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Human Resources and Security Specialists should use this tool to determine the correct investigation level for any covered position within the U.S. Federal Government.
The U.S. Office of Personnel Management's Federal Investigative Services (OPM-FIS) conducts background investigations on Federal applicants, employees, military members and contractor personnel for suitability and security purposes. Copies of the investigations may be released under the Freedom of Information Act and/or Privacy Act and in accordance with a routine uses identified in OPM-FIS's systems notice.
The system of records maintained by OPM-FIS includes investigative information regarding an individual's:
The purpose of the Privacy Act (FOI/PA) is to regulate the collection, maintenance, use, and dissemination of personal information by Federal Executive Branch agencies. Generally speaking, the Act prohibits the disclosure of records contained in a system of records without the written request or consent of the individual to whom the records pertain, unless a condition of disclosure is met or the release is covered by a routine use of the System of Records Notice (SORN) for the system.
Background investigations are maintained in the OPM Personnel Investigations Records System, covered by the OPM/Central-9 SORN.
The OPM-FIS Freedom of Information and Privacy Act (FOI/PA) offices supports individual privacy rights in regard to the collection and re-dissemination of all information gathered during the investigative process. OPM-FIS maintains a record of all background investigations which is governed by systems notice, OPM-Central 9, as published in the Federal Register. Dissemination of OPM-FIS background investigations is done in accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974 [5 U.S. Code 552(a)] and Privacy Procedures for Personnel Records [5 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 297].
The primary duties of the FOI/PA office include:
This Act gives you the right to request access to federal agency records or information. All U.S. government agencies are required to disclose agency records to the public unless the records are protected by one or more of the FOIA's nine exemptions or three exclusions. The nine exemption categories that authorize government agencies to withhold information are:
This Act requires that certain records be made available without requiring a FOIA request. Such records include:
This information can be found in the OPM Electronic FOIA Reading Room.
Please see 5 CFR 294 for additional information regarding OPM's regulations for the Availability of Official Information.
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