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New Travel and Contact Reporting Requirements for Employees with Access to Classified Information


Executive branch agency employees, contractors and subcontractors beware of these intrusive requirements

A new security directive titled “Reporting Requirements for Personnel with Access to Classified Information or Who Hold a Sensitive Position,” was issued by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and was effect on June 12, 2017.  The directive was approved in December as part of the Insider Threat Program, initiated by former President Obama after several high-profile leaks of classified information.

The directive requires executive branch agency employees, contractors and subcontractors who either hold sensitive positions or who have access to classified information must report personal unofficial foreign travel along with substantive foreign contracts to their agency head or designee.  The directive establishes the essential reporting requirements; however, agency heads may impose additional requirements.

Foreign travel must be pre-approved with the following exceptions:

  • Travel to Puerto Rico, Guam or other U.S. possessions and territories,
  • Unplanned day trips to Canada or Mexico must only be reported upon return, and such reporting must be within five business days.
Additionally, any employees with access to classified, secret, top secret and/or confidential information must report on the following.

Employees with access to classified information must report:
  • Any “unofficial contact with a known or suspected foreign intelligence entity” and any “[c]ontinuing association with known foreign nationals that involve bonds of affection, personal obligation, or intimate contact.”
  • Any contact with a foreign national that “involves the exchange of personal information.”
Employees with access to top secret, secret and/or confidential information must report:
  • Application for and receipt of foreign citizenship,
  • Application for, possession or use of a foreign passport or identity card for travel,
  • Attempted elicitation, exploitation, blackmail, coercion or enticement to obtain classified information; and
  • Media requests for classified information.
Contractors are also required to alert agency head of their coworker’s actions in situations that touch security or counterintelligence concerns, such as if the coworker:
  • Has unexplained affluence or excessive indebtedness,
  • Is unwilling to comply with agency rules,
  • Has apparent or suspected mental health issues that may impact the person’s ability to protect classified information, or
  • Misuses government property or information systems.
To comply with this directive, we suggest that you communicate these requirements to all appropriate personnel.

The foregoing has been prepared for the general information of clients and friends of Workplace Dynamics LLC and is not being represented as being all-inclusive or complete. It has been abridged from legislation, administrative ruling, agency directives, and other information provided by the government. It is not meant to provide legal advice with respect to any specific matter and should not be acted upon without professional counsel.