OPM Issues New Rule for Public Trust Investigations
In an OPM rule finalized this week, agencies will have to reinvestigate employees in public trust positions every five years. The rule was initially proposed in December of 2009 but has taken two years to implement.
In the review, some criticized the need for or effectiveness of the periodic investigations themselves, as well as the cause. In the decision OPM supported the executive order but established the National Agency Check with Local Agency Check (NACLC) or Periodic Reinvestigation (PRI) as the “investigative product.” The lower cost of these investigations was cited as the reason for their use…
“Considering that a public trust position’s potential adverse impact on
the efficiency or integrity of the service is greater than that of low-
risk positions, we believe 5 years is a reasonable timeframe for public
trust reinvestigations,” the rule stated.
Public trust positions are those considered “moderate or high risk level” for causing damage or allowing the individual to achieve personal gains.
The rule noted the need to align public trust reinvestigations with clearance investigations to the extent possible, stating a clearance reinvestigation may meet public trust reinvestigation requirements. In order to reduce redundant investigation, “A reinvestigation on a Special Sensitive or Critical Sensitive national security position will be sufficient to meet, the reinvestigation need of a High Risk public trust position. A reinvestigation on a Non-Critical Sensitive national security position will be sufficient to meet the reinvestigation need of a Moderate Risk public trust position,” the rule stated.
The only change between the proposed and finalized rule is the need to reinvestigate employees who have left federal service for less than two years. OPM stated agencies will not need to do new investigations for those employees.