New Foreign Travel Reporting Requirements for the U.S. Secure and Elite Workforce | Tech US News

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When an authorization holder contemplates traveling abroad, an email must be sent to the FSO at least 10 business days prior to departure. Image: charles taylor/Shutterstock.com

Dan Meyer, Esq. and Lachlan McKinion, TR Legal Secretary

The recent reform of facility authorization rules now requires more from the Corporate Facilities Security Officer (FSO). On February 24, 2021, the NISPOM rule was codified in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). In addition to adding NISPOM to the CFR, this rule codifies the provisions of Security Executive Officers Directive (SEAD) 3, “Information Requirements for Personnel with Access to Classified Information or Holding a Sensitive Position.”

With this change comes the adoption of new criteria regarding the information that personnel in the deleted sector must report. Under these rules, people must disclose information about their international travel, finances, personal relationships and other circumstances. Previously, these were not required to be reported, but some organizations may have enforced them internally.

These specifications are taken directly from SEAD 3, which until now only applied to government workers through NISPOM. Now, private industry employees will be held to the same standards as those in the public sector.

The newly strengthened Defense Security and Counterintelligence Agency (DCSA) pushed through the reform to report foreign travel as required by SEAD 3. New IT tools were supplied and the ability to send bulk foreign travel became operational on 24 August 2022. Therefore, beginning August 24, 2022, all federal contract employees who hold a personnel clearance (security clearance or “PCL”) must report any foreign travel to their Facility Security Officers (FSOs).

While the goal of these changes is to help authorized workers enforce safety standards, the Department of Defense recognized the challenges for authorized individuals when submitting the new reports to the system of record (Defense Information System for Security ). [DISS]) in a counterintelligence data set of more than one million employees working for 12,000 authorized facilities. Foreign intelligence services could be active in any of those facilities, including yours, right now.

When considering traveling abroad
All security clearance holders are required by the Security Executive Officers Directive (SEAD) 3 to report international travel prior to departure. In addition to prior approval, individuals must disclose their travel schedule to their security officer and must attend a pre-travel security briefing.

When an authorization holder contemplates traveling abroad, an email must be sent to the FSO at least 10 business days prior to departure. Corporate leadership may require more notice from the intended travel date, but it is generally advisable to notify management at least two weeks in advance of the intended travel date. In this email, it is important to not only include where you will be traveling, but also the length of time you will be in foreign countries.

Upon receipt of this email, FSO will typically send employees a corporate form to collect any additional information required by SEAD 3. Along with the forms, they will also send state department travel advisories covering destination countries.

Our recommendation to Tully Rinckey clients is the same as to the confident reader: a common practice of all prudent corporate executives and their employees is the maintenance of a spreadsheet of all foreign travel, listing essential data of the trips This will help with reporting before and after the move, as well as when the standard Form 86, Homeland Security Questionnaire is required to be submitted. Yes, this is onerous, especially in a global networked economy, but it is a transaction cost that is now required of an elite and secure workforce.

Presentation of corporate forms
When presented with these corporate forms, there are a few key things that employees should include. Along with the above (destination and dates of travel), employees will also need to include a complete itinerary and their US and/or foreign passport information (if a dual citizen). In addition, the FSO will conduct an employee travel safety briefing prior to departure. It is advisable to include the security information in the briefing as part of the corporate form submission. After the employee completes the corporate form and returns it to their FSO, they are ready to travel.

An additional precaution an employee may want to take is to sign the form, to eliminate any doubt that an FSO is performing “batch compilation” to pass an inspection.

After completing these pre-travel forms, the FSO will open the subject’s profile in DISS and create a foreign travel report, entering the dates the authorization holder will travel, the date they first reported their travel, the reason for travel and any other notes such as mode of transport and other relevant information. After the FSO makes this initial entry, the file is formed and updates can be made as changes occur or as the report is completed.

Post-trip debriefing
Once the authorized employee returns from overseas travel, the FSO completes an overseas travel report within five (5) business days. If the employee answers “no” to all of these questions, they have met their federal foreign travel reporting responsibilities.

However, if they answer “yes” to any of the questions asked, the authorization holder must provide more information. These follow-up questions are intended to ensure that the FSO performs due diligence in the reporting process. Once the employee completes this form, sign it and return it to the FSO.

After the employee returns and completes their foreign travel information, the FSO will put all relevant information into the DISS and then mark the report as “reported”. Once a trip report has been flagged, the file will be unavailable while it is being reviewed.

This report will eventually reappear and the FSO must maintain a physical record of the pre-trip form that employees fill out with information in case they need to access it before the report is accessible within DISS. This record can be kept as long as the worker remains with the company.

Stay up-to-date on the reporting process
While the new reporting requirements will likely cause confusion for several years and may even lead some PCL holders to seek assistance as a security concern based on non-compliance, keeping up to date with your agency’s reporting requirements , you can better protect your agency. travel plans and your security clearance.


Dan Meyer, managing partner of Tully Rinckey PLLC’s Washington, DC office, has dedicated more than 25 years of service to the field of federal employment and homeland security law both as a practicing attorney and as a federal investigator and senior executive. He is a leader in advocating for service members, federal civilian employees and contractors as they fight to retain their credentials, suitability and security clearances. Lachlan McKinion supports the needs of TR’s corporate homeland security clientele. You can contact Mr. Meyer at [email protected] or at (888) 529-4543.

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