5 CFR 736.101 - Purpose and definitions.
(a) Purpose. The purpose of this part is to specify certain requirements for personnel investigations conducted by OPM, and for those conducted under delegated authority from OPM. The requirements of this part apply to suitability and national security investigations conducted under parts 731 and 732 of this chapter; they also apply to investigations to determine eligibility or qualifications not covered in parts 731 and 732 of this chapter. The requirements of this part apply to employees in the civil service of the Executive Branch and to persons performing contract, voluntary or indirect services for the Federal Government, as set forth in subsection (b) below.
(b) Definitions. For the purposes of this part, (1) Federal employment includes the following range of services performed for the Federal government: (i) All employment in the competitive or excepted service or the Senior Executive Service in the Executive Branch; (ii) appointments, salaried or unsalaried, to Federal Advisory Committees or to membership agencies; (iii) cooperative work assignments in which the individual has access to Federal materials such as examination booklets, or performs service for, or under supervision of, a Federal agency while being paid by another organization such as a State or local government; (iv) volunteer arrangements in which the individual performs service for, or under the supervision of, a Federal agency; and (v) volunteer or other arrangements in which the individual represents the United States Government or any agency thereof.
(2) Agency means any authority of the Government of the United States, whether or not it is within or subject to review by another agency, and includes any executive department, military department, Government corporation, Government-controlled corporation, or other establishment in the executive branch of the Government, or any independent regulatory agency.
(3) Personnel investigation means an investigation conducted by written or telephone inquiries or through personal contacts to determine the suitability, eligibility, or qualifications of individuals for Federal employment, for work on Federal contracts, or for access to classified information or restricted areas.