National Interest Determinations
For a company to be cleared under a Special Security Agreement (SSA) and have access to proscribed information (i.e., Top Secret, Sensitive Compartmented Information, Special Access Program, Communication Security, and Restricted Data), the Government must approve a National Interest Determination (NID) that release of proscribed information to the company shall not harm the national security interests of the United States. The NID can be program, project, or contract specific. A separate NID is not required for each contract under a program or project. Paragraphs 2-303(c)(2)(a) & (b) of the NISPOM, dated February 28, 2006, contains guidance regarding NIDs.
Directive-Type Memorandum (DTM) 15-002, “Policy Guidance for the Processing of National Interest Determinations (NIDs) in Connection with Foreign Ownership, Control, or Influence (FOCI)” – signed by the USD(I) on February 11, 2015 – establishes policy, assigns responsibilities, and provides additional direction and clarification to existing NID policy. Specifically, the DTM gives DCSA the authority to propose NIDs on behalf of the Government Contracting Activities (GCA). The NISPOM continues to provide guidance to NISP contractors regarding actions and issues related to FOCI and NIDs. The determination of the need for a NID or its request is never the responsibility of the contractor.
- Receive NID request from GCA;
- Validate the need for access to proscribed information;
- Provide the proposed NID to GCA;
- Obtain interim determination from GCA regarding intent to issue NID in the case of a CFIUS transaction;
- Receive GCA concurrence on proposed NID within 30 days;
- Request the responsible USG control agency provide a decision within 30 days if access to COMSEC, SCI, or RD is involved;
- Send formal final notification of NID approval to GCA; and
- Update contractor's facility clearance verification to include release of the proscribed information.
Government Contracting Activity's (GCAs) Role
- Send NID request to DCSA;
- Ensure the request includes:
- Name of Company;
- Cage Code;
- Contract Number; or
- Program Name; or
- Project Name;
- Description of the technology to be accessed;
- Access justification; and
- Industrial Security and Program Office points of contact
- Provide DCSA with a concurrence to NID within 30 days or contact DCSA with justification prior to 30 days in the case of a potential denial