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Date: March 6, 1998
On September 30, 1997, amendments to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) (15 U.S.C. ï¿½ 1681, et seq.) became effective as a result of the Consumer Credit Reporting Reform Act of 1996. The amendments require changes on the part of the users of consumer reports and providers of information to consumer reporting agencies. These changes impact on OPM-IS as the provider of investigative services to other Federal agencies, and on our customer agencies as the final users of credit information gathered as a result of OPM's investigations.
Most notably, Section 1681b of title 15 addresses permissible purposes for which consumer reports may be furnished and conditions for furnishing and using consumer reports for employment purposes. If an a enc. intends to use a consumer report for employment purposes, Subsection 1681b (b) (2) of title 15 requires that the applicant/employee be notified in a document consisting solely of the notice that a consumer report may be used, and the applicant/employee must authorize this use in writing before the consumer report is obtained. Subsection 1681b (b)(3) of title 15 requires that, before taking adverse action relative to an employment decision based on a consumer report, the agency must provide the consumer with a copy of the report, and a copy of the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) Consumer Rights Notice.
The notice, disclosure, certification and adverse action requirements of the FCRA do not directly apply to OPM-IS in its role as the provider of investigative services to other requesting Federal agencies. However, we do obtain credit reports on behalf of other Federal agencies, and will require those Federal agencies to certify that they are the procurer of the credit report and that they are compliant with the FCRA's relevant provisions. We are, therefore, sending under separate cover a request to each agency for a one-time blanket certification to this effect, to be completed and returned to OPM-IS no later than May 1, 1998.
We will ask that the certification acknowledge that the requesting Federal agency is the procurer of the credit report for purposes of compliance with the FCRA. We will also ask that the requesting Federal agency certify that it is compliant with all relevant provisions of the FCRA. This certification should include certification that the agency will (a) clearly and conspicuously disclose to the subject of investigation, in a written document consisting solely of the disclosure, that the agency may obtain a credit report for employment purposes; and (b) obtain the subject's written authorization to obtain the credit report. It will also state that the agency will not take adverse action against the subject of investigation, based in whole or in part upon the credit report, without first providing the subject a copy of the report and a written description of the subject's rights as described by the FTC under Section 1681g(c)(3) of title 15. Finally, the certification must state that the requesting Federal agency will not use any information from the consumer report in violation of any applicable equal employment opportunity law or regulation.
A sample release for obtaining written authorization from each affected applicant/employee, as well as a copy of the FTC's Consumer Rights Notice are attached for your information and may be reproduced as necessary. You can obtain additional information regarding the FCRA at the Federal Trade Commission's Internet web site (http://www.ftc.gov).
Richard A. Ferris Associate Director for Investigations
Inquiries: OPM-IS, Oversight and Technical Assistance Division, 202-606-1042 OPM-FIPC, Contract Management Branch, 724-794-5612
Code: 736, Investigations
Notice Expires: When superseded
Fair Credit Reporting Act of 1970, as amended
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE THAT ONE OR MORE CONSUMER CREDIT REPORTS MAY BE OBTAINED FOR EMPLOYMENT PURPOSES PURSUANT TO THE FAIR CREDIT REPORTING ACT, AS AMENDED, 15 U. S. C., ï¿½1681, ET SEQ. SHOULD A DECISION TO TAKE ANY ADVERSE ACTION AGAINST YOU BE MADE, BASED EITHER IN WHOLE OR IN PART ON THE CONSUMER CREDIT REPORT, THE CONSUMER REPORTING AGENCY THAT PROVIDED THE REPORT PLAYED NO ROLE IN THE AGENCY'S DECISION TO TAKE SUCH ADVERSE ACTION.
Information provided by you on this form will be furnished to the consumer reporting agency in order to obtain information in connection with an investigation to determine your (1) fitness for Federal employment, (2) clearance to perform contractual service for the Federal Government, and/or (3) security clearance or access. The information obtained may be redisclosed to other Federal agencies for the above purposes and in fulfillment of official responsibilities to the extent that such disclosure is permitted by law.
I hereby authorize the _____________________________ to obtain such report(s) from any (Name of Requesting Agency) consumer/credit reporting agency for employment purposes.
Your Social Security Number is needed to keep records accurate, because other people may have the same name. Executive Order 9397 also asks Federal agencies to use this number to help identify individuals in agency records.
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The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is designed to promote accuracy, fairness, and privacy of information in the files of every "consumer reporting agency" (CRA). Most CRAs are credit bureaus that gather and sell information about you -- such as if you pay your bills on time or have filed bankruptcy -- to creditors, employers, landlords, and other businesses. You can find the complete text of the FCRA, 15 U.S. C. 1681-168 1 u, at the Federal Trade Commission's web site http:www.FTC.GOV. The FCRA gives you specific rights, as outlined below. You may have additional rights under state law. You may contact a state or local consumer protection agency or a state attorney general to learn those rights.
The FCRA gives several different federal agencies authority to enforce the FCRA:
CRA's creditors and others not listed below
Federal Trade Commission Consumer Response Center-FCRA Washington , DC 20580 202-326-3761
National banks, Federal branches/agencies of foreign banks (word "National" or initials "N.A" appear in or after banks name)
Office of the Comptroller of the Currency Compliance Management Mail Stop 6-6 Washington , DC 20219 800-613-6743
Federal Reserve System member banks (except national banks, and Federal branches/agencies of foreign banks)
Federal Reserve Board Division of Consumer & Community Affairs Washington, DC 20551 202-452-3693
Savings associations and federally chartered savings banks (word "Federal or initials "F.S.B." appear in federal institutions name"
Office of Thrift Supervision Consumer Programs Washington, DC 20552 800-842-6929
Federal credit unions (words "Federal Credit Union" appear in institution's name)
National Credit Union Administration 1775 Duke Street Alexandria VA 22314 703-518-6360
State chartered banks that are not members of the Federal Reserve System
Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Div. of Compliance & Consumer Affairs Washington, DC 20429 202-934-FDIC
Air, surface, or rail common carriers regulated by former Civil Aeronautics Board of Interstate Commerce Commission
Department of Transportation Office of Financial Management Washington, DC 20590 202-366-1306
Activities subject to the Packers and Stockyards Act, 1921
Department of the Agriculture Office of Deputy Administrator-GIPSA Washington, DC 20250 202-720-7051