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U.S. Department of State - Great Seal

U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action


Much thought has gone into the development of all of the security requirements levied on our contractors, to include the facility and personnel security requirements. Our goal is the protection of our sensitive and classified information and ultimately the protection of our personnel who work and live in our facilities overseas.

General relevant information is provided on this page. For thorough information on the National Industrial Security Program, the following link will provide access to the National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual (NISPOM):

For any contracts involving access to classified materials, a Security Classification Guide, published by Diplomatic Security, is issued as a part of the RFP.

Information for Contractors with Facility Security Clearances
Must have approval from the Defense Security Service (DSS) before a cleared company can:

  • Store classified information.
  • Process classified information on computers
Must designate a Facility Security Officer from cleared Key Management Personnel. This position must have full support of management even if it is a collateral duty.

Classified Contract
A contract that requires access to classified information/areas or requires a firm to provide cleared personnel.

Facility Security Clearance (FCL)
Government's determination (Defense Security Service, DSS) that a firm is eligible for access to classified information. DSS administers the National Industrial Security Program for DoD, DoS and about 20 other User Agencies.

  • Has nothing to do with physical office structure - has to do with clearance of the corporate entity
  • Must be cleared commensurate with access
  • Can not be requested without a government sponsor
  • Foreign firms cannot be cleared; Foreign-owned U.S. firms may be cleared but it depends on the country from which the foreign ownership is derived.

Basic Elements

  • Key Management Personnel must be cleared
  • Review of corporate structure by DSS
  • Resolution of any Foreign Ownership Control or Influence

To Award a Classified Contract
Contract must have a FCL; if an uncleared firm is selected for a classified contract, Department of State will sponsor the selected firm for an FCL and award can only be made upon issuance of the FCL

  • If access to classified information is required during the bid phase, the firm must be cleared prior to receipt of classified information. In this case the Department sponsors the uncleared, prequalified firms


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