I called the Customer Service Center at diplomatic security yesterday to get an update on my security clearance investigation. Expecting to hear another report that the investigation is underway, I surprised to learn that the field investigation was complete as of last Friday, July 10th. My file is now officially in what is called the adjudication phase. The guy on the phone explained that adjudication typically takes 3-4 weeks and involves a detailed review of the entire file to determine whether or not the top secret clearance should be granted.
The news was both positive and negative. On the positive side, it’s great to have the field investigation complete. On the negative side, my file was flagged for the adjudication process even though some (presumably extremely straight-forward) files bypass that process and receive immediate approval.
At least I know there are no bureaucratic problems that will increase the investigation time. I’ve read some horror stories of having to wait months when 90% of the field work is done because one office somewhere in the world cannot complete one small part. My investigation seemed to go pretty smoothly. I heard from people locally and on the East Coast that interviews were being conducted, sometimes in person and sometimes by phone. I haven’t heard from anyone abroad so I don’t know if any of my international contacts were interviewed.
There were no follow up questions or requests other than a couple of issues immediately after my 3-hour personal interview. One was related to my name change from over 20 years ago, satifisfied with the provision of two old tax returns showing the changed name but same social security number from one year to the next. The second was related to some consulting work I’d done in the last year.
The guy on the phone did not know why my file was flagged for adjudication. He said typically it is because a family member is foreign born, there are close international contacts in countries of concern, or something else that requires another set of eyes. He suggested that approximately one-half of the files receive adjudication. Looking at the message boards, some think the percentage is closer to 80%. Regardless, it sounds like most who go through adjudication nonetheless receive their clearances in the end.
Here’s hoping it doesn’t take another full month.