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Answering some questions about security clearances

Working for the federal government often involves hearing, seeing and knowing about certain matters sensitive to the defense of this country. For those employees, including many from Pennsylvania, security clearances are essential in order to be trusted with the type of information that could jeopardize the safety of this country. Recent news stories about the revocation of clearances by the current administration have raised questions for some people.

In order to obtain a security clearance, applicants must go through a rigorous background check that delves into nearly every aspect of a person's life. Nothing is private during these investigations and everything is under scrutiny. Receiving a clearance is a privilege, and keeping it requires diligence, integrity and the ability to keep classified information confidential. Of course, people make mistakes, and fortunately, those mistakes do not have to mean revocation.

Why do people who no longer work for the government still have security clearances if they are no longer around classified information? They are not necessarily revoked when a person leaves a certain position. They may be subject to inquiries from a government agency that may need to impart classified information in order to receive an opinion, advice or assistance from its holder. They also increase job opportunities and salaries in the private sector. However, they can be revoked.

Pennsylvania residents who currently have security clearances may want to make sure that they hold on to them while working in their governmental posts and after. Obtaining gainful employment may be easier with the right skill set and an active clearance. After taking all of the necessary steps to obtain the clearance, it would be nice to reap as many benefits from it as possible.

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