The Defense Office of Hearing and Appeals (DOHA) has resumed their pre-COVID-19 pace on security clearance appeals hearings and published summaries of 943 cases that were reviewed. As usual, financial issues outnumbered all other issues combined and resulted in most of the denials. Interestingly, the number of cases involving use of illegal drugs more than doubled from last year, and many of the appeals involved the use of marijuana while holding a security clearance. It is one thing to use marijuana before getting clearance eligibility but using it while you are in a cleared status is a definite no-no. Sexual behavior also spiked two-fold and many of the cases involved viewing child pornography.


Below is a breakdown by adjudicative category of the types of issues involved resulting in the initial denial (Note- many cases involved multiple issues).


For those seeking or already holding a clearance visit and the ClearanceJobsBlog forum to browse through a variety of topics on security clearance processes and background investigations. You can also pose questions for a subject matter expert to comment on. Just keep in mind the site is merely a place to provide information and facilitate general dialogue about various security clearance topics. No legal advice is being given.

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Marko Hakamaa served in various military police positions with the United States Army worldwide for 22 years before retiring in 2006 as a Master Sergeant. Afterwards, he transitioned into the civilian workforce as a contractor background investigator for the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) before entering civil service as a Security Specialist in 2009.