(1) The responsible CSA provides guidance to entities on the eligibility determination process and on how to maintain eligibility throughout the period of the agreement or as long as an entity continues to need access to classified information in connection with a legitimate U.S. or foreign government requirement.
(2) The CSA coordinates with appropriate authorities to determine whether an entity meets the eligibility criteria in paragraph (e) of this section. This includes coordinating with appropriate U.S. Government regulatory authorities to determine entity compliance with laws and regulations.
(3) An entity cannot apply for its own eligibility determination. A GCA or an eligible entity must sponsor the entity to the responsible CSA for an eligibility determination. The GCA or eligible entity may sponsor an entity at any point during the contracting or agreement life-cycle at which the entity must have access to classified information to participate (including the solicitation or competition phase). An entity with limited eligibility granted under paragraph (f) of this section may sponsor a sub-entity for a limited eligibility determination for the same contract, agreement, or circumstance so long as the sponsoring entity is not under FOCI (see § 2004.34(i)).
(4) The GCA must include enough lead time in each phase of the acquisition or agreement cycle to accomplish all required security actions. Required security actions include any eligibility determination necessary for an entity to participate in that phase of the cycle. The GCA may award a contract or agreement before the CSA completes the entity eligibility determination. However, in such cases, the entity may not begin performance on portions of the contract or agreement that require access to classified information until the CSA makes a favorable entity eligibility determination.
(5) When a CSA is unable to make an eligibility determination in sufficient time to qualify an entity to participate in the particular procurement action or phase that gave rise to the GCA request (this includes both solicitation and performance phases), the GCA may request that the CSA continue the determination process to qualify the entity for future classified work for any GCA, provided that the processing delay was not due to the entity's lack of cooperation. Once the CSA determines that an entity is eligible for access to classified information, but a GCA does not award a contract or agreement requiring access to classified information to the entity, or the entity's eligibility status changes, the CSA terminates the entity eligibility determination in accordance with paragraph (g) of this section.