Since military and government employees can access sensitive information, the U.S. government wants to know that their workers are of ethical character. This means you as a government worker will receive a background check to gain a security clearance. However, you may have to self-report personal information in certain instances.
According to the DCSA, workers should report life changes or incidents which could affect their security clearances.
Examples of events to report
Given that different government agencies have their standards for reporting information, government workers should check first to see what they should disclose to superiors. The DCSA website does give a few general examples of reportable events:
- Having contacts with foreign individuals
- Accidental loss of sensitive information
- Getting engaged or married
- Financial difficulties
- Arrests even if they do not produce charges
Changes in your mental or psychological well-being are also notable. The DCSA website explains that sometimes traumatic events can have a negative impact on the ability of a worker to handle classified information. You may also have to report substance abuse counseling if you need it to correct poor work performance or behavior.
Self-reporting might not endanger your clearance
Reporting certain life events may make you fear for your job, but it is not a given that the government will revoke your clearance. Authorities view self-reporting as a sign of good character. Even if you have a mental issue, the DCSA explains that many workers can handle sensitive information in spite of a mental condition.
Still, some changes in your life, such as an arrest, may put your clearance at risk. It is important to deal with charges against you to prevent danger to your career.