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Security Clearance Secets

Part 3, Finding What Information is Stored About You


Continued from Part 2, Security Clearance Approval/Disapproval Process

What Investigative Information may be Available to me?

If DSS has conducted an investigation on you, there is generally some type of information available to you. However, if you have been awarded a CONFIDENTIAL or SECRET clearance there is the possibility that the available information may be very limited.

The investigation requirement for a clearance at the CONFIDENTIAL or SECRET level is rather fundamental. This type of investigation is know as a National Agency Check (NAC) and begins with queries to appropriate U.S. Government agencies. If no questionable or derogatory information is uncovered the investigation is concluded.

However, DSS does so many of this type of investigation in a year that they cannot possibly store them all, even on microfilm. Therefore, in those instances where the results are entirely favorable, DSS does not keep a physical copy of the investigation. The only information that is available is a single line in the Defense Clearance and Investigations Index (DCII) computer system reflecting the date the NAC was completed, and the identity of those US Government agencies that were checked regarding you.

If, however, information of a questionable or derogatory nature is admitted or uncovered, then the investigation will be retained in a physical format, most likely on computer.

If you hold a TOP SECRET clearance the investigative requirements are much more complex. Although a NAC is still part of the investigation, DSS will from the beginning, send its Special Agents out to conduct a field investigation called a Single Scope Background Investigation (SSBI). These types of investigations are always retained in a physical format.

If you have maintained a clearance for a period of time, DSS may also have on file "update-type" investigations, called Periodic Reinvestigations (PR). These may either be in computer or physical format as appropriate to your clearance level and investigative results.

Finally, if DSS is requested to investigate questionable or derogatory allegations or information after you have been granted a clearance, but before you are due a PR, they will conduct a Special Investigative Inquiry (SII). This type of investigation is retained in a physical format.

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