Impact of altering the delinquent debt threshold used for background investigation expansion of the denial rate of security clearances
Hill, Henry J.
Fremgen, James M.
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The purpose of this thesis was to conduct an analysis of cases of requests for Top Secret security clearances from applicants whose backgrounds showed some derogatory financial information, to determine the impact of the delinquent debt threshold used to expand personnel security investigations on final clearance decisions. To conduct the analysis, a sample of completed cases meeting the Defense Investigative Service's (DIS) delinquent debt criteria for investigation expansion ($500 or more outstanding for 120 days) was selected. The total amount of delinquent debt for each case was recorded and classified in one of three debt categories, under $1000, $1000 to $2000, and over $2000. In order to determine final clearance decisions, the sample data were merged with the Defense Central Investigations (DCII) data base. This provided a breakdown by clearance denials and approvals at the various delinquent debt categories. The analysis suggests that delinquent debt levels play less of a role in determining final clearance outcomes than was originally anticipated; it also provide som empirical support for raising the delinquent debt threshold above the current $500 threshold amount
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