The Joint Personnel Adjudication System (JPAS) was used as the “security clearance system of record” for most DoD security clearances. In March 2021, the use of JPAS was phased out and replaced by the DoD’s Defense Information System for Security (DISS).
This article describes what JPAS was and how it worked, and what it was used for. As a legacy security clearance system there are plenty of people who likely had their clearances processed under the old system. When it comes time to review those clearances there may be changes in procedures, rules, processing, or other issues to get caught up on where applicable.
But that’s not the only reason you might need to know about the phase-out of the old system. What if you need to request a copy of the records associated with your background investigation?
You don’t need a reason to make such a request. Just wanting to know what is in your record is enough. Under the old JPAS system, the process for making such a request had certain steps and policies that may or may not be similar under DISS. Knowing the right place to file your request going forward is crucial. We’ll provide those details below.
What Is JPAS
The U.S. Navy official sites contain documents that explain what JPAS was and why it existed. JPAS is not exclusive to the Navy, but the description provided in Navy literature does a great job summing up the system:
“The Joint Personnel Adjudication System (JPAS) is the Department of Defense (DoD) personnel security clearance and access database. It facilitates personnel security program management for the Department of Defense Central Adjudication Facilities”, for those working as DoD security managers, and Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) program managers.
JPAS “interfaces with the Defense Security Service (DSS) and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to populate personnel security investigation data” and DoD personnel systems including the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) and Defense Civilian Personnel Data System (DCPDS), which were used to “populate identifying data”.
JPAS functions were helpful for those who need to verify security clearance eligibility for applicants, as well as for those who must initiate background investigations, incident reports, upgrades or updates, etc.
What Happened To My JPAS Data?
If you had a clearance processed via JPAS before the phase-out, especially if you have an older clearance, you’ll find that under the old system, all data entered into JPAS was maintained, but not always made available or “visible”. A Navy.mil policy letter about JPAS stated that, when the system was active, JPAS data was “permanently retained within JPAS” but would not necessarily be displayed.
“Data pertaining to individuals that retire or separate” would be visible for roughly two years from the retirement/separation date. In cases where there was no activity on such accounts for two years, the visible data would be purged, but retained. This was true for most except for Senior Executives and General Officers.
The fact that the data was purged from the visible database but not the larger one means that the information could be transferred over to the new system (DISS, as mentioned earlier) and not require a wholesale re-investigation of those in the system.
Requesting Your Background Investigation Results
As stated above, the Joint Personnel Adjudication System (JPAS) was the security clearance system of record UNTIL it was phased out in 2021. Today when you must request your background clearance information, it will be retrieved via the Defense Information System for Security or DISS.
Your “adjudicative records” related to background checks and similar operations may be available through a Freedom of Information Act and/or Privacy Act request by mail, email, or fax sent to:
- By regular mail: Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency
ATTN: FOI/P Office for Investigations
PO Box 618
Boyers, PA 16018
- Via e-mail: [email protected]
- By fax: (724) 794-4590
There is a form you should use to submit your request: INV100, Freedom of Information / Privacy Act Records Request for Background Investigations.
For ALL REQUESTS the following information should be supplied:
- Full name
- Date of birth
- Place of birth
- Full social security number
- Mailing address and email address
- Any available information regarding the type of record involved
- An original notarized statement or an unsworn declaration using the following format: I declare (or certify, verify, or state) under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on (date). (Handwritten Signature).
- Photocopies of two different “identity source documents” (see below)
Acceptable Identity Source Documents
The following are acceptable ID when requesting your information:
- U.S. Social Security Card issued by the Social Security Administration
- U.S. Passport or a U.S. Passport Card
- Driver’s license or an ID card issued by a state or possession of the
- United States provided it contains a photograph (Student ID Cards are not acceptable)
- U.S. Military ID card or CAC card
- U.S. Military dependent’s ID card
- PIV Card
- Copy of a birth certificate issued by a state, county, municipal authority, possession, or outlying possession of the United States bearing an official seal
- Certification of Birth Abroad or Certification of Report of Birth issued by the Department of State (Form FS-545 or Form DS-1350)
- Voter registration card from the U.S.
- Permanent Resident Card or an Alien Registration Receipt Card (Form I-551)
- Certificate of U.S. Citizenship (Form N-560 or N-561)
- Certificate of Naturalization (Form N-550 or N-570)
- Employment authorization document issued by the Department of Homeland Security (such as: Form I-688A, Form I-688B or Form I-766)
- U.S. Citizen ID Card (Form I-197)
Your request must have your full legal name, the specific documents you’re requesting plus the address where you’d like the documents sent. Response times for these requests will vary depending on demand, mission requirements, and other variables.
Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter for Air Force Television News
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