In the past few years, the Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals ("DOHA") has experienced a significant uptick in the number of clearance applications referred from DISCO. This can primarily be attributed to the economic climate, which has led to an increase in the number of applications presenting finance-related issues. While the number of Statements of Reasons DOHA issues per year has remained relatively constant--approximately 2,000 per year--the number of referrals to DOHA has increased from 7,000 in 2009, to 10,000 in 2010, to more than 14,000 in 2011. As a result, applicants should do everything possible to provide mitigating evidence as soon as it is available in order to assist DOHA.

In order to avoid delays in appropriate cases, it is important to identify and address all potential security concerns proactively and comprehensively in the SF 86. It may also be beneficial to supplement the SF 86 with additional mitigating documentation to aid DISCO and DOHA in their evaluation. Led by experienced counsel and assisted by consultants formerly employed with DOHA, DSS, and DISCO, Armstrong Teasdale's Security Clearance Team works to assist your company and key employees in preparing, reviewing, and processing clearance applications in order to avoid costly delays and unnecessary DOHA referrals for your employees. In the end, this will save time and resources for your company and individuals as well as valuable government resources.