Posted: 12:42 am EDT
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The hunt for Secretary Clinton’s OF-109 Separation Statement was all over the news last week, although it seemed, oh, so much longer. Fox News was searching for it. The Daily Caller found a whistleblower who alleged double standard. Media Matters called out the conservative media’s own double standard. Add the official spokesperson of the State Department and we got a free roller coaster ride plus coupons.
It looks like 12 FAM 564.4 is the relevant
regulation um, excuse me, “recommendation” in the Foreign Affairs Manual. Waiting for the spox to clarify that although the briefing is mandatory, signing the separation statement is really optional and voluntary!
12 FAM 564.4 Termination
(TL:DS-88; 02-13-2003) (Uniform State, AID, OPIC, TDP)
a. A security debriefing will be conducted and a separation statement will be completed whenever an employee is terminating employment or is otherwise to be separated for a continuous period of 60 days or more. The debriefing is mandatory to ensure that separating personnel are aware of the requirement to return all classified material and of a continuing responsibility to safeguard their knowledge of any classified information. The separating employee must be advised of the applicable laws on the protection and disclosure of classified information (see 12 FAM 557 Exhibit 557.3) before signing Form OF-109, Separation Statement (see 12 FAM 564 Exhibit 564.4).
Via DPB, March 17, 2015 with State Department Spokesperson Jennifer Psaki:
QUESTION: So when you say – it is my understanding that all employees – and I think you even alluded to this when it first came up, that all employees were required to sign this document on completion of their government service. Is that not the case?
MS. PSAKI: Required is not the accurate term. It’s – we’re looking into how standard this is across the federal government and certainly at the State Department. But there’s no – we’re not aware of any penalty for not signing it.
QUESTION: Well, at the State Department, though, is it – it is common practice, though, is it not, for employees, at least employees below the rank of Secretary of State to sign such a thing – to sign such a document when they leave? Is it not?
MS. PSAKI: Well, I just don’t want to characterize how common practice it is. Certainly, I understand there’s been a focus on this form. We’ve answered the question on whether or not Secretary Clinton signed the form, and we’ll see if there’s more statistics we can provide about how common it is.
QUESTION: It’s your understanding, though, that not completing this form is not a violation of any rule or regulation?
MS. PSAKI: It’s not a violation of any rule, no.
QUESTION: And when you said that you have found no record of her two immediate – was it her two immediate predecessors?
MS. PSAKI: Correct.