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Background Investigations Federal Investigations Notices

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Letter No. 00-03

OPM Implementation of Fingerprint Transaction System

Date: March 13, 2000

In July, the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services Division (CJIS) implemented the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS). OPM has been developing a Fingerprint Transaction System (FTS) that will allow all of our customers to take advantage of the enhancements IAFIS offers. When fully implemented, the FTS will allow our customers to submit HardCard, CardScan, and LiveScan prints through OPM to the IAFIS.

On November 29, 1999, OPM began to transmit all HardCard submissions to IAFIS through our FTS. This immediately enhanced the timeliness of the fingerprint results we receive from CJIS. By mid-February, we had processed 92,000 prints through our FTS. We are receiving results within 5 days on 98% of our submissions, with an average timeliness of 11 hours and 7 minutes. Responses include an electronic "rap sheet" in instances where a record was found. The "unclassifiable rat" has dropped from 10% to 5.1 %. Our FTS eliminates all mailing of fingerprint cards to CJIS and potential delays at the CJIS Scan Center.

There will be some changes to the way the result of the fingerprint-based criminal history check is shown on the Case Closing Transmittal. Classifiable fingerprints, processed through the FTS, will be listed as a single Item on the Case Closing Transmittal. We will show the results as either CLASSIFIABLE RECORD, or CLASSIFIABLE NO RECORD. If the fingerprints are unclassifiable, we will list two items: one item recording the result of the classification as UNCLASSIFIABLE, and one item reflecting the result of the associated name check.

The way agencies receive unclassifiable print results will also change. OPM will no longer return unclassifiable prints to the agency. In the past, the FBI marked the cards to show what caused the print to be unclassifiable. Since we are only forwarding the image and not the actual card to the FBI, they will not have the original fingerprint card to mark. OPM will now send only the "Notification of Unclassifiable Prints" form for those investigations requiring a second submission to meet OPM standards.

We are working on the next phase of our FTS. This phase deals with our system processing LiveScan images/data from sending units. Our FTS now has the ability to receive images/demographic data from LiveScan sending units. The OPM system is designed to accept electronic submissions from any FBI-approved Livescan units configured for electronic transmission to OPM. Federal Investigations Notice 00-04 deals with specifics concerning electronic submissions to the FTS, including technical and testing requirements.

If you have any questions concerning OPM's FTS, the change in the Case Closing Transmittal, or unclassifiable print process, please contact our Program Services Office on 724-794-5612. We can also answer any questions you may have about which submission form (HardCard, LiveScan, or CardScan) may be best for your needs.

Richard A. Ferris
Associate Director for Investigations

Inquiries: OPM-IS, Oversight and Technical Assistance Division, 202-606-1042
OPM-FIPC, Program Services Office, 724-794-5612

Code: 736, Investigations

Distribution: SONs/SOIs

Letter Expires: Until Superseded

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