Security Clearance

Whenever a department employee or contractor requires access to
classified security information, the individual must be granted a security
clearance at the proper level to access that information. A security clearance is
a determination that a person is able and willing to safeguard classified
security information. The three security clearance levels are: Confidential, Secret,
and Top Secret.
A prerequisite for accessing classified security information is completion
and favorable adjudication of a background investigation.
The investigation is noncriminal and covers a defined period of normally no more
than the last 10 years. The information collected must be sufficient to allow an
affirmative or negative determination of a person’s eligibility for access to classified
information and suitability for employment.
The adjudicative process is the careful weighing of a number of variables known as
the “whole person concept.” Available, reliable information about the individual, past
and present, favorable and unfavorable, is considered in reaching a determination
of eligibility. Eligibility for access is granted only where facts and circumstances
indicate that access to classified information is consistent with the security
interests of the organization.