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Human Resources and Security Specialists should use this tool to determine the correct investigation level for any covered position within the U.S. Federal Government.
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The interests of national security require that all persons privileged to be employed in the departments and agencies of the government shall be reliable, trustworthy, of good conduct and character, and of complete and unswerving loyalty to the United States. This means that the appointment of each civilian employee in any department or agency of the government is subject to investigation. The scope of the investigation will vary, depending on the nature of the position and the degree of harm that an individual in that position could cause.
The requirement to be investigated applies whether or not the position requires a security clearance (in order to have access to classified national security information).
The Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) Federal Investigative Services (FIS) conducts background investigations on Federal applicants, employees, and contractor personnel for suitability and security determination purposes at the request of our customer agencies. A credit search is a routine part of many of these investigations. The subjects of background investigations are requested to sign a release form allowing a check of his or her credit history. Searches are conducted for each name variation a person has used; therefore, there may be more than one search by OPM showing on a person’s credit report. Credit inquiries from OPM investigations are included in the Regular Inquiries portion of a credit record, but these inquiries are “soft” hits and do not have an impact on a person’s credit score.
Questions about an agency’s action or whether that action is required to be reported on an investigative form should be referred to the agency that took the action.
In the context of the question on the Standard Form (SF) 86, a debarment refers to a suitability action that denies an individual examination for, or appointment to, a covered position. A covered position, as defined in title 5, Code of Federal Regulations, part 731 is one in the competitive service or one in the excepted service where the incumbent can be non-competitively converted to the competitive service, or a career appointment to a position in the Senior Executive Service.
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