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An official website of the United States Government.

Frequently Asked Questions Investigations

Why does OPM investigate Federal applicants, employees, and contractors?

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).

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