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Personnel Background Investigations. Introduction The interests of the national security require that all persons privileged to be employed in the departments.

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Presentation on theme: "Personnel Background Investigations. Introduction The interests of the national security require that all persons privileged to be employed in the departments."— Presentation transcript:

1 Personnel Background Investigations

2 Introduction The interests of the national security require that all persons privileged to be employed in the departments and agencies of the government shall be reliable, trustworthy, of good conduct and character, and of complete and unswerving loyalty to the United States.

3 Introduction The appointment of each civilian employee in any department or agency of the government is subject to investigation. The scope of the investigation will vary, depending on the nature of the position and the degree of harm that an individual in that position could cause.

4 Timing of Investigations Investigations should be initiated before appointment or, at most, within 14 calendar days of placement in the position. If, at any time, it is determined that a required investigation has never been conducted for the initial appointment, the appropriate required investigation must be conducted.

5 Risk Designation System The risk designation system establishes what type of investigation is required and how closely an individual is screened for a position.

6 Risk Designation System As the level of authority and responsibility of a position become greater, character and conduct become more significant in deciding whether employment or continued employment would protect the integrity and promote the efficiency of the Federal service.

7 Designating Position Risk The agency determines the degree of risk that a position poses to the agency or program. Agencies are responsible for designating each competitive service position based on the documented duties and responsibilities of the position.

8 Position Risk Each position will be designated at the low, moderate or high risk level depending on the positions potential for adverse impact to the integrity and efficiency of the service (5 CFR ).

9 Position Risk The minimum level of investigation required for entry into the Federal service is the National Agency Check and Inquiry (NACI) investigation. Positions at the High and Moderate risk levels are referred to as Public Trust positions.

10 Investigative Requirements The following are the required minimum levels: Low Risk – National Agency Check with Inquiries Moderate Risk Minimum Background Investigation High Risk Background Investigation

11 Low Risk Positions that involve duties and responsibilities with limited impact on the integrity and efficiency of the service. Investigation coverage Employment, education, law – 5 years Residence – 3 years References

12 Moderate Risk Positions with the potential for moderate to serious impact on the integrity and efficiency of the service. Investigation coverage Personal Interview Residence – 3 years Employment, Education, Law – 5 years Credit – 7 years References

13 High Risk Positions that have the potential for exceptionally serious impact involving duties especially critical to the agency. Investigation coverage Personal Interview Residence – 3 years Employment, education, law, court records – 5 years Credit – 7 years References

14 Change in Position All employees moving to a new position at a higher risk level than the risk level of the position they left must meet the investigative requirements of the new position.

15 Reinvestigations Low Risk No reinvestigation requirement. Moderate Risk. Only applicable to police officer positions and conducted every 5 years. High Risk Conducted every 5 years.

16 Re-employment If there are no suitability issues, and there has not been a break in service of longer than 24 months, a new investigation is not necessary unless it is required because of a higher risk level.

17 Suitability Suitability refers to identifiable character traits and conduct sufficient to decide whether an individual is likely or not likely to be able to carry out the duties of a Federal job with appropriate integrity, efficiency, and effectiveness.

18 Suitability Suitability is distinguishable from a persons ability to fulfill the qualification requirements of a job, as measured by experience, education, knowledge, and skills.

19 Suitability Each issue discovered during the investigation is assigned one of four rankings based on its seriousness and potential as a basis for disqualification. A = minor B = moderate C = substantial D = major

20 Suitability Factors Any of the following factors may be considered a basis for finding an individual unsuitable. Misconduct or negligence in employment Criminal or dishonest conduct Material, intentional false statement or deception or fraud in examination or appointment Refusal to furnish testimony as required

21 Suitability Factors Alcohol abuse of a nature and duration which suggests that the applicant or appointee would be prevented from performing the duties of the position in question or would constitute a direct threat to the property or safety of others Illegal use of narcotics, drugs, or other controlled substances Knowing and willful engagement in acts or activities designed to overthrow the U.S. government by force

22 Adjudication A process that requires an examination of a sufficient amount of information regarding an individual to determine whether the individual is suitable for federal employment.

23 Adjudication The initial task of the Adjudicator is to determine whether the conduct or issues in a case are potentially actionable. Each case is evaluated on its own merits with reference to impact on the integrity and efficiency of the service.

24 Adjudication The objective of the suitability Adjudicator is to establish a reasonable expectation that employment or continued employment of the person either would or would not protect the integrity and promote the efficiency of the service.

25 Adjudication When there is reasonable expectation that a person's employment would not promote the efficiency and effectiveness of the service, the person must be found unsuitable.

26 Adjudication This expectation is established when an adverse nexus or connection can be shown between the conduct in question and the efficient service of the person or others.

27 Adjudication OPM has identified individual issues and characterized each according to seriousness and its potential as a basis for disqualification.

28 Adjudication The OPM system is intended to provide objectivity and consistency in adjudicative decisions, but each case must be judged on its own merits.

29 Adjudication Basic suitability adjudication is the primary level of adjudication and involves an assessment of conduct as it impacts on a person's suitability for any position in the government. It involves adjudication of issues in and of themselves.

30 Position Risk Adjudication Conduct not disqualifying for suitability at the Basic Suitability Adjudication level may be disqualifying when adjudicated in terms of the public trust risk level of the position. The higher the level of public trust, the more serious an issue becomes.

31 Position Risk Adjudication This process involves upgrading the seriousness of issues to reflect the greater potential for damage at a higher risk level.

32 POSITION PERFORMANCE ADJUDICATION After basic suitability and position risk, the next step in the adjudicative process is Position Performance Adjudication (Nexus).

33 POSITION PERFORMANCE ADJUDICATION This process involves an assessment of the present or potential impact of the conduct or issues on the person's efficient service in the position.

34 Adjudication Authority OPM retains adjudicative authority when there is evidence of: Material, intentional false statement or deception or fraud in examination or appointment Refusal to furnish testimony as required Any serious issue case in which OPM determines an across agency debarment is warranted.

35 Adjudication Authority The VA Security and Investigations Center adjudicates all moderate and high risk investigations for appointees and all contractor positions within the VA. Local HR offices adjudicate all low risk employee positions.

36 Suitability Actions A suitability action includes one or more of the following: Cancellation of eligibilities Debarment Removal Other adverse action

37 Personal Information The only persons authorized to see the personal information provided on investigative forms are Administrative, Human Resource, Personnel Security, Suitability, and/or Investigations professionals who have been investigated at the appropriate level and who have a genuine and demonstrated need for access to the information.

38 Personal Information Investigative results will only be available to personnel security, suitability, and Investigations professionals and HR officials who have been investigated at the appropriate level and who have a genuine and demonstrated need for access to the information.

39 Employee Responsibilities The background investigation is a job requirement (under 5 CFR 731 or 732). Providing the information is voluntary, but if you choose not to provide the required information, you will not meet the requirements of the position and will not be further considered. If already employed, the appointment will be terminated.

40 Employee Responsibilities Applicants, appointees, and employees are required by 5 CFR 5.4 to furnish information and materials to OPM or its representatives when required to carry out a suitability program responsibility.

41 Employee Responsibilities Employees may be contacted during the adjudication process to provide clarification or to attempt to resolve issues discovered during the investigation.

42 Employee Responsibilities Full cooperation is essential in every step of the background investigation process. Questions regarding the process can be directed to your local HR office or the Security and Investigations Center.


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