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Frequently Asked Questions Investigations

Suitability Adjudications

  • Agencies are responsible for ensuring that applicants selected for positions are suitable for Federal employment. While it is more practical and cost-effective to initiate a complete suitability investigation after an individual is selected and has accepted a job offer, agencies may choose to begin preliminary suitability determinations for all applicants at any time during the hiring process.
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  • The RSI is not a background or criminal investigation. RSIs are focused investigations to obtain information to resolve issues developed about an individual. An agency may request an RSI when it needs additional investigation to resolve issues that might fall outside the normal scope of another investigation (such as alcohol or drug rehabilitation or credit); to establish a history or pattern of behavior; or to obtain other information related to suitability or security which is not necessarily connected to a current background investigation. The cost of the RSI varies depending on the work to be performed; expedited service is available at an additional cost. A representative of OPM-FIS will contact the agency prior to scheduling the investigation to provide a cost estimate. To initiate an RSI, the agency needs only to submit a letter or memo to OPM-FIS Customer Interface. Customer Interface processes agency requests to reopen investigations and conduct a Reimbursable Suitability Investigation (RSI). Agencies may submit their requests via fax (724) 738-0178, or mail: OPM-FIPC Customer Interface PO BOX 618 1137 Branchton Rd. Boyers, PA 16018-0618 If you have a question about a reopen or RSI, please call the Telephone Liaisons at (724) 794-5228. Reopen or RSI requests must be typed on agency letterhead and contain the following:
    • Security Office Identifier (SOI)
    • Submitting Office Number (SON)
    • Interagency Payment and Collection Code (IPAC)
    • Subject's current location and phone number
    • Clear description of the work being requested in the reopen or RSI
    • Name, phone number, and email address of the individual submitting the request
    For more information about RSIs, see the Federal Investigation Notices, Letter No. 97-2, dated July 29, 1997, and Letter No. 93-4, dated June 14, 1993; or, call SAST (724) 794-5612, extension 4600.
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  • If a material, intentional falsification, or deception or fraud issue is developed during an OPM investigation, we will contact the agency to coordinate the adjudication. We may assume jurisdiction after discussing the case with the agency. If an agency feels an OPM investigation developed a material, intentional falsification, or deception or fraud issue that should have been adjudicated by OPM but was not, it may contact SAB to request a second review of the case.
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  • Agencies must submit requests to OPM for Governmentwide debarment consideration in any case warranting a debarment from all covered positions.3. What should I do if I discover falsification or deception or fraud in examination or appointment is identified? 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 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • The RSI is not a background or criminal investigation. RSIs are focused investigations to obtain information to resolve issues developed about an individual. An agency may request an RSI when it needs additional investigation to resolve issues that might fall outside the normal scope of another investigation (such as alcohol or drug rehabilitation or credit); to establish a history or pattern of behavior; or to obtain other information related to suitability or security which is not necessarily connected to a current background investigation. The cost of the RSI varies depending on the work to be performed; expedited service is available at an additional cost. A representative of OPM-FIS will contact the agency prior to scheduling the investigation to provide a cost estimate. To initiate an RSI, the agency needs only to submit a letter or memo to OPM-FIS Customer Interface. Customer Interface processes agency requests to reopen investigations and conduct a Reimbursable Suitability Investigation (RSI). Agencies may submit their requests via fax (724) 738-0178, or mail: OPM-FIPC Customer Interface PO BOX 618 1137 Branchton Rd. Boyers, PA 16018-0618 If you have a question about a reopen or RSI, please call the Telephone Liaisons at (724) 794-5228. Reopen or RSI requests must be typed on agency letterhead and contain the following:
    • Security Office Identifier (SOI)
    • Submitting Office Number (SON)
    • Interagency Payment and Collection Code (IPAC)
    • Subject's current location and phone number
    • Clear description of the work being requested in the reopen or RSI
    • Name, phone number, and email address of the individual submitting the request
    For more information about RSIs, see the Federal Investigation Notices, Letter No. 97-2, dated July 29, 1997, and Letter No. 93-4, dated June 14, 1993; or, call SAST (724) 794-5612, extension 4600.
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