Level 5 security clearance is the highest level of security authorization granted by the United States government. It is reserved for individuals who have been thoroughly vetted and are deemed to be trustworthy enough to access classified information. To obtain this level of clearance, applicants must undergo a rigorous background check, including a polygraph and a single-scope background investigation (SSBI). The Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) is responsible for conducting personnel security background investigations for the State Department and other federal agencies.
The DSS considers all reliable and available information about an individual (past and present, favorable and unfavorable) when determining their eligibility for national security. The DSS will grant national security eligibility only when the information demonstrates that such eligibility is clearly consistent with the interests of the United States. In exceptional circumstances, the contracting office may request an interim determination. The DSS may be able to make an interim determination after reviewing a complete security package and, after certain investigative checks, obtaining favorable results. A security authorization allows a person in a specific position to have access to classified national security information, including the level of authorization they hold, provided that the person has a “need to know” the information and has signed a confidentiality agreement.
Executive Order 12968, Access to Classified Information, states that security authorizations are only granted to individuals employed, detailed, or assigned to or who work on behalf of the federal government. The Department of State's Office of Global Talent Management determines whether a position will require security clearance, as well as the level required, based on the duties and responsibilities of the position and using the OPM job designation tool. Public trust determinations are requested for applicants whose positions will require access to information at high or moderate risk levels, depending on the duties and responsibilities of the position. A publicly trusted background investigation will include many aspects of a full security clearance investigation. When the State Department's mission has compelling reasons, immigrant, foreign and foreign employees with special experience may, at the discretion of the State Department, have limited access to classified information only for specific programs, projects, contracts, licenses, certificates or grants. Negative conclusions cannot be drawn solely on the basis of mental health counseling. Employees are subject to new research based on their level of security clearance.
The DSS notifies the employee when it's time to re-investigate. The employee submits an updated security package and the DSS conducts a background investigation. The research will cover key aspects of the applicant's life since the previous background investigation. Certain issues may need to be readdressed as more information or patterns develop. The purpose of a security authorization is to allow a person to access classified national security information.
However, when the State Department's mission has compelling reasons, immigrant, foreign and foreign employees with special experience may, at the discretion of the State Department, have limited access to classified information only for specific programs, projects, contracts, licenses, certificates or grants. The hiring process addresses whether someone will be initially selected for a particular position within the Department of State. The security clearance process does not begin until after a conditional offer of employment is made. There are circumstances in which limited record checks or an investigation into a spouse or cohabitant can be conducted. Usually, a person is subject to a new investigation approximately every five years to obtain a secret or top secret authorization. There are several reasons for denying a security authorization.
Honesty, frankness and thoroughness are very important factors in the process of obtaining a security authorization. Each case is evaluated individually using the National Security Adjudicatory Guidelines to determine whether granting or maintaining eligibility for a security authorization is clearly consistent with national security interests. See Directive 4 on Executive Security Agents National Security Adjudication Guidelines for more information on guidelines and specific concerns and mitigating factors. If you are denied security authorization or your continued eligibility to access classified information is revoked you will be notified of the reasons and provided with procedures for filing an appeal. You will be given an opportunity to address any derogatory information that is provided as basis for denial or revocation. The Electronic Questionnaire System for Investigation Processing (e-QIP) is an automated web-based system owned by Office of Personnel Management and mandatory for use by federal government that facilitates processing of standard forms used when conducting background investigations for security suitability physical fitness and accreditation purposes. The e-QIP system allows user to electronically enter update and transmit their personal data through secure Internet connection to requesting agency. For help with background investigations being conducted by federal agency other than Department of State contact that agency directly. If position is federally contracted position contact your company's facilities security officer or human resources office. The DSS only discloses information about status of investigation directly to subject of State Department investigation or contracting authority. An interim security determination allows applicant to begin work before full background investigation is completed and before DSS makes final determination of fitness meet national security requirements. If applicant's interim determination is denied additional investigative work must be done before final decision is made denial applicant's interim determination has no negative implications for applicant's final determination national security eligibility. In order to obtain top secret clearance level 5 from the United States government it is essential that applicants go through an extensive vetting process which includes undergoing a polygraph test as well as a single-scope background investigation (SSBI).
The Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) conducts personnel security background investigations for both federal agencies as well as state departments. It is important that applicants provide all reliable and available information about themselves (both past and present) in order for them to be eligible for national security clearance. The Department of State's Office of Global Talent Management determines whether an individual requires clearance based on their duties and responsibilities using OPM job designation tool. Public trust determinations are requested if applicants need access to high or moderate risk levels depending on their duties.
A publicly trusted background investigation includes many aspects of full security clearance investigations. In certain cases where there are compelling reasons immigrant foreign employees may have limited access to classified information only if it relates specifically to programs projects contracts licenses certificates or grants approved by state department discretion. Employees must undergo new research based on their level of clearance every five years in order to obtain secret or top secret authorization. Honesty frankness and thoroughness are essential factors in obtaining such authorization which will be evaluated individually using National Security Adjudicatory Guidelines. If denied applicants can file an appeal in order to address any derogatory information provided as basis for denial or revocation. The Electronic Questionnaire System for Investigation Processing (e-QIP) facilitates processing standard forms used when conducting background investigations related to physical fitness accreditation etc. In order for applicants to begin work before full background investigation is completed they can request an interim determination from DSS which has no negative implications on their final determination national security eligibility.