- How long does it take the Final Review Panel to make a suitability determination?
It takes from one week to months to complete a suitability determination. The length of time depends on the issues involved in each candidate’s file and the need for the Panel to obtain additional information in order to reach a decision that both conforms to the standards outlined in the Foreign Affairs Manual, and is fair to the candidate.
- What is the Final Review Panel?
Upon completion of the medical clearance and the background investigation, a Final Review Panel is convened for each candidate. The Panel examines a candidate’s total record (except medical files) to determine suitability for employment with the Foreign Service. In evaluating suitability, the Final Review Panel considers among other points: misconduct in prior employment; criminal or dishonest conduct; misrepresentation in the application process; use to excess of intoxicating beverages; trafficking in or abuse of narcotics or controlled substances; doubt as to loyalty to the U.S. Government; conduct which clearly shows poor judgment; and lack of financial responsibility, including a history of not filing tax returns or meeting financial obligations.