in criminal activities has ceased.

F. FINANCIAL CONSIDERATIONS

An individual who is financially overextended is at risk of having to engage in illegal acts to generate funds. Unexplained affluence is often linked to proceeds from financially profitable criminal acts.

Conditions that could raise a security concern and may be disqualifying

(1) a history of not meeting financial obligations; (2) deceptive or illegal financial practices such as embezzlement, employee theft, check fraud, income tax evasion, expense account fraud, filing deceptive loan statements, and other intentional financial breaches of trust;

(3) inability or unwillingness to satisfy debts;

(4) unexplained affluence;

(5) financial problems that are linked to gambling, drug abuse, alcoholism, or other issues of security concern.

Conditions that could mitigate security concerns include:

(1) the behavior was not recent;

(2) it was an isolated incident;

(3) the conditions that resulted in the behavior were largely beyond the person's control (e.g., loss of employment, a business downturn, unexpected medical emergency, or a death, divorce or separation);

(4) the person has received or is receiving counseling for the problem and there are clear indications that the problem is being resolved or is under control;

(5) the affluence resulted from a legal source; and

(6) the individual initiated a good-faith effort to repay overdue creditors or otherwise resolve debts.

G. ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION

Excessive alcohol consumption often leads to the exercise of questionable judgment, unreliability, failure to control impulses, and increases the risk of unauthorized disclosure of classified information due to carelessness.

Conditions that could raise a security concern and may be disqualifying include:

(1) alcohol-related incidents away from work, such as driving while under the influence, fighting, child or spouse abuse, or other criminal incidents related to alcohol use;

(2) alcohol-related incidents at work, such as reporting for work or duty in an intoxicated or impaired condition, or drinking on the job;

(3) diagnosis by a credentialed medical professional of alcohol abuse or alcohol dependence;

(4) habitual or binge consumption of alcohol to the point of impaired judgment;

(5) consumption of alcohol, subsequent to a diagnosis of alcoholism by a credentialed medical professional and following completion of an alcohol rehabilitation program

Conditions that could mitigate security concerns include:

(1) the alcohol related incidents do not indicate a pattern;

(2) the problem occurred a number of years ago and there is no indication of a recent problem;

(3) positive changes in behavior supportive of sobriety;

(4) following diagnosis of alcohol abuse or alcohol dependence, the individual has successfully completed inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation along with aftercare requirements, participates frequently in meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous or a similar organization, abstained from alcohol for a period of at least 12 months, and received a favorable prognoses by a credentialed medical professional.

H. DRUG INVOLVEMENT

Improper or illegal involvement with drugs, raises questions regarding an individual's willingness or ability to protect classified information. Drug abuse or dependence may impair social or occupational functioning, increasing the risk of an unauthorized disclosure of classified information Drugs are defined as mood and behavior altering:

(a) drugs, materials, and other chemical compounds identified and listed in the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, as amended (e.g., marijuana or cannabis, depressants, narcotics, stimulants, and hallucinogens) and

(b) inhalants and other similar substances. Drug abuse is the illegal use of a drug or use of a legal drug in a manner that deviates from approved medical direction.

Conditions that could raise a security concern and may be disqualifying include:
(1) any drug abuse (see above definition);

(2) illegal drug possession, including cultivation, processing, manufacture, purchase, sale, or distribution;

(3) failure to successfully complete a drug treatment program prescribed by a credentialed medical professional. Current drug involvement, especially following the granting of a security clearance, or an expressed intent not to discontinue use, will normally result in an unfavorable determination.

Conditions that could mitigate security concerns include:

(1) the drug involvement was not recent;

(2) the drug involvement was an isolated or infrequent event;

(3) a demonstrated intent not to abuse any drugs in the future;

(4) satisfactory completion of a drug treatment program prescribed by a credentialed medical professional.

I. EMOTIONAL, MENTAL, AND PERSONALITY DISORDERS

Emotional, mental, and personality disorders can cause a significant deficit in an individual's psychological, social and occupational functioning. These disorders are of security concern because they may indicate a defect in judgment, reliability or stability.

When a propriate, a credentialed mental health professional, acceptable to or approved by the government, should be consulted so that potentially dlsqualifying and mitigating information may be fully and properly evaluated.

Conditions that could raise a security concern and may be disqualifying include:

(1) a diagnosis by a credentialed mental health professional that the indivldual has a disorder that could result in a defect in psychological, social, or occupational functioning;

(2) information that suggests that an individual has failed to follow appropriate medical advice relatin to treatment of a diagnosed dlsorder, e.g. failure to take prescribed medication;

(3) a pattern of high-risk, irresponsible, aggressive, anti-social or emotionally unstable behavior;

(4) information that suggests that the individual's current behavior indicates a defect in is or her judgment or reliability.

Conditions that could mitigate security concerns include:

(1) there is no indication of a current problem;

(2) recent diagnosis by a credentialed mental health professional that an individual's previous emotional, mental, or personality disorder is cured or in remission and has a low probability of recurrence or exacerbation;

(3) the past emotional instability was a temporary condition (e.g., one caused by a death, illness, or marital breakup), the situation has been resolved, and the individual is no longer emotionally unstable.

J. CRIMINAL CONDUCT

A history or pattern of criminal activity creates doubt about a person's judgment, reliability and trustworthiness.

Conditions that could raise a security concern and may be disqualifying include:

(1) any criminal conduct, regardless of whether the person was formally charged;

(2) a single serious crime or multiple lesser offenses.

Conditions that could mitigate security concerns include:

(1) the criminal behavior was not recent;

(2) the crime was an isolated incident;

(3) the person was pressured or coerced into committing the act and those pressures are no longer present in that person's life;

(4) the person did not voluntarily commit the act and/or the factors leading to the violation are not likely to recur;

(5) there is clear evidence of successful rehabilitation.

K. SECURITY VIOLATIONS

Noncompliance with security regulations raises doubt about an individual's trustworthiness, willingness, and ability to safeguard classified information.

Conditions that could raise a security concern and may be disqualifying include:

(1) unauthorized disclosure of classified information;

(2) violations that are deliberate or multiple or due to negligence.

Conditions that could mitigate security concerns include actions that:

(1) were inadvertent;

(2) were isolated or infrequent;

(3) were due to improper or inadequate training;

(4) demonstrate a positive attitude towards the discharge of security responsibilities.

L. OUTSIDE ACTIVITIES

Involvement in certain types of outside employment or activities is of security concern if it poses a conflict with an individual's security responsibilities and could create an increased risk of unauthorized disclosure of classified information.

Conditions that could raise a security concern and may be disqualifying include:

Any service, whether compensated, volunteer, or employment with:

(1) a foreign country;

(2) any foreign national;

(3) a representative of any foreign interest;

(4) any foreign, domestic, or international organization or person engaged in analysis, discussion, or publication of material on intelligence, defense, foreign affairs, or protected technology.

Conditions that could mitigate security concerns include:

(1) evaluation of the outside employment or activity indicates that it does not pose a conflict with an individual's security responsibilities;

(2) the individual terminates the employment or discontinues the activity upon being notified that lt is in conflict with his or her security responsibilities.

M. MISUSE OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SYSTEMS

Noncompliance with rules, procedures, guidelines or regulations pertaining to information technology systems may raise security concerns a~out an individual's trustworthiness, willingness, and ability to properly protect classified systems, networks, and information.

Information Technology Systems include all related equipment used for the communication, transmission, processing, manipulation, and storage of classified or sensitive information.

Conditions that could raise a security concern and may be disqualifying include:

(1) Illegal or unauthorized entry into any information technology system;

(2) Illegal or unauthorized modification, destruction, manipulation or denial of access to information residing on an information technology system;

(3) Removal (or use) of hardware, software, or media from any information technology system without authorization, when specifically prohibited by rules, procedures, guidelines or regulations;

(4) Introduction of hardware, software, or media into any information technology system without authorization, when specifically prohibited by rules, procedures, guidelines or regulations.

Conditions that could mitigate security concerns include:

(1) The misuse was not recent or significant;

(2) The conduct was unintentional or inadvertent;

(3) The introduction or removal of media was authorized;

(4) The misuse was an isolated event;

(5) The misuse was followed by a prompt, good faith effort to correct the situation.

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