e-FCL Filing Guidance for Companies
- QUESTION: My company is in process for a facility clearance and there are multiple tiers within my corporate family, how should I submit my documentation within the e-FCL system?
ANSWER: National Industrial Security Operating Manual (NISPOM) 2-302 states that a company is required to complete a SF-328 when applying for a facility clearance (FCL). In the case of a corporate family, the form shall be a consolidated response for all members in the family. For in process facilities, the consolidated response requires the submission of two SF-328s; one for the highest cleared legal entity and one for the highest uncleared legal entity.
- QUESTION: To meet the consolidated submission NISPOM requirements, how do I submit for the highest cleared legal entity?
ANSWER: The highest cleared legal entity or home office must submit a consolidated response for all the lower tiered cleared subsidiary and or branch divisions of the home office corporate structure.
As the registered e-FCL entity, the highest cleared entity must submit an electronic version of the SF-328 for all of the lower cleared entities and attach the required documentation via the system.
It should be noted that multiple copies of required forms (441-1, by-laws, etc) can be entered in the system. Any additional documentation can be entered in the "Miscellaneous Documents" tab within e-FCL.
- QUESTION: To meet the consolidated submission NISPOM requirements, how do I submit for the highest uncleared legal entity?
ANSWER:The highest U.S. uncleared entity must also submit a consolidated
response for all of the uncleared entities above the cleared entity.
Effective November 1, 2010, U.S. Excluded Parents (XP) will be registered
for Electronic Facility Clearance (e-FCL) accounts, except in companies
which are in process for or operating under the following FOCI mitigation
agreements: Special Security Agreement, Proxy Agreement or Voting Trust
- QUESTION: As an Excluded Parent, how should I submit within e-FCL?
ANSWER: DSS Facilities Clearance Division (FCD) is responsible for
registering all U.S. XPs for companies that are in process for a facility
clearance. Upon registration, the designated e-FCL administrator (typically
the Facility Security Officer (FSO)) will receive an email from the e-FCL
system with login and password information. The XP is to complete an initial
package for submission to DSS. If there are multiple XPs in the chain of
ownership, the highest U.S. XP in the chain is responsible for submitting a
consolidated Certificate Pertaining to Foreign Interests (SF-328) for all
uncleared entities above the cleared facility. Intermediate U.S. XPs will
also be registered for e-FCL accounts, but are not required to complete an
SF-328. The SF-328 can be bypassed by clicking on the "your organization is
a branch/division or your tier parent is submitting a consolidated SF328"
button on the SF-328 tab within the system.
Frequently Asked Questions About the e-FCL System
- QUESTION: How do I set up an e-FCL account?
ANSWER: The DSS Facility Clearance Division registers all companies in the process of obtaining a new facility clearance for an e-FCL account. The account is issued to the company's Facility Security Officer.
If you are an existing cleared facility or an Excluded Parent and do not have an account but require one for reporting a changed condition or annual certification, please contact your local Industrial Security Representative
who can register you for an account.
- QUESTION: What happened to the e-FOCI system?
ANSWER: The e-FCL system permanently replaces the Department of Energy's e-FOCI system, which DSS has been using since June 1, 2009. If you have an e-FOCI account, your login and password will work with the e-FCL system.
- QUESTION: I entered my data into e-FOCI, what will happen to that information?
ANSWER: Any data submitted to the e-FOCI system will be migrated to the e-FCL system.
- QUESTION: Is the Facility Security Officer (FSO) the only person at the company who can have an account and password? If so what happens if a change takes place with the company when the FSO is on leave?
ANSWER: Upon registration, the FSO is typically designated as the User Administrator and account holder. The FSO can create additional accounts under the Organization tab allowing others access to their information. If an FSO unexpectedly leaves without providing access to the account, please contact your ISR.
- QUESTION: If I need to submit an updated SF328 and I already have a facility clearance, where will I go to establish an e-FCL account?
ANSWER: If you have an existing facility clearance or are a U.S. Excluded
Parent and need to report a changed condition but require an e-FCL account
to do so, please contact your ISR who can register you for an account. All
first time entries in e-FCL require that an initial package is completed.
After the initial package is created, all subsequent updates can be reported
via the changed condition feature.
- QUESTION: Do I need to keep a copy of the SF 328 even though I upload an electronic copy into the e-FCL system?
ANSWER: Even though the signed and sealed copy of the SF 328 is uploaded in the system, you must keep the original document for viewing by the ISR upon inspection.
- QUESTION: How long will my account be valid for?
ANSWER: Your account is valid until such time as you no longer hold a facility clearance.
- QUESTION: Because of the social security information on the KMP lists, is information transmitted and stored in a secure manner?
ANSWER: The e-FCL system meets government standards for the protection of proprietary and personal information.
- QUESTION: I uploaded an incorrect file in the system. Can I delete the file?
ANSWER: Yes, you can delete and replace any uploaded file as long as the package is "unlocked" by DSS. To complete this action, follow these steps:
- Right click on the uploaded document.
- Then perform one of the following actions:
- View (allows the user to view the document)
- Replace (allows the user to replace whatever the document is with a new one)
- Delete (allows the user to delete the document)
- QUESTION: How are Exclusion Resolutions handled within the e-FCL system?
ANSWER: Should it be required that you complete an Exclusion Resolution, your Industrial Security Representative will send you a request stating as such via email. The email will provide instructions on where to go within the system to complete the resolution. Once you have completed, signed and sealed the resolution, you then will scan and then upload the resolution and submit and return to DSS.
- QUESTION: Can a Home Office of a Multi-facility Organization see subsidiary e-FCL account information?
ANSWER: Yes, if the subsidiary e-FCL user administrator establishes a secondary 'user account' for the home office user under their CAGE Code. To accomplish this, the subsidiary user administrator must go into the "Organization" tab on the left hand of the page, then choose "Users", then "Add a New User." If the new user already has an existing e-FCL account, the next time they log into e-FCL they will see the multiple organizations listed for viewing (as long as the same email address is used for all accounts).
- QUESTION: Do I need to upload DoD Contract Security Classification Specification DD Form 254s in e-FCL?
ANSWER: DSS requests that you include copies of DD -254s under the DD -254 tab within the Upload Documents section of the e-FCL system.
- QUESTION: Is there a file size limit to attachments in the system?
ANSWER: Yes, 5MB per individual file.
- QUESTION: Is there a way to make my files smaller to meet the 5MB size upload limit?
ANSWER: Yes, if you have Adobe Acrobat Professional you can reduce the size of a file. Click here for step by step instructions .
- QUESTION: What if reducing the size of a file still doesn't make it less than 5MB in size?
ANSWER: You will then have to split apart the document and upload it in sections that are 5MB and under in size.
- QUESTION: I am a currently cleared facility who needs to report a changed condition. Do I need to submit my changed condition through e-FCL?
- QUESTION: Where do I register for an account?
ANSWER: Companies that are currently cleared or which are a U.S. Excluded
Parent who require an e-FCL account to report a changed condition should
contact their ISR who can register them for an account. Companies who are
in-process for a clearance will be contacted directly by the Facilities
Clearance Branch who will register them for an account.
- QUESTION: As a currently cleared facility, do I need to complete a full package in order to just report a changed condition?
ANSWER: All companies, existing and in-process must complete an "initial package." An initial package requires that an electronic version of the
SF-328 and KMP lists be completed. Corporate documents are asked to be uploaded as well. Once this initial package is completed, all your documentation is retained in the system and future changed conditions are quick and easy to report.
- QUESTION: As an existing cleared company do I really need to complete a new SF-328 since my information has not changed?
ANSWER: The e-FCL system requires that an electronic SF-328 form be completed, printed and a hard copy of it uploaded with signatures. However, if your SF328 information has not changed, once you have completed the electronic copy, you can upload into the system a copy of your existing SF-328. The same principle applies to the KMP list.
- QUESTION: My facility falls under a consolidated SF-328 from our home office. Does the system require that I complete the electronic SF-328 and upload a signed hard copy as well?
ANSWER: No, if you fall under a consolidated SF-328, within Step 1 of the system, you can check a box which states that you fall under a consolidated SF-328. Once that box is checked, you will not be required to complete the electronic copy, nor will you be asked to upload one in the system. Click here for a screen shot from e-FCL.