Expert FSO, a division of Softworld, Inc., specializes in DSS compliance, NISP regulations, FSO outsourcing, and other security challenges that cleared facilities might encounter.
Outsource your FSO responsibilities to Expert FSO. On a contract basis, we will provide FSO support services for both day-to-day tasks and annual DSS inspection preparation.
Many companies we work with do not want to incur the overhead of a full-time FSO and find it more cost effective to hire us on an hourly basis. Some clients outsource these tasks because their FSO wears multiple hats and does not have the time to manage the many responsibilities required to remain compliant.
Why choose Expert FSO?
Range of Services.
Many organizations do not realize that these services can be outsourced. For most organizations, FSO responsibilities are not a full-time role and are often assigned to executives who have multiple responsibilities.
Expertise and attention to detail.
Well-versed in issues from enforcement of regulations to communication involving program changes.
We keep our customers abreast of regulatory changes at no additional charge, as it is part of our standard high-quality service.
Expert FSO frees key executives / revenue producers from the time commitment and responsibility of ensuring DSS compliance and managing JPAS. Expert FSO’s core purpose is to stay current on all DSS requirements and ensure compliance for all regulated security procedures.
Peace of mind.
Expert FSO has the experience and resources to ensure an organization passes annual DSS audits and in many cases achieve above and beyond ratings. Expert FSO also ensures that responsibility for maintaining compliance is not left to just one part-time, internal person.
Expert FSO can manage DSS compliance for far less than the cost of hiring a full-time FSO with no ongoing commitment.
Q: I was told that the Facility Security Officer (FSO) must be a W2 Full-Time employee of the company.
That is 100% correct. Expert FSO cannot be the FSO for your company. Only an employee can be the FSO. Expert FSO offers services to support that individual with anything they need assistance with.
Q: We were just notified that a DSS Representative will be coming to perform a Security Vulnerability Assessment (SVA). We don’t know what they will be looking for. Can you help?
Absolutely. Expert FSO specializes in SVA’s and can make sure you are ready. Having an FCL is something that needs to be taken seriously. On-going compliance is a necessity. We believe that every company should be ready at any given time for an SVA. This means you are taking your security program seriously and appreciate the privilege you have been awarded. This is something Expert FSO can make sure you are doing.
Q: I once had access to JPAS, but I can’t log in anymore. What happened?
When given JPAS access, you are required to log in regularly to make sure that all cleared personnel are up to date with their investigations and you have no incoming notifications form the DOD. Many people overlook this. The DMDC requires that you log into your account at least once every 30 days. If you do not, there will be a lock put on your account. You will need the help desk or another Account Manager in your organization to unlock you. If you haven’t logged in within a 45-day period, your account will be terminated and you will need to reestablish it.
Q: How long does a clearance remain in effect?
Generally, as long as cleared individuals remain employed by a cleared contractor or government agency and are reasonably expected to require access to classified information, their personnel security clearance will remain in effect, provided they comply with Periodic Reinvestigation requirements. When is a clearance terminated?A clearance is terminated when a person permanently leaves a position for which the clearance was granted. Cleared individuals who no longer require access to classified information, but who remain continuously employed by the same cleared contractor (or government agency) and do not anticipate future access can have their clearances administratively downgraded or withdrawn until such time that they require access again, provided their security clearance investigation has not expired. Under such circumstances the clearance can be administratively restored.
Q: What do the terms “active,” “current,” and “expired” mean?
People either have a clearance or they don’t have a clearance. The Personnel Security Investigation (PSI) on which the clearance is based can be either “current” or “expired.” PSIs are current if they are not more than five years old for a Top-Secret clearance, 10 years old for a Secret clearance, or 15 years old for a Confidential clearance.Generally, if the PSI is out-of-date (expired) or there has been a break-in-service of two years or more, a person must be nominated for a new clearance, complete a new application, and undergo a new PSI. People commonly use the terms “active,” “current,” and “expired” to mean: Active—a clearance that has not been terminated. Current—a terminated clearance that is still eligible for reinstatement. Expired—a terminated clearance that is no longer eligible for reinstatement.
Q: Can a person who’s overdue for a Periodic Reinvestigation be submitted to a job that requires a Secret or Top-Secret clearance?
A person is due for their Periodic Reinvestigation based on the last investigation closed date, NOT the date they were granted a clearance.
- T5 (formerly SSBI) Investigation (Top Secret Clearance) – Due every six (formerly five) years
- T3 (formerly NACLC) Investigation (Secret) – Due every 10 years
- NACI (Public Trust) – Due every 15 years
Q: If a person has an open Periodic Reinvestigation, they are still considered to have a valid Secret or Top-Secret clearance.
If they are overdue for the investigation, and it has not been initiated, it is up to the customer we are submitting to. We must disclose upon submittal. When disclosing this, we should let the customer know that we will have the candidate complete the paperwork on day 1, and submit the investigation request.
Q: Can a clearance be reinstated after it has been terminated?
Yes. If a person previously had a clearance and the investigation is still current, the clearance can be reinstated by the agency that originally granted the clearance or it can be accepted and reciprocally granted by a different agency, provided there hasn’t been a break-in-service of two years or more.This can be done without the individual submitting a new SF86; however, for clearances involving special access authorizations a new SF86 can be required if there has been a break-in-access of more than 60 days or if a polygraph examination is required.
Q: What is an interim security clearance?
An interim clearance (also known as “interim eligibility”) is based on the completion of minimum investigative requirements and granted on a temporary basis, pending the completion of the full investigative requirements for the final clearance. Interim Secret clearances can be granted in a few days once the clearance granting authority receives a properly completed SF86. Interim Top-Secret clearances take one or two months longer. Interim clearances can be “declined,” if unfavorable information is listed on the SF86. All industrial applicants (defense contractor personnel) are considered for interim clearances. Interim clearances can be withdrawn at any time significant unfavorable information is developed during the investigation. It is not possible to appeal the declination or withdrawal of an interim clearance, and the CAF is not required to provide a reason for the declination/withdrawal. Effective 1 August 2012 the term “declined” was replaced by the term “Eligibility Pending,” which has the same effect as the declination of an interim clearance. With some exceptions, an interim clearance permits a person to have access to classified material at all levels of classification up to the level of the interim clearance granted. Interim Secret clearances are not sufficient for access to special categories of classified information, such as COMSEC, Restricted Data, and NATO. Interim Top-Secret clearances are sufficient for access to most Top-Secret information and to COMSEC, NATO, and Restricted Data at the Secret and Confidential levels only.
Q: Can a Naturalized Citizen get a Personnel Clearance?
Yes. The source of US citizenship does not make a difference for security clearance eligibility.
Q: Can non-US citizens obtain security clearances?
No. Non-US citizens cannot obtain a security clearance; however, they may be granted a Limited Access Authorization (LAA). LAAs are grant in those rare circumstances where the non-US citizen possesses unique or unusual skill or expertise that is urgently needed to support a specific US Government requirement involving access to specified classified information (no higher than Secret), and a cleared or clearable US citizen is not readily available.
Q: How can I be granted Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) access? Since SCI encompasses several categories of compartmented information, CAFs grant eligibility for access to SCI.
In order to be considered for SCI eligibility, a cleared individual must first be nominated for an SCI billet and approved by the government agency that controls the information. Once this eligibility has been established, a person can be granted a special access authorization for a specific category of information within SCI. SCI access eligibility is divided into 3 sensitivity levels and each has a different investigative requirement:
- SSBI without polygraph
- SSBI with Counterintelligence Scope polygraph
- SSBI with Full Scope polygraph
Q: Will my clearance be granted faster because I had a clearance three years ago?
No. A new application with need to be submitted and a completely new investigation will need to be conducted and adjudicated.
Q: Will my clearance be granted faster, if I have immediate family members who have clearances?