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Background Investigations Federal Investigations Notices

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Notice No. 02-10

Subject: : Extension of Deadline to Fully Implement Revised 5 CFR 731 Suitability Regulations

Date: September 10, 2002

This notice pertains only to agency personnel responsible for adjudicating suitability for civilian competitive service applications and appointments.It does not apply to military service, contractors or excepted service appointments.In December 2000, OPM issued revised regulations covering suitability adjudication for competitiveservice positions (Federal Register, Volume 65, Number 250, Pages 82239-82246.)We informed agencies we were giving them up to one year to train personnel and modify their existing suitability adjudication program to accommodate their increased applicant suitability authority.We also said we would continue to accept applicant suitability referrals from agencies during this period.Since then, we have extended this �grace period� twice.The most recent extension was to expire on September 30, 2002.However, we have decided to extend this deadline again until further notice.

Agencies are not precluded from adjudicating suitability cases under the provisions of 5 CFR 731, if they desire to do so.However, this extension permits agencies to continue to submit applicant suitability referrals to us for adjudication.The extension is necessary because we recently proposed changes to the suitability procedures in 5 CFR 731 and the objection/passover procedures in 5 CFR 332.Both proposed regulations will be published in the Federal Register for comment in the near future and impact on the procedures agencies will use when suitability issues arise. Once the regulations have been finalized, we will give agencies advance notice of a final implementation date to assume full responsibility for the delegated adjudicative responsibilities outlined in 5 CFR 731.

Our publication of a Suitability Processing Handbook containing supplemental guidance to the suitability regulations is pending finalization of these regulations.Meanwhile, if you attended suitability training provided by OPM or the USDAGraduateSchool in the last two years, the training materials you received provide adequate procedural guidance to supplement the current regulations.If you have a need for suitability training, you may contactthe USDAGraduateSchool at (202) 314-3683 or consult their web site.

For further information, please contact:

Investigations Service Headquarters, Washington, DC:

Security Appraisal Officers: (202) 606-1042

For general questions about suitability, you may also contact the Federal Investigations Processing Center (FIPC), Suitability Adjudication Services (SAS), Boyers, PA:

Kim Truckley, Lead Suitability Specialist: (724) 794-5612, ext. 244; Kim.Truckley@opm.gov

Carol Means, Lead Suitability Specialist: (724) 794-5612, ext. 187; Carol.Means@opm.gov

Kathy Dillaman, Acting Associate Director
for Investigations

Inquiries: >OPM-IS, Appraisal Officers, 202-606-1042

Code: 731

Distribution: SONs/SOIs

Letter expires:

August 26, 2003

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