32 CFR Part 154, Appendix A to Part 154 - Investigative Scope
prev | next
Appendix A to Part 154—Investigative Scope
This appendix prescribes the scope of the various types of personnel security investigations.
1. National Agency Check (NAC). Components of a NAC. At a minimum, the first three of the described agencies (DCII, FBI/HQ, and FBI/ID) below shall be included in each complete NAC; however, a NAC may also include a check of any or all of the other described agencies, if appropriate.
a. DCII records consist of an alphabetical index of personal names and impersonal titles that appear as subjects or incidentals in investigative documents held by the criminal, counterintelligence, fraud, and personnel security investigative activities of the three military departments, DIS, Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), and the National Security Agency. DCII records will be checked on all subjects of DoD investigations.
b. FBI/HQ has on file copies of investigations conducted by the FBI. The FBI/HQ check, included in every NAC, consists of a review of files for information of a security nature and that developed during applicant-type investigations.
c. An FBI/ID check, included in every NAC (but not ENTNAC), is based upon a technical fingerprint search that consists of a classification of the subject's fingerprints and comparison with fingerprint cards submitted by law enforcement activities. If the fingerprint card is not classifiable, a “name check only” of these files is automatically conducted.
d. OPM. The files of OPM contain the results of investigations conducted by OPM under Executive Orders 9835 and 10450, those requested by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the Department of Energy (DOE) and those requested since August 1952 to serve as a basis for “Q” clearances. Prior to that date, “Q” clearance investigations were conducted by the FBI. A “Q” clearance is granted to individuals who require access to DOE information. In order to receive a “Q” clearance, a full field background investigation must be completed on the individual requiring access in accordance with the Atomic Energy Act of 1954. Also on file are the results of investigations on the operation of the Merit System, violations of the Veterans Preference Act, appeals of various types, fraud and collusion in Civil Service examinations and related matters, data on all Federal employment, and an index of all BIs on civilian employees or applicants completed by agencies of the Executive Branch of the U.S. Government. The OPM files may also contain information relative to U.S. citizens who are, or who were, employed by a United Nations organization or other public international organization such as the Organization of American States. OPM records are checked on all persons who are, or who have been, civilian employees of the U.S. Government; or U.S. citizens who are, or who have been, employed by a United Nations organization or other public international organization; and on those who have been granted security clearances by the NRC or DOE.
e. Immigration and Naturalization Service (I&NS). The files of I&NS contain (or show where filed) naturalization certificates, certificates of derivative citizenship, all military certificates of naturalization, repatriation files, petitions for naturalization and declaration of intention, visitors' visas, and records of aliens (including government officials and representatives of international organizations) admitted temporarily into the U.S. I&NS records are checked when the subject is:
(1) An alien in the U.S., or
(2) A naturalized citizen whose naturalization has not been verified, or
(3) An immigrant alien, or
(4) A U.S. citizen who receives derivative citizenship through the naturalization of one or both parents, provided that such citizenship has not been verified in a prior investigation.
f. State Department. The State Department maintains the following records:
(1) Security Division (S/D) files contain information pertinent to matters of security, violations of security, personnel investigations pertinent to that agency, and correspondence files from 1950 to date. These files are checked on all former State Department employees.
(2) Passport Division (P/D) shall be checked if subject indicates U.S. citizenship due to birth in a foreign country of American parents. This is a check of State Department Embassy files to determine if subject's birth was registered at the U.S. Embassy in the country where he was born. Verification of this registration is verification of citizenship.
g. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The files of CIA contain information on present and former employees, including members of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), applicants for employment, foreign nationals, including immigrant aliens in the U.S., and U.S. citizens traveling outside the U.S. after July 1, 1946. These files shall be checked under the following guidelines.
|Investigation||Criteria for CIA Checks|
|NAC, DNACI or ENTNAC||Residence anywhere outside of the U.S. for a year or more since age 18 except under the auspices of the U.S. Government; and, travel, education, residence, or employment since age 18 in any designated country (Appendix G).|
|BI||Same as NAC, DNACI, and ENTNAC requirements plus travel, residence, employment, and education outside the U.S. for more than a continuous 3-month period during the past 5 years, or since age 18, except when under the auspices of the Government.|
|SBI||Same as BI requirements except the period of the investigation will cover the past 15 years, or since age 18. Also when subject's employment, education or residence has occurred overseas for a period of more than one year under the auspices of the U.S. Government, such checks will be made.|
These files shall also be checked if subject has been an employee of CIA or when other sources indicate that CIA may have pertinent information.
h. Military Personnel Record Center files are maintained by separate departments of the Armed Forces, General Services Administration and the Reserve Records Centers. They consist of the Master Personnel Records of retired, separated, reserve, and active duty members of the Armed Force. These records shall be checked when the requester provides required identifying data indicating service during the last 15 years.
i. Treasury Department. The files of Treasury Department agencies (Secret Service, Internal Revenue Service, and Bureau of Customs) will be checked only when available information indicates that an agency of the Treasury Department may be reasonably expected to have pertinent information.
j. The files of other agencies such as the National Guard Bureau, the Defense Industrial Security Clearance Office (DISCO), etc., will be checked when pertinent to the purpose for which the investigation is being conducted.
2. DoD National Agency Check plus Written Inquires (DNACI):
a. Scope: The time period covered by the DNACI is limited to the most recent five (5) years, or since the 18th birthday, whichever is shorter, provided that the investigation covers at least the last two (2) full years of the subject's life, although it may be extended to the period necessary to resolve any questionable or derogatory information. No investigation will be conducted prior to an individual's 16th birthday. All DNACI investigation information will be entered on the DD Form 398-2 and FD-Form 258 and forwarded to the Defense Investigative Service (paragraph D, Appendix B).
b. Components of a DNACI:
(1) NAC. This is the same as described in paragraph 1, above.
(2) Credit. (a) A credit bureau check will be conducted to cover the 50 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands, at all locations where subject has resided (including duty stations and home ports), been employed, or attended school for 6 months (cumulative) during the past five (5) years.
(b) When information developed reflects unfavorably upon a person's current credit reputation or financial responsibility, the investigation will be expanded as necessary.
(3) Employment—(a) Non-Federal Employment. (1) Verify, via written inquiry, all employment within the period of investigation with a duration of six (6) months or more. Current employment will be checked regardless of duration.
(2) If all previous employments have been less than 6 months long, the most recent employment, in addition to the current, will be checked in all cases.
(3) Seasonal holiday, part-time and temporary employment need not be checked unless subparagraph 2 above applies.
(b) Federal employment. All Federal employment (to include military assignments) within the period of investigation will be verified by the requester through locally available records, and a statement reflecting that such checks have been favorably accomplished will be contained in the investigative request. Those that cannot be verified in this fashion will be accomplished via written inquiry by DIS (within the 50 United States, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands).
3. Background Investigation (BI). The period of investigation for the BI is 5 years and applies to military, civilian, and contractor personnel.
a. NAC. See paragraph 1, above.
b. Local Agency Checks (LAC). Same as paragraph 4j, below, except period of coverage is five years.
c. Credit checks. Same as paragraph 4i, below.
d. SUBJECT Interview (SI). This is the principal component of a BI. In some instances an issue will arise after the primary SI and a secondary interview will be conducted. Interviews in the latter category are normally “issue” interviews that will be reported in the standard BI narrative format.
e. Employment records. Employment records will be checked at all places where employment references are interviewed with the exception of current Federal employment when the requester indicates that such employment has been verified with favorable results.
f. Employment reference coverage. A minimum of three references, either supervisors or co-workers, who have knowledge of the SUBJECT's activities in the work environment will be interviewed. At least one employment reference at the current place of employment will always be interviewed with the exception of an individual attending military basic training, or other military training schools lasting less than 90 days. However, if the SUBJECT has only been at the current employment for less than 6 months, it will be necessary to go not only to his or her current employment (for example, for one employment reference) but also to the preceding employment of at least 6 months for additional employment references. If the SUBJECT has not had prior employment of at least 6 months, interview(s) will be conducted at the most recent short-term employment in addition to the current employment.
g. Developed and Listed Character References. A minimum of three developed character references (DCR) whose combined association with the SUBJECT covers the entire period of investigation will be interviewed. If coverage cannot be obtained through the DCRs, listed character reference (LCR) will be contacted to obtain coverage.
h. Unfavorable information. Unfavorable information developed in the field will be expanded.
4. Special Background Investigation (SBI)—a. Components of an SBI. The period of investigation for an SBI is the last 15 years or since the 18th birthday, whichever is the shorter period, provided that the investigation covers at least the last 2 full years of the subject's life. No investigation will be conducted for the period prior to an individual's 16th birthday. Emphasis shall be placed on peer coverage whenever interviews are held with personal sources in making education, employment, and reference (including developed) contact.
b. NAC. In addition to conducting a NAC on the subject of the investigation, the following additional requirements apply.
(1) A DCII, FBI/ID name check only and FBI/HQ check shall be conducted on subject's current spouse or cohabitant. In addition, such other national agency checks as deemed appropriate based on information on the subject's SPH or PSQ shall be conducted.
(2) A check of FBI/HQ files on members of subject's immediate family who are aliens in the U.S. or immigrant aliens who are 18 years of age or older shall be conducted. As used throughout the part, members of subject's immediate family include the following:
(a) Current spouse.
(b) Adult children, 18 years of age or older, by birth, adoption, or marriage.
(c) Natural, adopted, foster, or stepparents.
(e) Brothers and sisters either by birth, adoption, or remarriage of either parent.
(3) The files of CIA shall be reviewed on alien members of subject's immediate family who are 18 years of age or older, regardless of whether or not these persons reside in the U.S.
(4) I&NS files on members of subject's immediate family 18 years of age or older shall be reviewed when they are:
(a) Aliens in the U.S., or
(b) Naturalized U.S. citizens whose naturalization has not been verified in a prior investigation, or
(c) Immigrant aliens, or
(d) U.S. citizens born in a foreign country of American parent(s) or U.S. citizens who received derivative citizenship through the naturalization of one or both parents, provided that such citizenship has not been verified in a prior investigation.
c. Birth. Verify subject's date and place of birth (DPOB) through education, employment and/or other records. Verify through Bureau of Vital Statistics (BVS) records if not otherwise verified under d., below, or if a variance is developed.
d. Citizenship. Subject's citizenship status must be verified in all cases. U.S. citizens who are subjects of investigation will be required to produce documentation that will confirm their citizenship. Normally such documentation should be presented to the DoD Component concerned prior to the initiation of the request for investigation. When such documentation is not readily available, investigative action may be initiated with the understanding that the designated authority in the DoD Component will be provided with the documentation prior to the issuance of a clearance. DIS will not check the BVS for native-born U.S. citizens except as indicated in 4.c. above. In the case of foreign-born U.S. citizens, DIS will check I&NS records. The citizenship status of all foreign-born members of subject's immediate family shall be verified. Additionally, when the investigation indicates that a member of subject's immediate family has not obtained U.S. citizenship after having been eligible for a considerable period of time, an attempt should be made to determine the reason. The documents listed below are acceptable for proof of U.S. citizenship for personnel security determination purposes:
(1) A birth certificate must be presented if the individual was born in the United States. To be acceptable, the certificate must show that the birth record was filed shortly after birth and must be certified with the registrar's signature and the raised, impressed, or multicolored seal of his office except for States or jurisdictions which, as a matter of policy, do not issue certificates with a raised or impressed seal. Uncertified copies of birth certificates are not acceptable.
(a) A delayed birth certificate (a record filed more than one year after the date of birth) is acceptable provided that it shows that the report of birth was supported by acceptable secondary evidence of birth as described in subparagraph (b), below.
(b) If such primary evidence is not obtainable, a notice from the registrar stating that no birth record exists should be submitted. The notice shall be accompanied by the best combination of secondary evidence obtainable. Such evidence may include a baptismal certificate, a certificate of circumcision, a hospital birth record, affidavits of persons having personal knowledge of the facts of the birth, or other documentary evidence such as early census, school, or family bible records, newspaper files and insurance papers. Secondary evidence should have been created as close to the time of birth as possible.
(c) All documents submitted as evidence of birth in the United States shall be original or certified documents. Uncertified copies are not acceptable.
(2) A certificate of naturalization shall be submitted if the individual claims citizenship by naturalization.
(3) A certificate of citizenship issued by the I&NS shall be submitted if citizenship was acquired by birth abroad to a U.S. citizen parent or parents.
(4) A Report of Birth Abroad of A Citizen of The United States of America (Form FS-240), a Certification of Birth (Form FS-545 or DS-1350), or a Certificate of Citizenship is acceptable if citizenship was acquired by birth abroad to a U.S. citizen parent or parents.
(5) A passport or one in which the individual was included will be accepted as proof of citizenship.
e. Education. (1) Verify graduation or attendance at institutions of higher learning in the U.S. within the last 15 years, if such attendance was not verified during a prior investigation.
(2) Attempts will be made to review records at overseas educational institutions when the subject resided overseas in excess of one year.
(3) Verify attendance or graduation at the last secondary school attended within the past 10 years if there was no attendance at an institution of higher learning within the period of investigation.
(4) Verification of attendance at military academies is only required when the subject failed to graduate.
f. Employment. (1) Non-Federal employment. Verify all employment within the period of investigation to include seasonal, holiday, Christmas, part-time, and temporary employment. Interview one supervisor and one co-worker at subject's current place of employment as well as at each prior place of employment during the past 10 years of six months duration or longer. The interview requirement for supervisors and co-workers does not apply to seasonal, holiday, Christmas, part-time, and temporary employment (4 months or less) unless there are unfavorable issues to resolve or the letter of inquiry provides insufficient information.
(2) Federal employment. All Federal employment will be verified within the period of investigation to include Christmas, seasonal temporary, summer hire, part-time, and holiday employment. Do not verify Federal employment through review of records if already verified by the requester. If Federal employment has not been verified by the requester, then subject's personnel file at his/her current place of employment will be reviewed. All previous Federal employment will be verified during this review. In the case of former Federal employees, records shall be examined at the Federal Records Center in St. Louis, Missouri. Interview one supervisor and one co-worker at all places of employment during the past 10 years if so employed for 6 months or more.
(3) Military employment. Military service for the last 15 years shall be verified. The subject's duty station, for the purpose of interview coverage, is considered as a place of employment. One supervisor and one co-worker shall be interviewed at subject's current duty station if subject has been stationed there for 6 months or more; additionally, a supervisor and a co-worker at subject's prior duty stations where assigned for 6 months or more during the past 10 years shall be interviewed.
(4) Unemployment. Subject's activities during all periods of unemployment in excess of 30 consecutive days, within the period of investigation, that are not otherwise accounted for shall be verified.
(5) When an individual has resided outside the U.S. continuously for over one year, attempts will be made to confirm overseas employments as well as conduct required interviews of a supervisor and co-worker.
g. References. Three developed character references who have sufficient knowledge of subject to comment on his background, suitability, and loyalty shall be interviewed personally. Efforts shall be made to interview developed references whose combined association with subject covers the full period of the investigation with particular emphasis on the last 5 years. Employment, education, and neighborhood references, in addition to the required ones, may be used as developed references provided that they have personal knowledge concerning the individual's character, discretion, and loyalty. Listed character references will be interviewed only when developed references are not available or when it is necessary to identify and locate additional developed character references or when it is necessary to verify subject's activities (e.g., unemployment).
h. Neighborhood investigation. Conduct a neighborhood investigation to verify each of subject's residences in the U.S. of a period of 6 months or more on a cumulative basis, during the past 5 years or during the period of investigation, whichever is shorter. During each neighborhood investigation, interview two neighbors who can verify subject's period of residence in that area and who were sufficiently acquainted to comment on subject's suitability for a position of trust. Neighborhood investigations will be expanded beyond this 5-year period only when there is unfavorable information to resolve in the investigation.
i. Credit. Conduct credit bureau check in the 50 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and overseas (where APO/FPO addresses are provided) at all places where subject has resided (including duty stations and home ports), been employed, or attended school for 6 months or more, on a cumulative basis, during the last 7 years or during the period of the investigation, whichever is shorter. When coverage by a credit bureau is not available, credit references located in that area will be interviewed. Financial responsibility, including unexplained affluence, will be stressed in all reference interviews.
j. Local Agency Checks (LAC's). LACs, including State central criminal history record repositories, will be conducted on subject at all places of residence to include duty stations and/or home ports, in the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, where residence occurred during the past 15 years or during the period of investigation, whichever is shorter. If subject's place of employment and/or education is serviced by a different law enforcement agency than that servicing the area of residence, LACs shall be conducted also in these areas.
k. Foreign travel. If subject has been employed, educated, traveled or resided outside of the U.S. for more than 90 days during the period of investigation, except under the auspices of the U.S. Government, additional record checks during the NAC shall be made in accordance with paragraph 1.f. of this Appendix. In addition, the following requirements apply:
(1) Foreign travel not under the auspices of the U.S. Government. When employment, education, or residence has occurred overseas for more than 90 days during the past 15 years or since age 18, which was not under the auspices of the U.S. Government, a check of records will be made at the Passport Office of the Department of State, the CIA, and other appropriate agencies. Efforts shall be made to develop sources, generally in the U.S., who knew the individual overseas to cover significant employment, education, or residence and to determine whether any lasting foreign contacts or connections were established during this period. If the individual has worked or lived outside of the U.S. continuously for over one year, the investigation will be expanded to cover fully this period through the use of such investigative assets and checks of record sources as may be available to the U.S. Government in the foreign country in which the individual resided.
(2) Foreign travel under the auspices of the U.S. Government. When employment, education, or residence has occurred overseas for a period of more than one year, under the auspices of the U.S. Government, a record check will be made at the Passport Office of the Department of State, the CIA and other appropriate agencies. Efforts shall be made to develop sources (generally in the U.S.) who knew the individual overseas to cover significant employment, education, or residence and to determine whether any lasting foreign contacts or connections were established during this period. Additionally, the investigation will be expanded to cover fully this period through the use of such investigative assets and checks of record sources as may be available to the U.S. Government in the foreign country in which the individual resided.
1. Foreign connections. All foreign connections (friends, relatives, and/or business connections) of subject and immediate family in the U.S. or abroad, except where such association was the direct result of subject's official duties with the U.S. Government, shall be ascertained. Investigation shall be directed toward determining the significance of foreign connections on the part of subject and the immediate family, particularly where the association is or has been with persons whose origin was within a country whose national interests are inimical to those of the U.S. When subject or his spouse has close relatives residing in a Communist-controlled country, or subject has resided, visited, or traveled in such a country, not under U.S. Government auspices, the provisions of § 154.8(i)(3) of this part apply.
m. Organizations. Efforts will be made during reference interviews and record reviews to determine if subject and/or the immediate family has, or formerly had, membership in, affiliation with, sympathetic association towards, or participated in any foreign or domestic organization, association, movement, group, or combination of persons of the type described in § 154.7(a) through (d) of this part.
n. Divorce. Divorces, annulments, and legal separations of subject shall be verified only when there is reason to believe that the grounds for the action could reflect on subject's suitability for a position of trust.
o. Military service. All military service and types of discharge during the last 15 years shall be verified.
p. Medical records. Medical records shall not be reviewed unless:
(1) The requester indicates that subject's medical records were unavailable for review prior to submitting the request for investigation, or
(2) The requester indicates that unfavorable information is contained in subject's medical records, or
(3) The subject lists one or more of the following on the SPH or PSQ:
(a) A history of mental or nervous disorders.
(b) That subject is now or has been addicted to the use of habit-forming drugs such as narcotics or barbiturates or is now or has been a chronic user to excess of alcoholic beverages.
q. Updating a previous investigation to SBI standards. If a previous investigation does not substantially meet the minimum standards of an SBI or if it is more than 5 years old, a current investigation is required but may be limited to that necessary to bring the individual's file up to date in accordance with the investigative requirements of an SBI. Should new information be developed during the current investigation that bears unfavorably upon the individual's activities covered by the previous investigation, the current inquiries shall be expanded as necessary to develop full details of this new information.
5. Periodic Reinvestigation (PR). a. Each DoD military, civilian, consultant and contractor employee (to include non-U.S. citizens (foreign nationals and/or immigrant aliens) holding a limited access authorization) occupying a critical sensitive position, possessing a TOP SECRET clearance, or occupying a special access program position shall be the subject of a PR initiated 5 years from the date of completion of the last investigation. The PR shall cover the period of the last 5 years.
b. Minimum investigative requirements. A PR shall include the following minimum scope.
(1) NAC. A valid NAC on the SUBJECT will be conducted in all cases. Additionally, for positions requiring SCI access, checks of DCII, FBI/HQ, FBI/ID name check only, and other agencies deemed appropriate, will be conducted on the SUBJECT's current spouse or cohabitant, if not previously conducted. Additionally, NACs will be conducted on immediate family members, 18 years of age or older, who are aliens and/or immigrant aliens, if not previously accomplished.
(2) Credit. Credit bureau checks covering all places where the SUBJECT resided for 6 months or more, on a cumulative basis, during the period of investigation, in the 50 States, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and overseas (where APO/FPO addresses are provided), will be conducted.
(3) Subject interview. The interview should cover the entire period of time since the last investigation, not just the last 5-year period. Significant information disclosed during the interview, which has been satisfactorily covered during a previous investigation, need not be explored again unless additional relevant information warrants further coverage. An SI is not required if one of the following conditions exists:
(a) The SUBJECT is aboard a deployed ship or in some remote area that would cause the interview to be excessively delayed.
(b) The SUBJECT is in an overseas location serviced by the State Department or the FBI.
(4) Employment. Current employment will be verified. Military and Federal service records will not routinely be checked, if previously checked by the requester when PR was originally submitted. Also, employment records will be checked wherever employment interviews are conducted. Records need be checked only when they are locally available, unless unfavorable information has been detected.
(5) Employment references. Two supervisors or co-workers at the most recent place of employment or duty station of 6 months; if the current employment is less than 6 months employment reference interviews will be conducted at the next prior place of employment, which was at least a 6-month duration.
(6) Developed Character References (DCRs). Two developed character references who are knowledgeable of the SUBJECT will be interviewed. Developed character references who were previously interviewed will only be reinterviewed when other developed references are not available.
(7) Local Agency Checks (LACs). DIS will conduct local agency checks on the SUBJECT at all places of residence, employment, and education during the period of investigation, regardless of duration, including overseas locations.
(8) Neighborhood Investigation. Conduct a neighborhood investigation to verify subjects' current residence in the United States. Two neighbors who can verify subject's period of residence in that area and who are sufficiently acquainted to comment on the subject's suitability for a position of trust will be interviewed. Neighborhood investigations will be expanded beyond the current residence when unfavorable information arises.
(9) Ex-spouse interview. If the subject of investigation is divorced, the ex-spouse will be interviewed when the date of final divorce action is within the period of investigation.
(10) Select scoping. When the facts of the case warrant, additional select scoping will be accomplished, as necessary, to fully develop or resolve an issue.
[52 FR 11219, Apr. 8, 1987, as amended at 58 FR 61026, Nov. 19, 1993]
Title 32 published on 2014-07-01.
No entries appear in the Federal Register after this date, for 32 CFR Part 154.