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Clearance/Visit Authorization

Employees visiting other agencies that require clearance verification can submit a form CD 414 (Commerce personnel only) to the Security Servicing Center (hchbsecurity@doc.gov) to pass clearances to the visiting agency.  If an employee has SCI and needs clearance information forwarded to another agency, the individual would contact the Personnel Security Office at x28115.  The form must be submitted at least 10 days in advance (exceptions may be made for short notices on case-by-case basis).

The CD414 can be found on the Commerce Connection website under Forms (Commerce personnel only).

Visitors from other government agencies or cleared contracting companies that require access to Department of Commerce information, or facilities, shall submit a visit access request memo. The memo will certify their need-to-know and qualification to use the information. The visit access request (VAR) is a memo sent on the requesting agency's letterhead to the access control office of the destination to authorize access for up to 12 months. On the requested visit start date, the visitor shall arrive with identification corresponding to an approved VAR or access will be denied.


INBOUND

Federal government employees, from agencies outside of the Department of Commerce (Department), shall provide a VAR to confirm their security clearance is active-and-current prior to any visit to access classified information. The clearance verification VAR identifies the visitors, their current clearance information, the Department point of contact (POC), reason for the visit and approved visit dates. An acceptance response from the Department security office is sent to the requesting agency.

The visitor and POC confirm required clearance level before scheduling any visit. Classified information may not depart the building from which it is accessed except by those with a current and valid courier card. It is strongly recommended that any CNSI that needs to be shared is done so over classified networks.

Non-Government Personnel - A contractor’s existing background investigation is confirmed with documents from the company Facility Security Office (FSO). Existing investigation history is confirmed by the Department Personnel Security Division (PERSEC), to grant access to contract operations. Personnel without an existing background check shall complete an investigation for the required access level prior to performing any work on the contract. The contractor’s facility access badge is issued after the background check is recorded with the Department Office of Security.

Classified contractors require an active security clearance as a qualification for a position supporting a classified contract. The VAR memo for a classified contractor describes the clearance status and supporting investigation is received by the appointed COR, contracting office representative. The COR passes the VAR memo and signed SF312 to the Department Industrial Security office to create a collateral clearance record for SecurityManager (SM). The SecurityManager record supports issuing the contractor’s facility access badge and network access.

Classified contractors requiring Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) Access require an SCI Access Request memo sent to the Personnel Security (PERSEC) office. PERSEC processes the SCI access request after the collateral clearance is confirmed and recorded. SCI access requires an active Top Secret clearance and a contract with Department to process classified data requiring SCI access. The contractor’s SCI access is activated by the Department Special Security Office after the CIA processes the access request. Approval for SCI Access from the CIA is expedited with previous access for another organization. The initial request for SCI access may exceed the time to complete the entire contract.

The contractor employee’s authorization to work on Department contracts requires regular renewal of the collateral access; annually or before the current VAR expires. SCI access does not require renewal. It does require an annual refresher briefing.


OUTBOUND

Department employees shall request a VAR memo to confirm their security clearance before attending a classified briefing with another organization. The clearance verification VAR identifies the visitors, their current clearance information, the destination’s POC, reason for the visit and visit dates. An acceptance response from the destination security office is sent to the Department Office of Security.

Official travel to an overseas destination requires coordination with the Department of State Diplomatic Security, Certification Unit. The Department of State Certification Unit will process the collateral VAR to all Department of State locations. A visit requiring SCI is processed through the Department of State SSO section of the Department of State Diplomatic Security office. Both sections complete the access request by forwarding the information to the Field Servicing Security Office (FSSO) of the destination facility.

The Department of State requires the date(s) of the visit, location, and identification of the POC.