Recent breaches are once again pointing out one of the biggest issues with the current security clearance process – self-reporting. While the government continues to push for continuous monitoring to flag issues such as divorce or debt, the current system is widely fueled by the requirement of clearance holders to ‘self-report’ potential issues.


Today few federal agencies have standardized the type of information that must be self-reported by security clearance holders. This can cause much confusion and according to past reporting one large defense contractor only vaguely instructed its employees to “report anything you observe in yourself or another’s conduct or character that could affect his/her ability to protect classified information.” However, there is much more that should be self-reported.

Are you operating on the up-and-up when it comes to what information should be reported? Or what about your employees? If you’re a facility security officer, do your employees know what information they should be reporting? Our interactive quiz is a quick and easy way to see if you know what you need to be reporting. Take it, and consider sharing it with your office. After all, the insider threat may be sitting one desk away.

If you’re an employee on the up-and-up, self reporting is not likely to put your clearance in jeopardy. Many of the concerns related to the adjudicative criteria have more to do with hiding adverse information. Proactively sharing it shows you’re aware that your financial issues are a problem – and you’re doing something about it.

As continuous monitoring is phased into more offices, your chance of keeping adverse information under wraps shrinks. The more transparent you are now, the more prepared you’ll be for your continuously monitored future as a security clearance holder. Check out this security clearance self-reporting checklist for even more clarity on what you need to self-report (and what you don’t).

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