Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization

DOE Small Business Security Clearance Reciprocity

May 18, 2018

You are here

The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) is working to improve resources to small businesses through improved communication. Our office is often asked about transferring clearances between agencies. Therefore, we did some research on this question to provide you the answer below.

Most companies can usually carry over their Facility Clearance (FCL) from a different government agency to DOE. When the DOE Foreign Ownership, Control and Influence (FOCI) or FCL Site Office receives a new Contract Security Classification Specification (CSCS), and the FCL Site Office can verify there is an existing FCL for the company with another agency, the FCL Site Office will submit a “Request for Reciprocity” to the agency. This request can take up to 2 months before the FCL reciprocity is granted.

Upon receiving the approval, the company should already have a favorable FOCI determination which is usually done before an FCL is granted. If that was the case then DOE would not need to complete another. However, the agency would need to verify that there are clearances for the company’s Key Management Personnel (KMP), which are the company owners and their Facility Security Officer (FSO). If the KMP and FSO do not have a DOE “Q” clearance, but do have an active clearance with another agency, then a request for reciprocal clearance will need to be submitted to DOE Personnel Security Office (AU-43) by the Program Office Headquarters Security Office (HSO) associated with the contract. 

It is important to remember that the contract cannot be fully processed until all KMPs have been cleared with DOE. This is very important for companies to keep in mind given the length of time it may take to clear the KMPs.

We hope this guidance has been helpful. For more information please go to HQFMSP Chpt 4.