News from Passman & Kaplan: On April 1, 2019, Passman & Kaplan, P.C. Founding Principal Edward H. Passman and his client, Tricia Newbold, were both interviewed in the press. Ms. Newbold was interviewed by NBC News. Mr. Passman was interviewed on National Public Radio (NPR), on NPR's All Things Considered program. Both interviews concerned Ms. Newbold's claims against the Executive Office of the President, Office of Administration, which were recently discussed in greater detail in this blog.
News from Congress: Tricia Newbold, an employee at the Executive Office of the President, Office of Administration, recently testified before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. As the Committee's chair, Rep. Elijah Cummings, stated in an April 1, 2019 letter to the White House, Ms. Newbold "has informed the Committee that during the Trump Administration, she and other career officials adjudicated denials of dozens of applications for security clearances that were later overturned. As a result, she warned that security clearance applications for White House officials 'were not always adjudicated in the best interest of national security.' She also reported to the Committee that she has been targeted for retaliation after declining to grant security clearances based on longstanding national security protocols. She stated: 'I'm terrified of going back. I know that this will not be perceived in favor of my intentions, which is to bring back the integrity of the office.'"
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As a federal employee, the government may revoke or deny your security clearance for several reasons. Personal conduct, having a criminal record, lying on your application are all valid reasons for this. However, one of the most common reasons for revoking or denying a security clearance is delinquent debt. During 2015 alone, the Department of Defense denied hundreds of security clearance applications for financial reasons.
As a federal employee, having and maintaining a security clearance is sometimes a precondition of employment for certain positions. As a result, if you are facing the revocation of your security clearance, you are likely also risk having your employment terminated as well. When faced with the revocation of your security clearance, it is advisable to seek legal advice as soon as possible.
Developments at OPM: On June 5, 2015, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) jointly published a Final Rule in the Federal Register (80 Fed.Reg. 32,244-32,265). The Final Rule implemented updated regulations for agencies to designate positions as "national security positions"--and potentially excluding affected positions from Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) appeal rights. The Final Rule is effective July 6, 2015.
News from the Whitehouse: On July 7, 2014, President Obama signed into law the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014 (Pub.L. 113-126). Sections 601-603 of the statute solidified protections for whistleblowers in intelligence agencies and/or with security clearances.
News from the Whitehouse: On January 31, 2014, President Obama issued a new presidential memorandum, "Enhancing Safeguards to Prevent the Undue Denial of Federal Employment Opportunities to the Unemployed and Those Facing Financial Difficulty Through No Fault of Their Own." This presidential memorandum highlighted several issues concerning how unemployment and financial distress can impact federal employment.