How to Use DD Form 441?
When a company needs to access the national security information required to enter into a contract or respond to a request, it has to obtain a facility security clearance (FCL) first. The FCL is granted if the federal government determines that providing your company with access to the information classified as Confidential, Secret, or Top Secret is in the interest of the national security. You cannot apply for an FCL on your own account. It is required that the classified contract is granted to your company by a federal government agency or by any company that has already obtained its FCL.
The DD Form 441 is executed at the time of the facility clearance approval and is considered a legally binding document between the United States Government and the contractor. By signing this document, you agree to establish a Security Program and comply with the security requirements described in the National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual (NISPOM). Execution of the form allows your organization to work on the classified contract. It also allows the federal government to review the Security Program you have established in order to ensure it complies with the rules and regulations.
DD Form 441 Instructions
The DD 441 is a simple two-page form containing a few self-explanatory fields:
- Remember that the form is a legally binding agreement between your company and the United States Government. Make sure you have read the security responsibilities of both sides before filling out the form;
- Prepare two original forms DD 441. One of them will be kept by the Defense Security Service (DSS) and your organization maintains the other;
- Fill out all the required fields;
- Do not complete the date field on page 1, as well as the fields intended for completion by the Government Representative;
- The document can be signed by the company employee or representative authorized to enter into an agreement with the United States Government on behalf of the company;
- The document must also contain the signature of one witness. This witness must be an individual who observed the company representative or employee signing the contract. The Witness section must contain the witness' signature, date, and witness' name typed or printed under the signature;
- It is prohibited for the individual signing the contract as the government representative to sign as a witness too;
- The United States Government encourages you to submit the completed and signed form via the National Industrial Security System website instead of returning it to your respective cognizant security office.
After your company is sponsored for an FCL, the Industrial Security Representative will be assigned by the DSS to help you to follow the NISPOM requirements. Find more information regarding the procedure in the Code of Federal Regulation: Title 48 - Federal Acquisition Regulations System.