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Defense Security Service Security Rating Matrix Update

Effective October 24, 2011, the Defense Security Service (DSS) will be using its newly designed rating process in every region. The calculation worksheet will assist DSS determine ratings assigned at the conclusion of a DSS National Industrial Security Program (NISP) inspection.

To best prepare for an investigation’s rating, please reference DSS’s sample calculation worksheet available at This worksheet contains fourteen National Industrial Security Program’s (NISP) enhancement categories. Descriptions of the NISP enhancements are available under the “Updated Industry Frequently Asked Questions” on the link provided above. While this list is not all-inclusive, DSS intends to provide periodical updates regarding NISP enhancements and security findings.

This worksheet also contains a red flag category that could have a significant impact on your final security rating. These items include, but are not limited to, unreported/unmitigated FOCI, appointment of a senior management official without required eligibility, deliberate disregard for security requirements, serious systemic findings that lead to the potential loss or compromise of classified information and any additional items that may result in the invalidation of the FCL. Red flag findings,
if identified, could impact the final security rating outside of the worksheet.

DSS will share the results of the inspection including positive areas, suggested improvements, and security findings when it releases the FSO inspection results letter.

© Copyright 2022 Armstrong Teasdale LLP. All rights reserved National Law Review, Volume I, Number 311

About this Author

Brian E. Kaveney, Litigation, Attorney, Armstrong Teasdale, Law firm
Partner & Security Clearance Team Leader

Brian Kaveney is an experienced business litigator whose practice includes advising defense contractors on compliance matters and assisting companies and individuals in obtaining and maintaining the proper security clearance.

The founder and head of Armstrong Teasdale’s Security Clearance and Facility Clearance Task Force, Brian guides companies, key management personnel, and employees through the process of obtaining and keeping the approval that is required to work with the Department of Defense, the military services and other agencies. He anticipates issues and concerns and...