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March 2011


Book review for:


Federal Suitability and Security Clearances



by William H. Henderson


For immediate Release:


Despite significant improvements in overall clearance processing times, many applicants still face long delays in obtaining a federal clearance. Incomplete data and problems involving fingerprint cards result in the rejection of 13.6% of contractor clearance applications. Investigations of clean cases and those involving only minor derogatory information are being completed in record time, but other cases continue to take several months or more. As overall investigation time has decreased, security adjudicators are demanding better quality. Department of Defense adjudication facilities return 20% of all completed clearance investigations to the Office of Personnel Management for additional work.


Government agencies and contractors continue to face shortages of cleared personnel in a broad range of programs and often depend on interim clearances to fill many positions that would otherwise remain vacant for months.But Government agencies decline to grant interim clearances to 20% to 30% of applicants.


Understanding the potentially disqualifying and mitigating conditions for federal clearances and how they affect case processing are critical to obtaining to best possible results in the shortest possible time. For most applicants the longer the process takes, the greater the possibility that clearance sponsorship will be withdrawn before a final clearance is granted.


Issue Mitigation Handbook begins with an explanation of the three major federal personnel security programs and why so many cases take substantially longer than the statistical averages published by Government agencies. It covers the various investigations and the adjudicative processes. The remainder of the text is devoted to a detailed discussion of all potentially disqualifying conditions and how most of those conditions can be mitigated for both interim and final clearances. The book’s back matter contains invaluable sample affidavits, as well as instructions and reference materials applicants never see until the final stages of an unfavorable clearance decision when there is little time to prepare a rebuttal or an appeal.


The author was a U.S. Army Counterintelligence Agent and a supervisory investigator with the Defense Security Service. He has applied his 35 years of experience in federal personnel security to produce a thoroughly researched book that is indispensable to all clearance applicants who have even the slightest doubt about the security implications of their past conduct or relationship to foreign nationals.

Last Post Publishing Presents for Review

A copy of your review to the address below will be appreciated:

Title: Federal Suitability and Security Clearances:  ISSUE MITIGATION HANDBOOK


Last Post Publishing
Attn: Editor
1120 Forest Avenue PMB 274
Author: William H. Henderson Pacific Grove, CA 93950
LCCN: 2011902983 Tel: 831-233-4340
ISBN: 978-0-9793466-3-7

Pages: 254
Price: $26.50
Pub date: 24 March 2011

Format: Trade Paperback (6" x 9")


June 2007

Book review for SECURITY CLEARANCE MANUAL: How To Reduce The Time It Takes To Get Your Government Clearance
by William H. Henderson.

For Immediate Release:

This is the first book that guides an applicant through the federal security clearance process with detailed instructions on how to complete the application form and comprehensive information on clearances, investigative standards, adjudicative criteria, and case examples. This book is a must for anyone applying (or reapplying) for a Department of Defense or Department of Energy security clearance, as well as those seeking other sensitive federal positions and those enlisting in the U.S. Armed Forces. Never before has this information been presented to the public or the military-industrial community in a single, comprehensive, easily understood publication.

Security Clearance Manual is a thoroughly researched, expertly organized book, written by an investigative professional with 30 years of government experience. With this book you will learn how to significantly reduce the time it takes to get your security clearance and in some cases greatly improve your chances of being granted a clearance. Defense contractors now have a tool for reducing the enormous cost of loss productivity due to backlogs and delays in the DoD security clearance program. Applicants can minimize the frustrations and the possibility of loss of employment due to prolonged clearance processing times.

Security Clearance Manual was adopted by the University of New Haven, CT for use as a text in their graduate course, NSP--Security Clearance Programs in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011.

Last Post Publishing Presents for Review

Title: Security Clearance Manual
How To Reduce The Time It Takes To
Get Your Government Clearance

Author: William H. Henderson
LCCN: 2007924526
ISBN: 978-0-9793466-0-6
Pages: 212
Price: $19.95
Pub date: 15 June 2007

Format: Trade Paperback (6" x 9")

A copy of your review to the address below will be appreciated:

Last Post Publishing
Attn: Publisher
1120 Forest Avenue PMB 274
Pacific Grove, CA 93950
Tel: 831-233-4340

In fiscal year 2007 the U.S. Office of Personnel Management conducted about 1.7 million background investigations for federal employment and security clearances. There are about 3.2 million people who hold security clearances granted by the federal government who must undergo reinvestigations every 5, 10, or 15 years. Almost 2.5 million of these individuals are affiliated with the Department of Defense (DoD civilian, military and contractor personnel).

A September 2006 General Accountability Office report (GAO-06-1070) involving the analysis of 2,259 DoD Contractor personnel security clearances determined that it took an average of 446 days for an initial Top Secret clearance (545 days for a reinvestigation). The report did not consider cases involving significant security/suitability issues that take much longer to complete.

There have been countless studies and recommendations by government agencies and commissions to shorten the time required to issue security clearances. All have focused on the processes used by investigative and adjudicative agencies, but none have addressed what the individual applicant can do to reduce the time involved. Defense industry analysts have estimated that delays in granting security clearances result in billions of dollars in lost productivity each year.

Security Clearance Manual was written specifically for the applicant. Everyone who is accepted for employment with the federal government in a sensitive position, everyone who enters the U.S. Armed Forces (active, reserve, or National Guard), and more than two hundred thousand federal contractors each year must submit an application for a security investigation. With a basic understanding of the investigative scope and adjudicative criteria, as well as the methodology used by the investigator, the vast majority of applicants can prepare their Questionnaire for National Security Positions (Standard Form 86—SF86) or its electronic equivalent in a manner that will result in their clearance being issued in much less than the average time that it currently takes. More than half of the book provides specific guidance on completing each section of the SF86 to speed up the investigation and adjudication.