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.
Government contractors, federal employees and military personnel holding security clearances have a duty to self-report security issues that happen between investigations.
Not reporting timely security concerns can lead to a loss of one’s security clearance in itself. Unfortunately, there are often uncertain about self-reporting and when and how it applies to a clearance holder.
The Duty to Self Report
The duty to self-report was best defined by an administrative judge from the Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals (DOHA) in a 2001 case: “[I]t is the responsibility of security clearance holders to report events which negatively affect the status of the security clearance holder or the facility. [A]ny information… [which] reflects adversely on the integrity or character of a security clearance holder should be reported to security personnel to avoid compromising situations that make the security clearance holder vulnerable to coercion, exploitation, or duress.”
Examples of What Might be Reported
A reportable security concern is an incident that falls under one of the Adjudicative Guidelines contained in Security Executive Agent Directive 4 (SEAD 4). In most cases legal counsel should be consulted to determine how to self-report an issue. The following are just a few of the more common examples of security issues that could trigger a duty to self-report:
- An individual uses illegal drugs (including the use of marijuana even in states or countries where legal locally). This can be a very complicated security concern given the intersection of criminal law and clearance law where legal advice will definitely be needed.
- An individual is arrested. The timing and substance of reporting this incident will be important so legal advice will be needed.
- An individual petitions for bankruptcy. Because filing for bankruptcy bears on financial considerations under SEAD 4, the individual should likely report the filing as soon as possible to his or her security officer.
- An individual marries a foreign citizen. Because marrying a foreign citizen can raise foreign influence issues under SEAD 4, it most likely will trigger a duty to self-report.
When Should a Security Concern be Reported?
When an individual who holds a security clearance determines that a security concern requires self-reporting, it is important to do so as soon as timely as possible. The typical procedure for doing so is to notify one’s security officer of the security concern. The security officer may simply take note of the situation, report it or take other action.
The individual almost always feels embarrassed to self-report a security concern. However, not reporting an incident can lead to the loss of an individual’s security clearance. If an individual has questions about what should be reported, he or she should seek legal advice from an attorney experienced in security clearance law as soon as possible. There are risks to self-reporting, so it is important to seek legal counsel prior to doing so where possible.
If you are in need of legal representation or advice on the reporting of security clearance issues or any other security clearance matters, please contact our office at 703-668-0070 or through our contact page to schedule a consultation. Please also visit and like us on Facebook or Twitter.
Good Monday morning, Alexandria! ☔ Today’s weather: Possible light rain in the afternoon and evening. High of 56 and low of 44. ⛅ Tomorrow: Mostly cloudy throughout the day. High…
It was a big week for questions about the future of development, density and affordable housing. In neighboring Arlington, the County Board voted to approve ‘Missing Middle’ zoning changes that…
A GoFundMe campaign for James Lee, a bartender at Mason Social, has raised $58,653 to help him recover from being shot multiple times in an attempted carjacking. Zebra reported last…
The Potomac Crescent Waldorf School (PCWS) opened its new campus in Old Town, Alexandria at 424 N. Washington Street on March 14. The school, which started in 1997 — serving…
Monarch Montessori School located in the heart of Del Ray is enrolling children 6 weeks to 6 years of age for our half day and full day program.
Our hours of operation are 8:00 AM to 5:30 PM, Monday-Friday. Monarch Montessori School is open year round, with intermittent breaks.
Children engage in self-directed, self-initiated activities under the guidance of a trained Montessori teacher. Classroom sizes range from 8-12 students. Our robust curriculum includes botany, sensorial activities, the social graces, culture, math, science, practical life, geography, music appreciation and language arts.
You’ll get half off of the registration fee when you register and begin care with us before April 30, 2023.
EDBS Dental Billing Solutions is pleased to announce that it has achieved compliance with the federally mandated standards of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) through the use of Compliancy Group’s proprietary HIPAA methodology, The Guard® compliance tracking software, and HIPAA Seal of Compliance®.
The HIPAA Seal of Compliance is issued to organizations that have implemented an effective HIPAA compliance program through the use of The Guard, Compliancy Group’s proprietary compliance tracking solution.
Clients and patients are becoming more aware of the requirements of HIPAA compliance and how the regulation protects their personal information. Forward-thinking providers like EDBS Dental Billing Solutions choose the HIPAA Seal of Compliance to differentiate their services.
Del Ray Dog Fest & Yappy Hour
The 1st Annual Del Ray Dog Fest is a fun outdoor event that will include dog-centered activities, dog menu items, live music, vendors and food on Sunday, April 2 from 11am- 3pm at the George Washington Middle School parking lot.