Common Personnel Clearance (PCL) Knowledge Center Inquiries

  1. One or more of my investigation requests is still awaiting approval by DSS, when will it be processed?
  2. Does DSS still process Critical Priority Requests (CPR)?
  3. Our customer is pushing for one (or more) of my cleared contractor employees to receive an interim so he/she can begin performing on classified contracts. When will the interim be issued by DSS?
  4. One (or more) of my employee’s investigation request terminated out of JPAS, what should I do?
  5. Will my employee’s fingerprints expire if DSS is holding the investigation request?
  6. I have an employee whose investigation has been open for over a year now, is the investigation still running? How much longer will the investigation take? Who/When can I call for a status update on the investigation?
  7. When should I submit for Top Secret Reinvestigation?
  8. One of my employees is worried that their clearance will expire since their periodic reinvestigation is not submitted at five years, what should I tell the employee?
  9. What are the operating hours for Knowledge Center PCL inquiries?

1. One or more of my investigation requests is still awaiting approval by DSS, when will it be processed?
PSMO-I actively monitors the age of the investigation request inventory and is diligently processing Investigation Requests in the order in which the request was received. Your patience and understanding is greatly appreciated. Please note: While JPAS shows a 90 day expiration clock, the expiration date for e-QIPs was increased from 90 days to 120 days. Therefore, e-QIPs will not expire until they reach negative 30 days (-30) in JPAS.

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2. Does DSS still process Critical Priority Requests (CPR)?
Although Critical Priority Requests, or expeditious processing of select investigation requests, is no longer available PSMO-I actively monitors the age of the investigation request inventory and is diligently processing Investigation Requests in the order in which the request was received. Your patience and understanding is greatly appreciated.

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3. Our customer is pushing for one (or more) of my cleared contractor employees to receive an interim so he/she can begin performing on classified contracts. When will the interim be issued by DSS?
PSMO-I actively monitors the age of the investigation request inventory and is diligently processing Investigation Requests in the order in which the request was received. An interim determination will be made once the investigation is scheduled and advanced products are returned to PSMO-I by the Investigation Service Provider (ISP). Your patience and understanding is greatly appreciated. A high level process flow outlining this and other PCL activities associated with obtaining a security clearance for Industry is provided here for your ease of reference, and Step #6 outlines the interim activities. DoD policy requires the following for an Interim Secret to be granted:

  • Scheduled investigation
  • Favorable review of the SF-86
  • Favorable fingerprint check
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship
  • Favorable review of local records, if applicable

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4. One (or more) of my employee’s investigation request terminated out of JPAS, what should I do?
For Tier 3, Tier 3 R and Tier 5 requests - a new investigation request must be initiated, and the employee must re-answer the lifestyle “yes/no” questions and update any information that has changed since the original submission. Once you have submitted the new request to DSS and it is showing “Ready for Review/Approval”, please contact the DSS Knowledge Center at 1-888-282-7682, Option #2. Note: Also answer question #5, concerning fingerprint check expiration, if applicable.

For Tier 5 R requests - At this time, please do not submit/resubmit for Top Secret reinvestigation unless the requisite SAP Caveat criteria is met and clearly identified as described here. If the Tier 5 R request is for SAP Caveat, please follow the Tier 3, Tier 3 R and Tier 5 guidance provided above.

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5. Will my employee’s fingerprints expire if DSS is holding the investigation request?
Electronic fingerprints should be submitted at the same time or just before an investigation request is released to DSS in JPAS. You can confirm NBIB has processed the fingerprints by checking the Security/Suitability Investigations Index (SII) in JPAS which indicates a "SAC" closed. Fingerprint results are valid for 120 days, the same amount of time for which e-QIP signature pages are valid. Therefore, submitting electronic fingerprints at the same time or just before you complete your review for adequacy and completeness should prevent an investigation request from being rejected for missing fingerprints. A high level process flow outlining this and other PCL activities associated with obtaining a security clearance for Industry is provided here for your ease of reference, and Step #2 outlines the submission activities. Note: If fingerprints are submitted well before an employee certifies their investigation request, it is possible the fingerprints could expire. Please monitor the date of the fingerprint (SAC) result and submit a new set of fingerprints should the SAC exceed 120 days.

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6. I have an employee whose investigation has been open for over a year now, is the investigation still running? How much longer will the investigation take? Who/When can I call for a status update on the investigation?
You can obtain an investigation status update by performing a search of the Security/Suitability Investigations Index (SII) in JPAS. This link is available at the bottom of the Person Summary Screen in JPAS (Perform SII Search). The following statuses are available to let you know what is happening with the investigation:

  • Received -- The Investigation Service Provider has acknowledged receipt of the investigation request and will be reviewing for acceptability.
  • Unacceptable -- The Investigation Service Provider determined the investigation request to be deficient. PSMO-I will transmit a JPAS message with the reason the request was rejected. If your employee still requires a clearance, a new investigation request will need to be initiated and submitted with the corrected information.
  • Scheduled -- The Investigation Service Provider has determined the investigation request to be acceptable and the investigation is current ongoing/open.
  • Closed -- The Investigative Service Provider has completed the investigation and the investigation has been sent for adjudication.

Please do not call the DSS Knowledge Center to request the status of an investigation showing in one of the statuses provided above. The Knowledge Center will no longer provide lead count and does not have the ability to estimate nor impact investigation timelines.

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7. When should I submit for Top Secret Reinvestigation?
PSMO-I is currently managing the investigation request inventory in order to stay within our budget authority, with priority being given to requests for initial clearances. This may result in Tier 5 Reinvestigations either terminating from the system or being rejected if a Special Access Program (SAP) Caveat is not identified as described in the February 10, 2017 guidance available here. Please note: a SAP Caveat applies only where DoD Policy explicitly states an investigation must be conducted at five year intervals for personnel within a certain program. The SAP Caveat does not apply to every person on a SAP, but only specific programs designated by DoD, in writing. At this time, please do not submit/resubmit for Top Secret reinvestigation unless the requisite SAP Caveat criteria is met and clearly identified. PSMO-I will provide additional guidance on submission of requests for Non-SAP Caveat Tier 5 Reinvestigations through public communications and system of record messaging. To facilitate the change in periodicity of Top Secret Reinvestigations and clearance timeliness issues, on Dec. 7, 2016, the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence signed a memorandum reminding DoD Components that personnel security clearances do not expire. Individuals with current eligibility in JPAS should not be denied access based on an out-of-scope investigation. This memorandum is available on the DSS website and was disseminated to non-DoD NISP signatories on March 28, 2017.

February 10, 2017 Guidance Summary:
Please submit only Tier 5 Reinvestigation e-QIPs for Special Access Programs (SAP) where SAP policy explicitly states a Tier 5 Reinvestigation is due every five years. Please note: a SAP Caveat applies only where DoD Policy explicitly states an investigation must be conducted at five year intervals for personnel within a certain program. The SAP Caveat does not apply to every person on a SAP, but only specific programs designated by DoD, in writing. Note: SCI is NOT considered a SAP Caveat and should not be submitted. To annotate the SAP Caveat, please include the following in the “Special Handling Instructions”:

  • Statement indicating the e-QIP is in support of a SAP Caveat program
  • GCA contact information

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8. One of my employees is worried that their clearance will expire since their periodic reinvestigation is not submitted at five years, what should I tell the employee?
On Dec. 7, 2016, the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence signed a memorandum reminding DoD Components that personnel security clearances do not expire. Individuals with current eligibility in JPAS should not be denied access based on an out-of-scope investigation. When the system of record shows current adverse information, but eligibility is still valid, access may continue. The memorandum is provided here for your ease of reference.

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9. What are the operating hours for Knowledge Center PCL inquiries?
DSS Knowledge Center at 1-888-282-7682, Option #2, is available Monday through Friday, 8am-5pm ET, excluding federal holidays. Reminder, the PCL portion of the DSS Knowledge Center typically closes on the last Friday each month. Note: If your call is not answered by 5pm ET, please disconnect and call again the following business day.

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