What Are My Rights if SSA Takes Actions Affecting My Eligibility for Access to Classified Information in Retaliation for Making a Protected Disclosure?

On October 10, 2012 President Obama signed the Presidential Policy Directive 19 (PPD 19) - Protecting Whistleblowers with Access to Classified Information.  This Directive prohibits retaliation of employees who are eligible for access to classified information by providing appeal rights to those employees who have their access to classified information affected, or threatened to be affected, for whistleblowing.   The Presidential Policy Directive, SSA’s Security Clearance Administrative Review Process Policy, and the OIG’s Review Procedures are available below.

PDF icon  The Presidential Policy Directive

PDF icon  SSA’s Security Clearance Administrative Review Process Policy

PDF icon  OIG’s Review Procedures

  • An SSA employee may appeal SSA’s action to SSA’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) at whistleblower.ombudsman@ssa.gov or the Whistleblower Ombudsman Hotline (855) 439-4606 or 3-1800 and/or directly to the SSA official that notified the employee of the action.
  • The employee has 30 calendar days to appeal the revocation determination.  SSA will not reinstate a security clearance during the appeals process.
  • The Commissioner will review all appeals for appropriateness and compliance with all applicable orders, laws, and regulations including Section B of Presidential Policy Directive 19.

External Review Panel:

  • If the Commissioner sustains an action affecting Eligibility for Access to Classified Information, including a revocation decision, SSA will advise the employee of his or her right to request an external review by a three-member Inspector General Review panel (External Review Panel), chaired by the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community, on behalf of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). 
  • An employee who has exhausted the SSA appeals process can request the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community (IC IG) to convene the External Review Panel to review the employee’s claim, which may include a file review, as appropriate.   If such a request is made, the IC IG will review the case and decide, in his or her discretion, whether to convene an External Review Panel (Panel). 



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