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Frequently Asked Questions Investigations

  • Agencies should closely review all application material (such as the OF 612, résumé, OF 306), or the results of any completed background investigation, for indications of material and intentional falsification, or deception or fraud. This may relate to responses to the suitability questions or to qualifications, diploma mill degrees, or other types of merit system fraud. Agencies must refer the case to SAB when it involves the examination or appointment process (initial appointment or reinstatement to a covered position). OPM may exercise its jurisdiction and take a removal and/or debarment action, or coordinate adjudication with the agency if the agency wishes to take action.
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  • Agencies may request SAB to reopen a NACI for issue resolution of A, B, or C issues (original, upgrades, or conversions). The agency should submit a written request to reopen the case and show what issues need to be resolved. Include the name and telephone number of the requesting official and copies of pertinent documents. If appropriate coverage or issue resolution is absent from a background investigation, the case should be discussed with OPM-FIS Systems Access Support Team at (724) 794-5612, extension 4600. SAST will determine if the requested information was within the scope of the requested investigation and should have been covered or if an upgrade investigation or Reimbursable Suitability/Security Investigation (RSI) is needed to obtain the information.
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  • Suitability determinations are made on a case by case basis in accordance with part 731 of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations, for covered positions that are subject to investigation.  Covered positions are those in the competitive Federal service, those in the excepted service that noncompetitively convert to the competitive service, or career appointments to positions in the Senior Executive Service.  This regulation does not apply to military personnel, positions in the excepted service other than those subject to suitability, or contractors.    A felony conviction does not automatically make one unsuitable for Federal employment.  When making a suitability determination, an agency will evaluate the individual’s character traits and decide whether their employment or continued employment would or would not protect the integrity or promote the efficiency of the service.  The factors that may form the basis for finding a person unsuitable can be found under 5 CFR 731.202(b) and include criminal or dishonest conduct.  To the extent deemed pertinent to an individual’s case, the agency making the determination must give consideration to the additional considerations found under 5 CFR 731.202(c) which include things like the nature of the position for which the person is applying, the circumstances surrounding the conduct, the recency of the conduct, and the absence or presence of rehabilitation. 
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  • Agencies may request SAB to reopen a NACI for issue resolution of A, B, or C issues (original, upgrades, or conversions). The agency should submit a written request to reopen the case and show what issues need to be resolved. Include the name and telephone number of the requesting official and copies of pertinent documents. If appropriate coverage or issue resolution is absent from a background investigation, the case should be discussed with OPM-FIS Systems Access Support Team at (724) 794-5612, extension 4600. SAST will determine if the requested information was within the scope of the requested investigation and should have been covered or if an upgrade investigation or Reimbursable Suitability/Security Investigation (RSI) is needed to obtain the information.
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  • Not necessarily. Any negative information is evaluated regarding its recency, seriousness, relevance to the position and duties, and in light of, and in relationship to, all other information about you.
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  • Relatives sometimes influence the actions of family members. We need to determine if you could be exploited by threats or pressure against your relatives or if they themselves could exert pressure against you.
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  • It is a requirement of a background investigation, and actual employment, that your current employer be contacted. We must verify your employment data and make other inquiries concerning your background. If you are a Federal employee or contractor, for example, it may be that your current employer needs you to have a security clearance for the work you do. In other instances, you are asked to complete the investigative form for an investigation and clearance only after a conditional offer of employment has been made for a position requiring a security clearance.
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  • Under the provisions of 5 CFR parts 731 and 732, agencies are required to report their final adjudicative actions to OPM. Per 5 CFR 731.203(g), all actions based on an OPM investigation must be reported to OPM as soon as possible and in no event later than 90 days after receipt of the final report of investigation. The INV FORM 79A is included with closed OPM Reports of Investigation for this purpose. Agencies should follow the instructions provided on the form and return it to OPM within 90 days after receipt of the final report of investigation. In some cases, agencies will also be asked to contact OPM to coordinate adjudication. Occasionally, the agency may be contacted by SAB if OPM decides to assume jurisdiction and adjudicate the case.
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  • The only persons authorized to see your personal information are Personnel Security, Suitability, and Investigations professionals who have been investigated at the appropriate level and who have a genuine and demonstrated need for access to the information.
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  • An individual's failure to register with the Selective Service is considered an issue of eligibility for appointment, and agencies should follow the guidance provided in 5 CFR 300.701-707 when considering such individuals for appointment. Questions may be directed to the Human Capital Leadership and Merit System Accountability Division at (202) 606-2131, or you may write to: U.S. Office of Personnel Management Human Capital Leadership and Merit System Accountability Division 1900 E Street NW, Room 7470 Washington, DC 20415
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