Experiencing delays in security clearance processing time? You’re not alone. Defense industry offices are reporting delays in security clearance processing, and the Defense Security Service has confirmed a backlog of thousands of e-QIPs.

The Defense Security Service posted the update below to their website in early January.

DSS received FY14 Funds Authorizations for Personnel Security Investigations for Industry (PSI-I) on Oct. 23, 2013. However, the Personnel Security Management Office – Industry (PSMO-I) was unable to submit e-QIPs to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) until Oct. 24, 2013. There are currently over 8,000 e-QIPs in the queue for review and submission to OPM; that is down from a high of 13,992. PSMO-I is reviewing the e-QIPs first in/first out. Please be patient as we continue to work through the backlog and return to a steady state.

If you submitted an e-QIP, but the subject no longer needs the clearance, please update JPAS with a separation date so we can stop the e-QIP. We will continue to provide status updates on the website.

If you’ve already submitted a security clearance application, you’re limited in what you can do to speed up the process, but there are steps you can take. First, stay in contact with your Facility Security Officer (FSO). This can be difficult if you’re not currently employed and the security clearance application is related to a pending job offer. Set a rhythm of contact, agreeable to the FSO. For some, twice a week isn’t too much. Others will be annoyed if you query more than twice per month.

Next, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. If your application is pending, continue to look for other work. Also, don’t just submit your application and forget it. Re-review the document, and if you note errors, contact your FSO to correct them. Also, prepare for a personal subject interview, if you’ll need one. Be prepared to discuss issues that need to be mitigated and make sure your dates, and facts, are correct.

If you haven’t yet submitted your application, there are definite steps you can take to speed-up the process. Here’s a round-up of nine tips to help speed up the security clearance process.

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Lindy Kyzer is the director of content at ClearanceJobs.com. Have a conference, tip, or story idea to share? Email lindy.kyzer@clearancejobs.com. Interested in writing for ClearanceJobs.com? Learn more here.. @LindyKyzer