Facility security clearances (FCLs) are granted on either an interim or a final basis. As long as there is no evidence of adverse information that would raise significant concern about the organization’s suitability for a facility security clearance, an interim FCL may be granted before the full investigation is completed. This may take place as quickly as a couple of weeks after the organization is sponsored for the facility security clearance.
Just because an organization is denied an interim facility security clearance does not mean that it will be denied a final clearance. Final clearances are not granted as quickly as interim clearances, however. The determination to deny or grant a final facility security clearance is generally made anywhere from three weeks to several months after the organization is sponsored for the FCL.
An interim facility security clearance enables the cleared employees of the organization to access national security information classified at the level of the interim clearance. There are some restrictions on the types of classified information that may be accessed using an interim clearance, however. Interim FCLs granted at the Secret or Confidential level are not valid for accessing NATO, RD (Restricted Data), or COMSEC information. An interim Top Secret facility security clearance is valid for accessing NATO, RD, and COMSEC information, but only at the Secret or Confidential levels of classification.
Access to Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) or Special Access Program (SAP) on the basis of an interim facility security clearance is a determination made by the authority granting the access. We offer comprehensive consulting services to support clients in obtaining and maintaining a facility security clearance.