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Our Key Terms & Definitions


What is JPAS?

Industrial Security. That portion of information security concerned with the protection of classified information in the custody of U.S. industry

Information Security. The result of any system of administrative policies and procedures for identifying, controlling, and protecting from unauthorized disclosure, information the protection of which is authorized by executive order.

Personnel (Security) Clearance (PCL). An administrative determination that an individual is eligible, from a security point of view, for access to classified information of the same or lower category as the level of the personnel clearance being granted.

Facility. A plant, laboratory, office, college, university, or commercial structure with associated warehouses, storage areas, utilities, and components, that, when related by function and location, form an operating entity. (A business or educational organization may consist of one or more facilities as defined herein.) For purposes of industrial security, the term does not include Government installations.

Facility (Security) Clearance (FCL). An administrative determination that, from a security viewpoint, a company is eligible for access to classified information of a certain category (and all lower categories).

Multiple Facility Organization (MFO).
A legal entity (single proprietorship, partnership, association, trust, or corporation) composed of two or more contractors.

Home Office Facility (HOF). The headquarters company of a multiple facility organization.

Clearance Level. There are 3 common clearance levels used by most federal agencies (including DOD). Confidential, Secret, and Top Secret. Each clearance level is associated with the information of equal classification. Each are categorized by the level of harm that would be inflicted on national security if the information were compromised.

Confidential. the classification level applied to information, the unauthorized disclosure of which reasonable could be expected to cause damage to the national security that the original classification authority is able to identify or describe.

Secret. The classification level applied to information, the unauthorized disclosure of which reasonably could be expected to cause serious damage to the national security that the original classification authority is able to identify or describe.

Top Secret. The classification level applied to information, the unauthorized disclosure of which reasonable could be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security that the original classification authority is able to identify or describe.

Need-To-Know. A determination made by an authorized holder of classified information that a prospective recipient has a requirement for access to, knowledge, or possession of the classified information to perform tasks or services essential to the fulfillment of a classified contract or program.

DSS. The Defense Security Service provides primary oversight over DOD industry contractors. All facility clearances and personnel security clearances for industry are adjudicated by DSS. All industry contractors with active facility clearances are assigned an IS representative by DSS who assist contractors in maintaining compliance with government regulations.

JPAS. The Joint Personnel Adjudication System is a web-based database that unites clearance information on all DOD personnel. This system is the primary means for tracking and logging the access and eligibility for all personnel with security clearance.

EQIP. The Electronic Questionnaire for Investigations processing is a web-based tool that is the primary means for submission of personal information required to launch security clearance investigations.

NISPOM. Than National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual is the primary guidance source for all industrial contractors in maintaining security compliance over the management of classified programs. Click here to download the NISPOM.