There are many types of security clearance holders, but two ends of the spectrum are the person who barely realizes they have one, and the person so in-tune to their status they request a copy of their security clearance annually. Someone recently reached out because they said they have an annual process of requesting a copy of their Defense Information System for Security (DISS) record from their security officer – but they’ve noted that sometimes that individual will say that according to the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA), they can’t provide it.
So, what’s the story?
DISS is the current system tracking security clearance records for the vast majority of individuals in the eligible population. But it’s currently designed to be a security clearance recording system for security officers and the federal government to exchange information. In what will probably not be news for anyone with a security clearance, the system is not designed to keep candidates in the know.
I’m unaware of a policy per se that would prohibit an FSO from printing a record from DISS, but government officials were quick to point out, the system really isn’t designed to create documents in a way that prints them off for cleared applicants – and because the information included is driven by the Privacy Act, ensuring that the information isn’t shared, is actually an important role of the security officer.
Fortunately, the government does have a process for providing security clearance records, and since the advent of the National Background Investigations Bureau, and transitioning into DCSA, a specific form, the INV100, which can be submitted to obtain a copy of your investigation.
If you’re a current clearance holder looking to get a quick status check (hey, is my clearance still active, who is sponsoring it, and are there any issues), a quick email query of your FSO should suffice, and they should be able to respond with that information – but not a print out from DISS.
The INV100 will provide a copy of your background investigation, but if you truly want to see the full DISS record, there is a special form for that, security clearance contributor William Henderson pointed out. DCSA Form 335 will get you a full copy of your adjudicative and DSS records – per the instructions pre-filled on the form. We have heard from those who have requested the full DISS record, it takes longer than the INV100 submission process, generally.
If you do want a copy of your full background investigation – which is something we recommend every few years or if you are wondering if you’ve had any issues – a Privacy Act request is the way to go. You’ll get any relevant BI information, along with your status.