The Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA) continues to make serious strides in improving security clearance processing times, with a 40 day drop in Top Secret clearance processing times in the second quarter of this fiscal year, according to data released in preparation for this month’s meeting of the National Industrial Security Program Policy Advisory Committee (NISPPAC). It currently takes 155 days to obtain a DoD/Industry Top Secret security clearance and 117 days to obtain a DoD/Industry Secret security clearance. A lot of those gains came through improvements in adjudication timelines.


To date in FY 2022, the Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals (DOHA) has adjudicated 93,976 cases. And it has denied just 198 cases, the vast majority of those at the TS/SCI level. If you are a security clearance applicant, those figures should reassure you – it may take a certain length of time to obtain a security clearance, but if you remain committed to the process, your chances of success are good.

When it comes to top guidelines identified in the course of a background investigation this year to date, financial considerations top the list.

  1. Financial Considerations
  2. Personal Conduct
  3. Criminal Conduct
  4. Drug Involvement
  5. Alcohol Consumption

Interim security clearance processing times for cases processed through DCSA’s Vetting Risk Operations are at 7 days, and VRO continues to move forward with continuous vetting implementation, receiving 19,000 valid results thus far in 2022 and 8,000 actionable results. The key takeaway VRO emphasizes is the need to educate security clearance holders about the need to self report. 41% of the CV results were not previously known – that means individuals had adverse information that should have been reported to their security officer but which wasn’t. Education on what needs to be self reported is critical, along with making sure each office has procedures for collecting information that’s reported. If you’re a candidate, make sure you provide a written record of adverse information you report – if the issue later comes up via CV, having reported it already will be in your best interests.


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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