Continuous Evaluation Program
All Department of Defense personnel are now subject to “continuous vetting” designed to identify clearance issues such as arrests, bankruptcies, and foreign travel immediately, with surveillance of public social-media postings likely coming soon, the Pentagon announced on October 5, 2021.
If you receive a Continuous Evaluation Information Report (CEIR), contact Korody Law immediately. A failure to respond to a CEIR or providing insufficient information in response can lead to a loss of security clearance.
What is Continuous Evaluation (CE)?
On January 12, 2018, the Security Executive Agent published Directive 6 (SEAD 6). It implemented a continuous evaluation system for those who have a continued need to access classified information. The idea behind the directive is – as the name suggests – to continuously evaluate military personnel, government employees, and contractors for information that could be disqualifying for a security clearance. Personnel who have submitted an SF-86 (or online e-QIP) are automatically enrolled in the Continuous Evaluation (CE) Program.
The Current System
Currently, most DoD employees, military personnel, and contractors are evaluated for security clearances on a 5–15 year cycle. This means updating e-QIP data and answering that long string of background information questions again. It may also include a follow-up interview with an investigator or calls to friends, family, and coworkers.
While the periodic review is still comprehensive, but a lot can change in five years. Military personnel may have multiple moves; contractors may shift projects or agencies, employees may have significant changes in responsibilities or pay. On the negative side, someone might also get a DUI, file for bankruptcy, or have a critical mental health concern that was previously unknown or undiagnosed. Understanding that reporting requirements only work if they are followed and enforced, the Federal Government started implementing a process called Continuous Evaluation (CE).
How does it work?
The Continuous Evaluation System (CES) uses government and even some commercial databases to run checks on personnel with security clearances constantly. This can include arrest records, criminal investigation reports, financial reports, tax data, some reportable medical information, adverse military personnel reports, employee discipline records, public records of lawsuits, and others. There is even talk of monitoring a broad spectrum of social media sites, although precisely what sites, how it will be monitored, and how that data will be handled has not yet been determined.
The Continuous Evaluation System (CES) polls those databases and detects any potentially disqualifying information. It then pushes that information to the individual’s Security Management Officer (SMO) in the form of a Continuous Evaluation Incident Report (CEIR). Extreme Continuous Evaluation Incident Reports (CEIR) are forwarded directly to agency Insider Threat hubs and the Department of Defense Consolidated Adjudications Facility (DoD CAF) for immediate clearance suspension.
For an in-depth look at how CEIRs are handled, CEIR response timelines, and more, check out our earlier blog post on CEIRs.
So what is new?
The Continuous Evaluation (CE) Program was supposed to be adopted over time as part of the Trusted Workforce 2.0 Program – a move toward a centralized and uniform program for all clearance, fitness, and suitability standards across the entire Federal Government. Continuous Evaluation (CE) is a big step toward that system. By the end of 2023, all Federal Government personnel will be evaluated under the Continuous Evaluation (CE) Program. More than 30 different agencies are already on board.
The plan is for the Continuous Evaluation (CE) Program to completely replace the much slower periodic investigation process and has a significant case backlog. While the backlog is decreasing on paper, clearance evaluation times are still running quite long. Korody Law, P.A. has represented several clients in Florida and abroad with investigations starting in 2019 that were only resolved in 2021. Some clients with investigations beginning in 2020 are still awaiting a final decision.
For now, the programs co-exist among various agencies and departments until the Continuous Evaluation (CE) Program is universally implemented and Trusted Workforce 2.0 is fully up and running. This can confuse personnel being investigated and the Security Management Officers who sometimes confuse the programs, their response requirements, and reporting authorities.
The Florida security clearance attorneys at Korody Law, P.A. have more than 25 years of combined experience dealing with classified information and security clearance investigations. We are keyed into policy changes like these and the law that surrounds them. If you have received a Continuous Evaluation Inquiry Report (CEIR), Statement of Reasons (SOR), Letter of Intent (LOI), or Interrogatory letter, having an attorney who knows the process can mean the difference between keeping your clearance (and your job) and losing it. Korody Law, P.A. is a team of knowledgeable and experienced fighters, and we are standing by to assist you. Contact Korody Law for a free Security Clearance Case Evaluation.