Background Investigations

Personnel Vetting Reform is Rolling Along

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) recently published a joint Executive Correspondence (EC) fact sheet called ”Transforming Federal Personnel Vetting: Measures to Expedite Reform and Further Reduce the Federal Government’s Background Investigation Inventory.” The EC outlines measures agencies are to follow in order to remain in compliance with periodic reinvestigation requirements. The EC also identified changes in thresholds for flags on financial delinquencies and traffic violations for investigative service providers and allows them to resolve issue items using a broader spectrum of options.

Additional measures related to Trusted Workforce 2.0 implementation were outlined for agencies to plan and prepare for implementation. These measures included:

  • Transition from conducting periodic reinvestigations to Continuous Vetting (CV)
  • Apply risk mitigation measures for those who are not enrolled in CV by running periodic checks of specific data sources and criminal history checks
  • Streamline and align vetting adjudicative determinations and standardize credentialing guidelines and procedures government-wide

The stated goal for this EC is to transition away from PRs and replace them with a government-wide continuous vetting capability that mitigates security and safety risks by identifying issues and addressing them sooner. It also facilitates in helping employees who need assistance before they get to far down the” rabbit hole”. These changes have been a long time coming and seem to make sense. There is still a way to go before we get to the end state, but at least we are on the move.


  1. Interesting… if not enrolled in CV will an agency employee be subjected to constant poly tests? Or reporting on any newly acquired acquaintance on regular basis?
    Wonder what enrollment to CV might look like?

  2. If I had to guess, they’d keep doing polys. At least where I used to work, the poly and clearance weren’t tied to each other per say as long as you were actively working with the so one could expire before the other etc. CV gets rid of the clearance problem but not so much the poly.

  3. Pre-reform was one polygraph covering 5 years. After the reform will it be a poly after every overseas trip? Spring break in Mexico – pass a poly, skiing in Canada – pass a poly, cruising to Caribbean – pass a poly… or friend comes from overseas – pass a poly…

  4. Can’t recall where I saw this but I think it said that instead of every five years, polygraphs would be “aperiodic.” I guess that means you might get one after coming back from a trip, on a random basis, or not at all for a long time.

    And that five year thing was turning out to be more of a guideline than a regulation.

  5. Could be. Anybody’s guess is about as good as the next one. Only time will tell. Especially like somebody said above, the five year rule was largely ignored in the first place. People went on well past that in pretty much every agency.