A government security authorization requires periodic re-investigation every 15 years to obtain a “confidential authorization”, every 10 years if it is “secret” and every 5 years if it is “top secret”. When an authorization is inactivated (due to a change of job or because of leaving the military), it can be quite easy to reinstate it in the first 24 years. There is no way to get an official opinion on the requirements for obtaining an authorization or to pre-qualify for a security authorization. An interim or temporary security authorization may be issued before the PSI is completed and a definitive authorization is granted.
The security authorization of an installation (FCL) is an administrative determination that states that, from the point of view of national security, a facility meets the requirements to access classified information with a classification level as high as the security authorization granted to it. Ongoing research will eventually replace periodic reinvestigations, which are carried out every 10 years for employees with secret authorization and five years for those with top secret authorization. An interim security authorization allows a person to access information classified at the level of the provisional authorization, while their final authorization is being processed. A collateral security authorization is an authorization that does not include access to information protected within a special access program (SAP), such as sensitive compartment information (SCI) or restricted data (RD).
The amount and detail of the information required in an authorization request (the standard form 86 (SF-8) are the same for all levels of security authorization. Presidential Executive Order 12968, Access to Classified Information, prescribes the authorization process for all individuals being considered for national security authorization. There are two other online databases with information on staff security authorizations that can be used to verify authorization data: the Central Verification System (CVS) and Scattered Castles (SC). To avoid any possible problems accessing the facilities due to incorrect access to the JPAS, ensure that your current security manager updates your accesses with security authorization in the JPAS before leaving CONUS.