Will the government think I’m shady If I request a copy of my background investigation? It depends. Are you shady?

This question came up because of an article recently posted by Sean Bigley, legal correspondent, where he addressed how to request a copy of your background investigation if you have a Department of Energy Q-level security clearance.

We’ve written articles over at ClearanceJobs on how to submit a Privacy Act request to get a copy of your background investigation, and this person wondered if the process was the same, asking through the Department of Energy. So, Sean outlined all of that. You can check out his article here.

I noticed a little nugget within Sean’s article that reminded me that I have gotten this question before, but I don’t believe I have addressed it here. Applicants are wondering, “Will the government think there’s something up with me if I actually ask for a copy of my background investigation? Is that going to create some flag in the system, or are they going to think I’m up to no good trying to find out things?”

No! We actually say that you should get a copy of your background investigation over at ClearanceJobs.

I always say it’s so you know who not to send holiday cards to in case somebody says something bad about you during the course of your background investigation. Very germane, you just might want to know the status of your investigation. Many people don’t know if they have a security clearance. A Privacy Act request can be one way to find that out.

It’s just that knowledge is power, especially as you’re looking to potentially transfer clearances or move between agencies.

Trusted Workforce 2.0 is designed to make all of this much smoother and a much easier process, but again, the more career information you have, it is in your favor. And your security clearance is one part of that, so requesting that is certainly something that I think is worth doing.

It can be done electronically via a privacy act request. Depending on who is adjudicating it, you might have an adjudicated file through a separate agency. You might have the joy and privilege of multiple privacy requests, and those are handled through the Privacy Act Office.

They don’t even tie back to investigators or adjudicators. Your security officer is not going to know, “Hey, so-and-so submitted a Privacy Act request,” so knowledge is power. Go ahead and submit that Privacy Act request. Get a copy of your background investigation. It’s not going to make you look shady to the Government unless you’re shady, and then you just have other problems.

So for more on submitting a Privacy Act request, how to get a copy of your background investigation, or how to get a copy of your adjudication information, visit us over at ClearanceJobs.com

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