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Background Investigations Federal Investigations Notices

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Notice No. 01-10

Subject: Risk Management When Adjudicating SBI Cases With Pending Items

Date: July 30, 2001

OPM's Investigations Service continues its uninterrupted policies of meeting advertised case timeliness standards and providing high quality investigations that meet all coverage requirements. It is our intention to get accurate, needed information to our customers quickly. To these ends, we sometimes provide investigative case reports to our customers Closed Pending (CP), that is, complete but for information from certain sources over which we have little control. Over the past year, the demands on National Agency record providers have increased substantially. Accordingly, we have seen timeliness for obtaining these required checks worsen. Consequently, upwards of 80% of our premium 35-day cases completed over the past year were initially Closed Pending.

It's our belief that many Closed Pending initial investigations can be adjudicated (and interim or temporary clearances granted) with nominal risk based on the substantive information provided with the Closed Pending package. To quantify the risk, we analyzed 41, 787 items in SBI cases that were not complete when the case was Closed Pending. Here are some significant things we learned from the analysis:

  • There were no issues associated with 82% of these items.
  • Of the 18% pending item types resulting in issues, about 1/3 (36%) showed issues less than 4% of the time.

The pending coverage items that resulted in issues less than 4% of the time included the following. The percentage listed with each item represents the percent that are ultimately completed with issues identified.

  • SPOUSE FBI NAME CHECK - SFBN 3.74%
  • FBI FINGERPRINT NAME CHECK - FBFN 1.60
  • OFFICIAL PERSONNEL FOLDER - OPF 2.42
  • CIA SECURITY - CIAS 1.04
  • CIA SECURITY, SPOUSE - SCIS 0.22
  • NATIONAL GUARD RECORD - NATG 0.32
  • BUREAU OF VITAL STATISTICS - BVS 0.09
  • LEXUS-NEXUS - PERI 0.00
  • STATE SECURITY - STSC 0.00%
  • STATE PASSPORT - STPA 0.31
  • COAST GUARD INDEX - CGIN 0.00
  • FINCEN - FNCN 0.00
  • INS MASTER INDEX - INS 0.00
  • INS SPOUSE, FAMILY - SINS0.00
  • SELECTIVE SERVICE - SESE 0.00

As a statistical highlight giving credence to our belief that an initial investigation closed pending one of these coverage items could receive an interim adjudication within predictable, acceptable risk management levels, these items accounted for only 78 issues in the 41,787 items analyzed - slightly above 0.01%. In addition, only 3 were categorized above the minor (a) issue seriousness level.

If you have questions about this information, or would like to know what cp items are most likely to have issues, please contact the is policy and operations division at (202) 606-1042, or by e-mail at is@opm.gov.

Richard A. Ferris
Associate Director

Inquiries: Investigations Service (202) 606-1042

Code: 736, Investigations

Distribution: All SOIs

Notice expires: July 30, 2002

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