Background Investigations

DCSA Releases Revised Investigative Costs for Fiscal Year 2022/23

The Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA) released a new Federal Investigative Notice (FIN) for revised pricing on investigative products and services for Fiscal Year 2022, which starts October 1, 2021. Notably, pricing for background investigation products for Tiers 1 through 5 were reduced by three percent compared to previously published FY 2022 rates. A new product addition that aligns with the Trusted Workforce initiative offers non- DoD agencies continuous vetting services for an annual subscription fee. Here is a quick look at primary investigation costs:

Investigation TypeStandardPriority
National Agency Check$140N/A
Tier 1 (non-sensitive low risk)$180N/A
Tier 2 (moderate risk public trust)$420$455
Tier 2R (reinvestigation)$380$410
Tier 3 (non-critical sensitive – Secret)$420N/A
Tier 3R (reinvestigation)$380N/A
Tier 4 (high risk public trust)$4,095$4,425
Tier 4R (reinvestigation)$2,530$2,730
Tier 5 (critical and special sensitive (TS and SCI)$5,410$5,845
Tier 5R (reinvestigation)$2,965$3,200

Other investigative products are available on an as needed basis such as Expedited Screening Protocol to screen those individuals who have a foreign nexus or Reimbursable Suitability/Security Investigations that may require fieldwork and centralized checks. You can go to the FIN 21-02 directly to see all of the products available and cost for each. As an add on note, reinvestigations for Tier 3 and 5 have largely gone by the wayside now that continuous evaluation is in effect, the same will go for Tier 2 and 4 once the Trusted Workforce Program is implemented.


  1. And a contract Investigator with DCSA working for the two primes (SCIS and Peraton) that use contractors earn $200.00 for a Subject Interview while the vendors laugh their way to the bank for a T5. An SI, two employment references, employment record, LCR, and a neighbor might be worth $425.00 to pay a contractor. That’s a $4,985.00 profit. What a crock of crap. They don’t pay mileage/travel time. Don’t pay time to manifest cases. Don’t pay premiums.

    And then they complain when we ask for a $50.00 Subject Contact reimbursement in order to get paid to obtain financial documentation.

    The vendors need to get out of the business and allow the IC’s to directly contract with the government. Corruption at its finest.

  2. I’m full time but tried contract work for 2 years from 2006 to 2008. Becacuse of CE there are no easy cases which escalated the intensity of issues to 80% or 90% of all cases with NO easy case breaks. I cant imagine being a contractor with the difficult cases we now have. As full time employee mgt hasn’t 1 x cknowledged the fact there are no more easy cases because Prs are gone yet they have the same expectations they did when we had PRs. Not one word about it. That tells you what a bunch of swindling liars they are. I don’t need responses from anyone such as quit if you dont like it because I’m retiring next May unless I get laid off or fired which I hope happens.

  3. As a F/T hourly, you make even less on a full T5 than a contract Investigator. An experienced F/T Investigator on average makes $27.00 per hour. I estimate the following averages and put these even on the high end of how many hours it would take to complete these tasks from start to finish including typing. An SI=6 hours; employment record=.75 hours, two employment references=2 hours, a neighbor=1 hour: and an LCR=1 hour. Briefing/scoping takes 1/2 hour. Total case time requires about 11.25 hours times $27.00 per hour=$303.75.

    Let’s say the T5 requires a little more field work and requires an additional education record, two references, two additional employments each with with an employment record, supervisor, and co-worker. Add additional 3.5 hours for the extra field work. Now for 14.75 hours at $27.00 per hour, your time is billed as $398.25 as an hourly employee. The vendor still walks away with at least $4,500 on the T5 even after paying the first and second level reviewer and the pre-scoping and other record entities covering items on a case.

    The independent contractor would only make $800 or double the hourly given the same circumstances I just described.

    Like I said laughing all of the way to the bank for the vendor at the expense of the Investigator! :joy::rofl::joy::rofl::joy::rofl::joy::rofl:

    Investigators need a Union or direct federal contracting to remove the middle man!

  4. Many full timers actually make more than that.

  5. I know the salary ranges and it ain’t much more than $32.50 per hour for any DCSA vendor. That’s the pinnacle.

    That’s why I took the average pay for an experienced DCSA F/T hourly working for a contract vendor.