Guidance on Answering Department of Defense Security Clearance Interrogatories

Before the Defense Security Service (DSS) will grant a security clearance, they must conclude that it is "clearly consistent with the national interest" to do so. In other words, it is not like a criminal case, in which the defendant is considered innocent until proven guilty. In a criminal case the prosecution must prove the person guilty. In the security clearance, the applicant must prove eligibility for a clearance, or else it will be denied.

Especially for those seeking clearance as a defense contractor, it is possible that the government will send out a set of interrogatories (questions) following the interview with the investigator. At Kalijarvi, Chuzi, Newman & Fitch, P.C., our lawyers are highly experienced in all areas of security clearance law, including aspects of the defense contractor clearance process that are highly technical and complex.

What Are Interrogatories?

For government contractor positions, if all questions have not been resolved by the investigator, the file is sent to the Defense Industrial Security Clearance Office (DISCO). At that point an adjudicator may refer the case to the Defense Office of Hearing and Appeals (DOHA) for a hearing, or may first send out questions for the applicant to answer. These questions are called interrogatories.

Responding to interrogatories is a critical part of the process of receiving clearance from the Department of Defense (DoD). If the responses are adequate, the applicant may be able to obtain security clearance without needing a DOHA hearing. Our skilled attorneys can help you prepare effective answers to interrogatories in an effort to make the clearance process more efficient.

For full-time government employees, the personnel security office sometimes sends out questions for the employee to answer. It does not occur as frequently as it does for contractors.

Contact an Experienced DOHA Hearings Lawyer

If you have received interrogatories during your security clearance application process, our law firm can advise you on the appropriate methods to answer them. To schedule a consultation, call 202.331.9260 or contact our Washington, DC, office online.