By Deborah L. KearnsJuly 31, 2013
FORT BENNING, Ga., (July 31, 2013) -- Furloughs are here and could result in financial hardship for numerous civilians. Army Regulation 380-67, Personnel Security Program, Rapid Action Revision states the individual has the ultimate responsibility to maintain his or her security clearance in good stead and to report any situation that may cause concern regarding continued eligibility.
In an April 22 memorandum, Lt. Gen. Mary Legere, Deputy Chief of Staff, G-2 said "Employees who encounter financial problems due to furlough should: 1) Work with creditors to manage debts; 2) Maintain documentation of the financial situation and communications with creditors; and 3) Keep the local security office informed. In other words, make a plan, work the plan, document, and report."
Below are questions with her answers:
Q1: What if I face financial hardship due to furlough and how will it impact my security clearance?
A1: National adjudicative guidelines consider factors that are outside of an individual's control. Actions you take to manage any financial obligations are considered. Make a plan, work the plan, document, and report!
Q2: What can I do to protect my security clearance?
A2: Take pro-active measures by notifying creditors to see what assistance they may provide. If you enter a payment plan with creditors, it is very important to meet the terms of the agreement. In addition, seek financial support, if you are under financial hardship, even if you are meeting the terms of payment plans.
Q3: Should I notify my S2/security manager if I am having financial hardship as a result of the furlough?
A3: Yes, in fact, reporting financial difficulty is considered a positive factor in the overall security clearance decision making process.
Q4: What kind of financial hardship should be reported?
A4: Examples of financial hardship include: bankruptcy; inability to pay Federal, state or other taxes; default on a loan; accounts placed in collections; delinquency in alimony or child support payments; a judgment entered against you for failure to meet any financial obligations; a lien placed against you or your property; or your possessions or property is repossessed.
Q5: Am I required to report financial hardship in writing?
A5: No, a written report is a completely voluntary action. However, it is important that you ensure your security manager is aware of any payment agreements you have made with creditors or any counseling you may have sought or are seeking to address your financial difficulty. Financial counseling, reporting financial hardship, and working with your creditors to resolve financial hardship are favorably considered in any security clearance decision making process. Our office recommends that you maintain a written journal annotating each time you speak or gain information about your financial difficulties and document the payment plan and any payments. This will assist you when the Consolidated Adjudication Facility requests information. Numerous individuals wait until asked and then it takes time and effort to gather the information required. If you maintained a journal, you will be ready to answer and provide the proof required.
Q6: What financial support services are available to me?
A6: Military One Source is a free DoD support service offering assistance and resources to service members and Families (budgeting, debt reduction credit counseling and tax preparation).
For more information review AR 380-67, Personnel Security Program, Appendix I or contact DPTMS, Security Division at 706-545-5095, 706-545-0254 or 706-545-4772.