32 CFR 154.8 - Types and scope of personnel security investigations.
(a) General. The types of personnel security investigations authorized below vary in scope of investigative effort required to meet the purpose of the particular investigation. No other types are authorized. The scope of a PSI may be neither raised nor lowered without the approval of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy.
(b) National Agency Check. Essentially, a NAC is a records check of designated agencies of the Federal Government that maintain record systems containing information relevant to making a personnel security determination. An ENTNAC is a NAC (scope as outlined in paragraph 1, Appendix A) conducted on inductees and first-term enlistees, but lacking a technical fingerprint search. A NAC is also an integral part of each BI, SBI, and Periodic Reinvestigation (PR). Subpart C prescribes when an NAC is required.
(c) National Agency Check plus written inquiries. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) conducts a NAC plus Written Inquiries (NACIs) on civilian employees for all departments and agencies of the Federal Government, pursuant to E.O. 10450. NACIs are considered to meet the investigative requirements of this regulation for a nonsensitive or noncritical sensitive position and/or up to a Secret clearance and, in addition to the NAC, include coverage of law enforcement agencies, former employers and supervisors, references, and schools covering the last 5 years.
(d) DoD National Agency check plus written inquiries. DIS will conduct a DNACI, consisting of the scope contained in paragraph 2, Appendix A, for DoD military and contractor personnel for access to Secret information. Subpart C prescribes when a DNACI is required.
(e) Background investigation. The BI is the principal type of investigation conducted when an individual requires Top Secret clearance or is to be assigned to a critical sensitive position. The BI normally covers a 5-year period and consists of a subject interview, NAC, LACs, credit checks, developed character references (3), employment records checks, employment references (3), and select scoping as required to resolve unfavorable or questionable information. (See paragraph 3, Appendix A). Subpart C prescribes when a BI is required.
(f) Special background investigation. (1) An SBI is essentially a BI providing additional coverage both in period of time as well as sources of information, scoped in accordance with the provisions of DCID 1/14 but without the personal interview. While the kind of coverage provided for by the SBI determines eligibility for access to SCI, DoD has adopted this coverage for certain other Special Access programs. Subpart C prescribes when an SBI is required.
(2) The OPM, FBI, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Secret Service, and the Department of State conduct specially scoped BIs under the provisions of DCID 1/14. Any investigation conducted by one of the above-cited agencies under DCID 1/14 standards is considered to meet the SBI investigative requirements of this part.
(3) The detailed scope of an SBI is set forth in paragraph 4, Appendix A.
(g) Special investigative inquiry. (1) A Special Investigative Inquiry is a personnel security investigation conducted to prove or disprove allegations relating to the criteria outlined in § 154.7(a) of this part except current criminal activities (see § 154.9(c)(4)), that have arisen concerning an individual upon whom a personnel security determination has been previously made and who, at the time of the allegation, holds a security clearance or otherwise occupies a position that requires a trustworthiness determination.
(2) Special Investigative Inquiries are scoped as necessary to address the specific matters requiring resolution in the case concerned and generally consist of record checks and/or interviews with potentially knowledgeable persons. An SII may include an interview with the subject of the investigation when necessary to resolve conflicting information and/or to provide an opportunity to refute or mitigate adverse information.
(3) In those cases when there is a disagreement between Defense Investigative Service (DIS) and the requester as to the appropriate scope of the investigation, the matter may be referred to the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy for resolution.
(h) Periodic reinvestigation. As referred to in § 154.19(a) and other national directives, certain categories of duties, clearance, and access require the conduct of a PR every five years according to the scope outlined in paragraph 5, Appendix A. The PR scope applies to military, civilian, contractor, and foreign national personnel.
(i) Personal interview. Investigative experience over the years has demonstrated that, given normal circumstances, the subject of a personnel security investigation is the best source of accurate and relevant information concerning the matters under consideration. Further, restrictions imposed by the Privacy Act of 1974 dictate that Federal investigative agencies collect information to the greatest extent practicable directly from the subject when the information may result in adverse determinations about an individual's rights, benefits, and privileges under Federal programs. Accordingly, personal interviews are an integral part of the DoD personnel security program and shall be conducted in accordance with the requirements set forth in the following paragraphs of this section.
(1) BI/PR. A personal interview shall be conducted by a trained DIS agent as part of each BI and PR.
(2) Resolving adverse information. A personal interview of the subject shall be conducted by a DIS agent (or, when authorized, by investigative personnel of other DoD investigative organizations designated in this Regulation to conduct personnel security investigations), when necessary, as part of each Special Investigative Inquiry, as well as during the course of initial or expanded investigations, to resolve or clarify any information which may impugn the subject's moral character, threaten the subject's future Federal employment, raise the question of subject's security clearability, or be otherwise stigmatizing.
(3) Hostage situation. A personal interview shall be conducted by a DIS agent (or, when authorized, by investigative personnel of other DoD investigative organizations designated in this Regulation to conduct personnel security investigations) in those instances in which an individual has immediate family members or other persons bound by ties of affection or obligation who reside in a nation whose interests are inimical to the interests of the United States. (See § 154.9(d).
(4) Applicants/potential nominees for DoD military or civilian positions requiring access to SCI or other positions requiring an SBI. A personal interview of the individual concerned shall be conducted, to the extent feasible, as part of the selection process for applicants/potential nominees for positions requiring access to SCI or completion of an SBI. The interview shall be conducted by a designee of the Component to which the applicant or potential nominee is assigned. Clerical personnel are not authorized to conduct these interviews. Such interviews shall be conducted utilizing resources in the order of priority indicated below:
(i) Existing personnel security screening systems (e.g., Air Force Assessment Screening Program, Naval Security Group Personnel Security Interview Program, U.S. Army Personnel Security Screening Program); or
(ii) Commander of the nominating organization or such official as he or she has designated in writing (e.g., Deputy Commander, Executive Officer, Security Officer, Security Manager, S-2, Counterintelligence Specialist, Personnel Security Specialist, or Personnel Officer); or
(iii) Agents of investigative agencies in direct support of the Component concerned.
(5) Administrative procedures. (i) The personal interview required by paragraph (i)(4) of this section shall be conducted in accordance with Appendix F.
(ii) For those investigations requested subsequent to the personal interview requirements of paragraph (i)(4) of this section the following procedures apply:
(A) The DD Form 1879 (Request for Personnel Security Investigation) shall be annotated under Item 20 (Remarks) with the statement “Personal Interview Conducted by (cite the duty assignment of the designated official (e.g., Commander, Security Officer, Personnel Security Specialist, etc.))” in all cases in which an SBI is subsequently requested.
(B) Unfavorable information developed through the personal interview required by paragraph (i)(4) of this section, will be detailed in a written report attached to the DD Form 1879 to include full identification of the interviewer. Failure to provide such information may result in conduct of an incomplete investigation by DIS.
(C) Whenever it is determined that it is not feasible to conduct the personal interview required by paragraph (i)(4) of this section prior to requesting the SBI, the DD Form 1879 shall be annotated under Item 20 citing the reason for not conducting the interview.
(j) Expanded investigation. If adverse or questionable information relevant to a security determination is developed during the conduct of a personnel security investigation, regardless of type, the investigation shall be expanded, consistent with the restrictions in § 154.10(e) to the extent necessary to substantiate or disprove the adverse or questionable information.