When you hold a security clearance, you are expected to comply with the high standards of conduct normally required of persons holding positions of trust. This is discussed under Personal Conduct below. You are expected to keep your security office informed of certain changes in your personal life or activities in which you might engage that have potential security ramifications. This is discussed under Reporting Requirements below and in other files in this section. You are also expected to report any factual information that comes to your attention and that raises potential security concerns about a co-worker. This is discussed in a separate section on Reporting Improper, Unreliable, and Suspicious Behavior.
Standards of conduct are set by Executive Order 12968 on Access to Classified Information. This presidential order directs that access to classified information shall be granted only to individuals "whose personal and professional history affirmatively indicates loyalty to the United States, strength of character, trustworthiness, honesty, reliability, discretion, and sound judgment, as well as freedom from conflicting allegiances and potential for coercion, and willingness and ability to abide by regulations governing the use, handling, and protection of classified information."
Failure to comply with this standard may cause your eligibility for security clearance to be reviewed and possibly revoked. The concept of "continuing evaluation" is an important part of the personnel security process. It means you are subject to periodic re-investigation and to a reasonable degree of monitoring by supervisors, co-workers and security professionals between investigations. These safeguards are necessary because people change over time. Experience shows that persons approved for a position of trust sometimes fall into a pattern of unreliable or untrustworthy behavior after being granted an initial clearance.
The formal process for initial approval or subsequent reconsideration of a security clearance is called "adjudication." This process is guided by a regulation entitled Adjudicative Guidelines for Determining Eligibility for Access to Classified Information, approved by the President in 1997. These guidelines apply to all U.S. Government agencies, and to both government employees and cleared contractors. Behaviors that may be considered during this adjudicative process are listed in Behaviors of Potential Security Concern.
Actions that need to be reported to your security office include the following: change of name, intent to marry, cohabitation, foreign travel, certain foreign contacts, arrests whether or not convicted, serious financial problems, psychological or substance abuse counseling, and any contacts with the media that are related to your job or your organization. These are discussed in Reporting Personal Activities.
Any written or spoken material, or any
posting on the Internet, that relates in any way to knowledge you gained in
your current or any previous classified position is subject to
pre-publication approval. You are also expected to report
Activities, any known or
suspected Foreign Intelligence Activity
about which you become aware, and any indications -- known as
that a foreign country has unexpected knowledge of U.S. national security information.