Checklist for a New Facility Clearance

  • Sponsorship: The very first step to clearing a company is for them to be sponsored for a facility clearance by either a government contracting activity (GCA) or another cleared company. The Facility Clearance Branch has a PDF Facility Clearance (FCL) Sponsorship Request Letter that the sponsoring organization may use to submit the sponsorship.
  • DSS Begins the Process: Once the sponsorship letter has been received and accepted, the Facility Clearance Branch will send the PDF Facility Security Clearance (FCL) Orientation Handbook that contains detailed information for a company that is beginning the facility clearance process. The Facility Clearance Branch will schedule a telephonic survey with the FSO and an individual who is familiar with the business structure within 10 days of receiving the FCL Orientation Handbook.
  • Commercial and Government Entity Code (CAGE Code): DSS uses CAGE Codes to track basic facility information. If your company does not already have a CAGE Code, you can register with the System for Award Management (SAM) database to get a CAGE Code at
  • Prepare Organizational Documentation/Information: Review the FCL Orientation Handbook and have business documentation, Key Management Information and questions ready for the telephonic survey.
    • Articles of Incorporation, Stock Records, Minutes of Board Meetings, and Corporate by-laws.
    • Federal Tax ID Number.
    • Any 10K Reports filed with the Securities Exchange Commission.
    • Key Management Personnel List. The senior management official, the prospective Facility Security Officer (FSO), all executive committee members, and all board members including the Chairman should be listed. NISPOM paragraph 2-104 provides some guidance, and additional guidance will be provided by your Industrial Security Representative during the first visit.
    • Brief summary of your company's primary business or services provided.
    • email, Fax, and complete address information for the last ten years — include the last four number extension on your zip code.
    • Proof of US Citizenship for prospective Facility Security Officer (FSO) (see NISPOM para 2-207).
  • Personnel Security Clearances (PCLs): In order for your company to be cleared, specified Key Management Personnel (KMP) must be cleared. Other KMP may be excluded, unless they will require access to classified information. Your Defense Security Service Industrial Security Representative will help you identify those that must be cleared and those that may be excluded. For information regarding the PCL process, please see the Personnel Security Management Office for Industry's website for the Industrial Personnel Security Clearance Process
  • Electronic Fingerprints: Fingerprints must be submitted electronically via the Secure Web Fingerprint Transmission (SWFT) system for all KMP being processed for an PCL. These can be submitted up to 120 days before the investigation request is submitted. It is strongly encouraged that electronic fingerprints for all KMP requiring a PCL be submitted as early as possible during the FCL process.
    PDF eQIP Signature Page and Electronic Fingerprint Guide for In-Process Facilities
  • DEFENSE SECURITY SERVICE FACILITY PROCESS FORMS: Complete the following documents for review by your Industrial Security Representative from Defense Security Service.
    • PDF DD Form 441: This is the Department of Defense Security Agreement. It is an agreement between your organization and the United States Government that details the security responsibilities of both the cleared organization and the United States Government. Submit in duplicate. Do not date; date will be added when the Facility Clearance is granted by the authorized government representative.
      • Corporations: Show name as it appears on Articles of Incorporation. All forms must be signed by a corporate officer, and the Certificate portion must be signed by a second officer such as the corporate secretary. No witnesses are required. All forms must be impressed with the corporate seal, if there is one.
      • Partnership: Show correct legal name of the business and full names of all general partners. All forms must be signed by a partner. Two witnesses' signatures are required.
      • Proprietorship: Show the full name of the owner and the correct legal name of the business. All forms must be signed by the owner. Two witnesses' signatures are required.
    • PDF DD Form 441-1: This is an attachment to the DD Form 441 that lists cleared divisions or branch offices that are included in and covered by the provisions of the organization's Security Agreement and Certificate Pertaining to Foreign Interest. Submit in duplicate only if you are a division of a Home Office with a Facility Clearance. Date of Security Agreement will be affixed by the authorized government representative. Show correct legal name of the business organization. It should be signed by an official of the company authorized to do so, such as the Corporate President. When the executed copy is returned, one copy each of both the Security Agreement and Appendage should be sent to every facility listed.

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