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Frequently Asked Questions Investigations

  • The timeliness of a background investigation depends on the type of investigation conducted. Depending on the type of background investigation, the scope of the investigation may require coverage for specific items.

    The need for a security clearance may affect the time period in which an investigation is completed. Each background investigation requires that certain areas are covered before an investigation is completed.

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  • We talk to as many knowledgeable people as possible to get a balanced, accurate, and comprehensive picture of the person being investigated. Later, you may have an opportunity to refute any misleading or false information that was reported about you.
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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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  • 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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  • No; per 5 CFR 731.101(a), determinations made and actions taken under part 731 are distinct from objections to eligibles or passovers of preference eligibles, and OPM's and agencies' decisions on such requests, made under 5 U.S.C. 3318 and 5 CFR 332.406. The appeal right under 5 CFR part 731 does not extend to any other employment action that an agency takes outside of the procedures set forth in part 731.
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  • Security clearances remain active when there is a demonstrated need for access to classified information.  If you left employment or changed positions, your clearance may no longer be active.  To determine the current status of your security clearance, please contact the agency’s personnel security office that granted your clearance.  If you are a contract employee, your company’s facility security officer may also be able to assist you.
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  • Yes, you can use your personal computer - at home or at the office. e-QIP is designed to be accessible from most computers, anywhere in the world. A browser configuration check will alert you to any incompatibilities with browsers or browser versions before you login to the e-QIP application.
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  • Click the "SAVE" button at the bottom of the page to save your data. Then click the "Log-out" button at the top right-hand side of the screen to exit the system.
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  • Please follow and read all instructions carefully on the screens that are presented to you. You can also reference OPM’s Quick Reference Guide here: http://www.opm.gov/investigations/e-qip-application/#url=65c
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  • e-QIP can only retrieve data previously entered into the e-QIP system. Data from previously completed paper forms or data from other automated systems has not been loaded into this system.
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