A company must be sponsored for a facility security clearance (FCL) by a government agency or a cleared contractor. A company cannot sponsor itself for an FCL. The cleared contract or government agency requests the FCL when a definite, classified procurement need has been established.
The FCL is provided to a defense contractor as a result of a contract requiring performance on a classified effort. Though the contractor does not have to possess an FCL prior to bidding on a contract, it is necessary perform on the classified effort. A defense contractor can bid on and win the contract as long as they are eligible to apply for and receive the FCL. Once they win the contract, the rewarding activity provides justification for the security clearance.
A defense contractor is not able to request its own security clearance in preparation for classified work, in anticipation of classified work, or to make the enterprise more marketable. There is just no system in place for that process. Responsible classification management begins with justification of the security clearance for facilities and employees. If a defense contractor is required to perform on a classified contract, the Government Contracting Activity (GCA) or prime contractor provides the request. After the GCA or prime contractor submits the sponsorship letter, the contractor can begin the process of applying for the clearance.
Once sponsored the DSS, GCA and contractor work together to meet following security clearance request requirements.
- CAGE Code
- Sign Department of Defense Security Agreement
- Complete a Certificate Pertaining to Foreign Interests
- Provide Organization Credentials
- Identify Key Management Personnel clearances
Department of Defense Security Agreement (DD Form 441) is a security agreement between the US Government and defense contractor and documents each party’s responsibilities for protecting classified information.