A director of intelligence at the Department of Defense recently gained attention for a memo assuring security officers that security clearances don’t expire. His clarification applied directly to access to classified information – not to investigations themselves. The good news is that if your background investigation expires and your facility security officer has put you in for a periodic reinvestigation, your access shouldn’t be taken away as you wait for the National Background Investigation Bureau to push through it’s 500,000 case back log.
The bad news? If your investigation expires and you’re not in the good graces of a government position, you’ll have to undergo a new background investigation.
What You Can Do
No matter where you are in your cleared career, you should always know two things – the date of your last personnel security investigation, and the date your periodic reinvestigation is due. Many professionals expect their security officer to keep track of this information, but just as a clearance is issued to you, personally, you should consider keeping track of your eligibility a personal responsibility.
Contact your security officer 60 days before your periodic reinvestigation is due to get the process going. With lengthy processing delays, it pays to be proactive.