A multibillion-dollar national defense contractor had recently completed a key acquisition when it learned the newly purchased company’s facility clearance had just been invalidated by the government. As a result, the company was ineligible for awards of additional classified contracts and access to classified information was cut off. In addition, the Defense Security Service (DSS) was about to notify customers that the company failed to maintain an adequate security program.
This is when Armstrong Teasdale’s facility clearance team responded with a successful two-pronged approach. The group, comprised of attorneys and retired government personnel, quickly established contact with Defense Security Service to identify the specific areas of concern and negotiate solutions acceptable to all parties. At the same time, it worked with the company to develop and implement a more robust and sophisticated security program. DSS, convinced by the company’s aggressive, proactive measures to improve its compliance processes, reinstated its facility clearance before customers were notified and any contracting opportunities were lost.
As this example shows, our team is prepared to assist with both proactive and corrective measures when it comes to facility clearance issues. We assist companies in obtaining and maintaining facility clearances, evaluating and improving security programs, negotiating the appropriate agreements with DSS, and ensuring that facilities are in full compliance with all security-related regulations. Although it is our mission to prevent problems before they arise, Armstrong Teasdale’s facility clearance attorneys are also well-versed in corrective actions. These include mitigating the foreign ownership, control, and influence (FOCI) issues that can result from a change in ownership, and securing DSS approval for corporate restructuring affecting the identities of key management personnel. And in situations involving the denial or invalidation of a facility clearance, the team will rapidly respond and work with DSS to identify the problems and propose solutions.
Founded and headed by Brian Kaveney (855.855.1121), an experienced litigator and former Captain in the U.S. Marine Corps, our team firmly believes in providing services that meet your company’s needs while ensuring the safety of classified information and the U.S. warfighter. In addition to our lawyers, we utilize the services of Kevin W. Cox, who has 42 years in with the Department of Defense Industrial Security field. Our team is familiar with the applicable regulations and work with the appropriate national and local government offices to establish the proper clearance for clients.
Pre-facility Clearance Counseling. Armstrong Teasdale's facility clearance lawyers guide clients through the process of obtaining a facility clearance. We provide counseling and assist clients in the completion of the necessary facility clearance forms and documents.
Facility Clearances. Armstrong Teasdale's facility clearance attorneys are experienced in guiding companies through the facility clearance process under the National Industrial Security Program. We advise on techniques for obtaining sponsorship requests, help with the completion of all necessary documents, and assist with development and implementation of internal security operating procedures. For companies that have FOCI issues which otherwise prevent approval of a facility clearance, we design innovative approaches for "mitigation" of FOCI and negotiation of facility security agreements with the Defense Security Service (DSS).
Denial of a Facility Clearance. In the event that a company faces the revocation of a facility clearance, Armstrong Teasdale's facility clearance lawyers are well-versed in the best practices for immediately correcting deficiencies. In the event that a facility clearance is linked to an individual's security clearance, our facility clearance lawyers assist clients in determining whether to request a hearing, seek a waiver, and/or appeal a case. Our attorneys represent clients in hearings before administrative judges of the Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals (DOHA) of the U.S. Department of Defense and prepare the most comprehensive case that demonstrates an individual's ability to access and handle the nation's most vital secrets.
Invalidation. If a company faces an invalidation of its clearance by DSS, we assist in the immediate implementation of corrective actions. Our rapid response team works with DSS to address these matters, train all appropriate personnel on compliance issues, and to conform with NISPOM and other regulations, particularly those aimed at protecting classified information. We also assist clients in establishing inspections and other preventive measures.
Maintaining a Facility Clearance. Upon receiving the desired facility clearance, Armstrong Teasdale's facility clearance lawyers continue to advise clients of the type of events and issues that could lead to the loss of the facility clearance. We also implement measures to facilitate the ongoing requirements of maintaining a facility clearance and complying with the relevant guidelines.