Background Investigations

DCSA Releases New SF-85P for Public Trust Investigations

The Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA) issued Federal Investigations Notice (FIN) 20-01 announcing the release of the revised Standard Form 85P used for Public Trust background investigations. The new form will ask applicants to provide more information in areas like foreign travel, criminal records and arrests, and credit history. Up to now, in addition to the SF-85P, applicants for Public Trust positions have had to fill out an additional information questionnaire and the Declaration for Federal Employment (OF-306). These will no longer be required because the information asked for is now included on the new SF-85P with branching questions.

New costs are also included in the FIN and Tier 2 investigations are priced at $536 for standard and $579 for priority processing. Tier 2 Reinvestigations are priced at $247 for standard and $267 for priority. No indication was given as to how much faster a priority case would be completed over a standard case, but I personally would not put a lot of stock into it being much faster. Enhanced Subject Interviews (ESI) for Tier 2 investigations were eliminated a few years ago, but in the event a Triggered ESI (TESI) is needed to resolve issues it will cost an additional $1,014 to complete. This change is the latest evolution of background investigation reform – just to add a footnote, it took over two years from the time the Office of Management and Budget approved the new form to the time DCSA and OPM released it.

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