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    Background Investigations Federal Investigations Notices

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    Notice No. 02-09

    Subject: Status of Background Investigations

    Date: June 24, 2002

    Over the past year, the Federal personnel security community has faced extraordinary challenges protecting homeland security. Many agencies are adding staff and/or reassessing security clearance requirements and, as a result, the demand for background investigations has risen dramatically.

    OPM Investigations Service is committed to providing quality investigations in a timely, cost effective manner. This largely unpredicted workload increase, however, has impacted on our ability to meet the timeliness standards our customers expect. In addition, many national agency record repositories and law enforcement agencies are also experiencing difficulties adjusting to the sharp increase in record requests, which has also resulted in delays in case processing.

    As we work toward increasing our capacity to meet the national demand, we have found it necessary to prioritize workloads to keep pace with the government's critical hiring needs. Consequently, initial investigations are our first priority. We are staging processing of reinvestigations to ensure that the receipt of each investigation is accounted for, and the National Agency Checks (NAC's) are requested timely. Reinvestigations that require field coverage are experiencing the most extensive delays.

    We recognize that there are initial and reinvestigation requests that are extremely critical to your agency and require expedite handling. To meet that need, we have established a help desk staffed by the Federal OPM/IS staff to take your telephonic or email requests for expedite service for investigations. We ask that you reserve this service for critical-need requests only. The decision to expedite specific investigations must be considered in the context of balancing all of our government's investigative needs.

    Contacting OPM for Status Information and/or to Expedite Investigations:

    For routine status checks on your pending investigations, you should continue to contact our USIS Agency Liaison Assistants on (724) 794-5228.

    Hours of operation for this service are from 7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday.

    To expedite critical-need investigations, please use one of the following options:

    - Email Requests for Expedite Services:

    Please provide full descriptive information on the case subject (Name, Date and Place of Birth, SSN), the basis for your expedite request, your office identity and a contact phone number emailed to: URGENTBI@OPM.GOV

    - OPM/IS Telephone Help Desk for Expediting Background Investigations:

    Phone: (724) 794-5612 extension 554
    Hours of Operation: 7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday

    Note: You may leave voice mail after hours which will be returned the next business day.

    Kathy Dillaman, Acting Associate Director
    for Investigations

    Inquiries: OPM-IS, Contract Management Service (724) 794-5612

    Code: 736, Investigations

    Distribution: SOIs

    Letter expires: May 31, 2003

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