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Notice No. 04-02

Subject: Questions and Answers Concerning the Submission of Electronic Fingerprints

Date: May 18, 2004

Since March 2000, the Office of Personnel Management's Center for Federal Investigative Services (OPM-CFIS) has offered our customers the ability to electronically transmit fingerprints to our Fingerprint Transaction System (FTS). There are over two hundred Submitting Office locations transmitting digitized fingerprints to the CFIS. This Federal Investigations Notice is intended to answer many of the frequently asked questions about electronic fingerprint submissions to OPM-CFIS and how your office can participate.

Q: How do I get started?

A: You will need to select a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) certified equipment vendor. This information can be found at the FBI web page: http://www.fbi.gov/hq/cjisd/iafis/cert.htm .

After procuring the equipment, you will need to contact the OPM-CFIS to initiate connectivity to OPM's Fingerprint Transaction System (FTS). The FTS requires that your equipment transmit unique Submitting Office Number (SON), Security Officer Identifier (SOI), and On-Line Payment and Collection/Agency Locator Code (OPAC/ALC) information to OPM. Your vendor will need to configure your equipment and test it with OPM before your agency will be able to transmit fingerprints to the FTS. OPM has developed an automated test system for vendors to use in this process.

There are two points of contact at OPM-CFIS to initiate connectivity and to obtain your unique agency identifiers:

Randy DeMichiei (Primary) 724-794-5612 ext.495

Randy.Demichiei@opm.gov

Melissa Catterall (Back-up) 724-794-5612 ext.258

Melissa.Catterall@opm.gov

Provide this information to your vendor to configure the machine. Instruct your vendor to contact OPM's Office of Chief Information Officer (OPM-OCIO) IT staff in Boyers, Pennsylvania, to set up a test account and complete the required testing. The Help Line number is 724-794-5612 ext. 7600. There are two points of contact at this number for the testing:

Amy Wilkerson or David Bohin

After successful testing, the vendor will be given a unique user name and password to access the production system. You will then be able to send live submissions to our FTS.

Note: After your equipment is connected to the OPM production system, you must never send test submissions to our FTS. If you do, we will process these to the FBI as genuine submissions, and your agency will be billed. Test submissions can be sent to the OPM test system at any time.

Q: What happens after the prints are sent to OPM?

A: Once your electronic fingerprint request has been received, you may be contacted regarding subject or agency information that you provided, just as you may be with any other investigation. For example, if information is missing, improperly formatted, or discrepant with our records, it must be provided or clarified in order to process your request. Failure to respond will cause delays in processing.

Information can be altered without affecting the results of your request. If you have inadvertently submitted incorrect or incomplete information, please call our Corrections Technicians at 724-794-5612 to have the information corrected. Generally, under these circumstances, there should be no need to resubmit the request.

Q: How soon should I receive results?

A: The average time required to complete electronically submitted requests is about 3 to 5 days. (If you have not received results within one week, follow the steps described in our answer to the next question.)

Q: What if I do not receive fingerprint results?

A: Before resubmitting a fingerprint request for which you have not received results, you should take the following steps:

  • Be sure your request was submitted to OPM with the correct agency information (SON and SOI) for your office;
  • Be sure your office has not already been contacted by OPM for information regarding that request (such as for subject or agency identifiers); and
  • Call OPM's Telephone Liaison Staff at 724-794-5228 to verify receipt of your original request. If the investigation was already received and processed for your agency, new case closing documentation can be forwarded to your security office.

Resubmission of fingerprints when OPM has already received your request may cause delays in processing; moreover, OPM will bill you for every request.

Q: What if the subject information on my fingerprint Case Closing Transmittal (CCT) is incorrect?

A: Always review the CCT upon receipt to ensure that the information is correct. If information is incorrect, you can be issued new closing documents without having to resubmit another request. Notify OPM's Corrections Technicians at 724-794-5612 to have this information corrected and a new CCT generated.

Q: If my results are Unclassifiable, how do I submit a new set of prints?

A: A fingerprint result of "Unclassifiable" means that, based on the fingerprints provided, the FBI was unable to determine whether or not the Subject has an arrest record. For example, this could be due to unclear or smudged prints, missing prints with no explanation, etc.

In the event you receive an unclassifiable result, OPM will process another submission from your agency, free of charge. You may resubmit these prints electronically or hard-copy, regardless of how the print was originally submitted.

You must have the case number from the original Fingerprint-Only Special Agreement Check (SAC) in order to avoid being charged for a new request. This number can be found in the upper left-hand corner of your Case Closing Transmittal.

For Hard Copy Resubmissions:

  • Write the original Case Number and the word REPRINT in either of the "Leave Blank" blocks of the new fingerprint card;
  • Attach a copy of the original Case Closing Transmittal to the new fingerprint card; and
  • Mail the documents to:

OPM-FIPC
Files and Control Branch
P.O. Box 618
1137 Branchton Road
Boyers, PA 16018-0618

For Electronic Resubmissions:

  • Enter the original 8 digit OPM Case Serial Number in the OCA field of your machine to have your request processed free of charge. The OCA field is the EFTS Field Number 2.009.

Only one reprint can be processed for each subject request previously processed and billed. If you receive an unclassifiable result on a reprint and want to process another submission, it must be sent as a new request.

Q: How will I receive reprint results?

A: All of the Case Closing Transmittals for reprint requests are mailed as hardcopy results. This CCT will show the original case number and closing date with a recent CCT print date. The FBIF item will show "REPRINT" under the Identification/Location heading along with the results from the second set of fingerprints processed.

Q: How do I code my case papers if I have already submitted the fingerprint request to OPM?

A: The top of Page 1 on the investigative form (SF85, 85P, 86), above the AGENCY USE ONLY section, contains a block in the center labeled CODES. Legibly print the letter "I" in this block. This code will alert our processing staff that prints have already been submitted. This also instructs our automated processing system to merge the fingerprint result from the SAC into the new investigation.

Q: How does submitting the fingerprints to OPM separately from the case papers affect the results on my CCT?

A: You will receive two Case Closing Transmittals (CCT). You will receive one CCT that will provide only the result of the Fingerprint-Only Special Agreement Check (SAC). At a later date, you will receive a second CCT for the higher level investigation that will include the fingerprint result. Your CCT on the full case will not be different from those you normally receive when submitting hard-copy fingerprints with the case papers.

Q: When should I submit the fingerprints and the case papers to OPM?

A: When submitting the fingerprint separately, OPM should receive the fingerprint request prior to the remaining case papers in order to avoid delays in processing. Submitting them first will eliminate the need for us to contact your office to request the submission of prints. This will also eliminate the possibility of an Incomplete Closing or a case that does not meet OPM Standards. The case papers should be received by OPM no later than 120 days from the date of the fingerprint results.

Q: How does submitting the fingerprints separately affect the billing of the case?

A: Requests are billed as follows:

Hard Copy Prints:

 

$23

Federal Applicants, Employees, and Contractors

$29

Regulatory Purposes

Electronic Prints:

 

$21

Federal Employees and Contractors

$27

Regulatory Purposes

Subsequent submission of case papers with the "I" code (as explained earlier) will have an automatic downward billing adjustment of $16 on the NAC, NACI, NACLC, ANACI, SACI, and SAC case types since the FBI User Fee was paid via the charge for the previous SAC.

If you have any questions, please contact the Customer Service Group in Boyers, Pennsylvania, on 724-794-5612 or in Washington, DC on 202-606-1042.

Kathy L. Dillaman
Deputy Associate Director for Investigations

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