By John V. Berry, Esq., www.berrylegal.com
We often receive questions from employees about the different security clearance administrative systems in place by the federal government to evaluate clearance holders and the status of their security clearances. There is more than one database that contains this type of information. The principal 2 databases include the Joint Personnel Adjudication System (JPAS) and Scattered Castles. JPAS is clearly the more well known security clearance database, but both are significant. These databases are used to evaluate potential employees, reciprocity (where available) and security access/certifications.
Summary of Scattered Castles
Personnel who have access to Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) are listed in Scattered Castles. Scattered Castles, however, is not linked to OPM's Central Verification System (CVS) because of intelligence community concerns about protecting classified information (i.e. the need to protect covert employees). Scattered Castles, like JPAS, is a government database used by the intelligence community (CIA, NRO, etc) to record eligibility and access to classified information. Basically, the database serves as the gatekeeper to the hiring / transfer process for intelligence community employees and contractors.
Intelligence Community Policy Guidance, ICPG 704.5 (Oct. 2, 2008) governs the use of the Scattered Castles system. ICPG 704.5 mandates the recognition, use and reciprocity of the Scattered Castles Database across all components of the intelligence community. See ICPG 704.5. The 3 page directive specifies the requirements of the Scattered Castles Database. The Scattered Castles database provides intelligence community agencies a combined database of individuals’ security clearance and accesses and essentially performs the same functions as the JPAS does for the Department of Defense. While security clearances can be reciprocal through these different systems there can potentially be some difficulties in finding individuals through both databases and verifying their respective eligibilities. In short, there can sometimes be communications difficulties between the two systems.
When an individual is facing security clearance issues through Scattered Castles or JPAS, it is important to obtain legal advice and potential representation. Our law firm advises individuals in the security clearance process. We can be contacted at www.berrylegal.com or by telephone at (703) 668-0070. Our Facebook page is located at http://facebook.com/BerryBerryPllc