|Sample Letter #2 for Passport Specialists|
Dear Senator/Congressman/Congresswoman __________
I am employed as a Passport Specialist at the Department of State, but contacting you as in my capacity as a tax-payer.
I am writing to you in pursuit of further details regarding new security clearance requirements for all 1200 Passport Specialists. Passport Services Headquarters is unwilling to share some information about the change, and this information would seem of legitimate interest to your office, as well. Your assistance in obtaining answers would be greatly appreciated.
Our agency is now stating, despite no change in our job duties, that our positions are part of the "intelligence community" and require that we maintain higher clearance levels. In order to keep our jobs, must now take and pass an intense security clearance investigation. Without any apparent basis for clearance upgrades, the terminology Management is using hints that the agency may next attempt to argue we should be deprived of our collective bargaining rights.
The investigations will be carried out by contract personnel hired by Diplomatic Security. The hierarchy in Passport Services have previously replaced security clearance investigators through a process they refuse to elaborate on. The agency states such a process will not be accorded to the Passport Specialists who encounter irregularities during our clearance investigations. The ability of high-level mangers to affect the clearance process through their contacts with Diplomatic Security, while denying the same ability to employees, I believe undermines the integrity of the clearance process.
A former manager at the Houston Passport Agency was convicted this year of selling passports in return for monetary bribes. Similar acts in the past have been predominantly committed by those within Passport Management. The managers at Passport Services all hold Secret or higher clearances. Upgrading the existing clearances for Passport Specialists is not justified by rare instances of manager malfeasance.
To summarize, I wish to know the agency's intent regarding our collective bargaining rights and I would like to know the process used to replace problematic investigators. I would also appreciate the agency’s justification for not upgrading the clearances for the contractors who work with the same databases that Passport Specialists do. The agency is unable to cite any classified material I will encounter as a Passport Specialist, which is a third question I would appreciate being answered.
I would greatly appreciate any information you are able to obtain on these matters.