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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.
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Designated agency officials can request copies of OPM conducted background investigations for use in making determinations concerning whether an individual is suitable or fit for Government employment; eligible for logical and physical access to federally controlled facilities and information systems; eligible to hold a sensitive position (including but not limited to eligibility for access to classified information); fit to perform work for or on behalf of the Government as a contractor employee; qualified for Government service; qualified to perform contractual services for the Government; and loyal to the United States. This is considered a pre-placement file release request.
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When proposing adverse action, agencies may provide subjects with excerpts or summaries of the information contained in the OPM Report of Investigation, but not with a complete copy of the investigation itself. The agency may not release the following information:
When a subject of an investigation is entitled to a copy of the materials relied upon and he/she has made such a request to the agency, in relation to the adjudicative process, then the OPM-FIS FOI/PA office can provide a sanitized copy of an OPM background investigation to the agency for release to the subject. The agency's request should be on letterhead and reference the investigation is needed for adjudicative purposes/procedures.
The request can be sent to the OPM-FIS FOI/PA office via one of the below methods:
When not in use, personnel investigations must be stored in a combination locked-cabinet or safe, or in an equally secure area. Access to the cases should be limited only to the Security Officer and approved staff, who shall not have access to their own files.
If an OPM-FIS conducted background investigation is contained within a security and/or adjudication file at the agency, then agencies are permitted to retain the investigation as long as they deem necessary but not to exceed OPM's published retention.
B(7) of the Privacy Act reads: No agency shall disclose any record which is contained in a system of records by any means of communication to any person, or to another agency, except pursuant to a written request by, or with the prior written consent of, the individual to whom the record pertains, unless disclosure of the record would be --- to another agency or to an instrumentality of any governmental jurisdiction within or under the control of the United States for a civil or criminal law enforcement activity if the activity is authorized by law, and if the head of the agency or instrumentality has made a written request to the agency which maintains the record specifying the particular portion desired and the law enforcement activity for which the record is sought
A written request on agency letterhead should be submitted by the agency head or the head of the instrumentality making the request (not the individual agent). If the request is made pursuant to B(7) of the Privacy Act, as defined above, then this should be noted in the request. The request letter must include:
The request can be sent to OPM-FIS FOI/PA office via one of the below methods: