DFAS Personnel Security
* Processing and procedures identified below are specific to DFAS Applicants only. If you are not a DFAS applicant please check with your owning/prospective Human Resources or Security Office for guidance on their suitability and security review process.
General Information Regarding Background Investigations
In the interest of safeguarding the welfare of the American people, it is required that all persons privileged to be employed in the departments and agencies of the United States Government shall be reliable, trustworthy, of good conduct and character, and of complete and unswerving loyalty to the United States. Regulations require a background investigation to be conducted on each Federal employee as a condition of employment. The scope of the investigation will vary, depending on the nature of the position and degree of harm that could be caused to the national security by the individual in that position. Information regarding the security requirements of a position can be found in the job announcement. Previous background investigations conducted for civilian, military or contractor employment may not meet the security requirements of your offered position, in which case a new background investigation may be required. Additional information regarding the investigation process can be found here.
Requirements to be investigated for the purpose of a suitability determination apply whether or not the position requires a security clearance to have access to classified and/or national security information. The suitability review is an evaluation of a person’s character traits and conduct to decide whether that individual is likely to act with integrity and efficiency in their job. Additional information regarding suitability determinations can be found here.
A security clearance is different than a suitability review. A security clearance is designed to determine eligibility for access to classified and/or national security information and entails an evaluation of whether an individual may be a potential security threat. While the suitability review focuses on the individual’s personal conduct, the security clearance is more extensive and also looks into the conduct of associates, relatives, and other contacts. The security clearance process typically includes a subject interview, an FBI reference check of former employers, coworkers, friends, neighbors, landlords, and schools along with a review of credit, tax, and police records. Additional information regarding the National Security Adjudicative Guidelines used to determine security eligibility can be found here.
Completing and Submitting Requested Security Forms
Fingerprint Card (SF-87)
You can find detailed fingerprinting information here.
“Questionnaire for Non-Sensitive Positions” (SF-85), “Questionnaire for Public Trust Positions” (SF-85P) and “Questionnaire for National Security Positions “ (SF-86)
You will be notified by the DFAS Personnel Security Office if you are required to complete the SF-85, SF-85P or SF-86. If so, you will receive an email request from the DFAS Personnel Security Office and a follow-on email from the National Background Investigations Bureau (NBIB) providing you with a registration code required to access the Electronic Questionnaires for Investigations Processing (e-Qip) system.
e-QIP is a web-based automated system that was designed to facilitate the processing of these standard investigative forms used when conducting background investigations for Federal security, suitability, fitness and credentialing purposes. e-QIP allows the user to electronically enter, update and transmit their personal investigative data over a secure internet connection. You can access the e-Qip system and e-Qip Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) here.
Resources for Obtaining Missing Information Required to Complete Your SF-85, SF-85P or SF-86
The full suitability and security review process may take several months, possibly over one year, to complete. Waiting for the results can be stressful and candidates are often concerned about what will happen if the process is not successfully completed in a timely enough manner. There are, however, things that you can do to reduce the chance of delay. The most important thing you can do is to be as complete and accurate as possible with the information you provide.
- PROVIDE COMPLETE ANSWERS TO ALL QUESTIONS. Provide complete addresses and phone numbers whenever asked; investigators cannot conduct interviews or retrieve documents without correct contact information. Don’t forget about short-term residences, employment, or education as this can cause discrepancies in the investigation that delay the process. Incomplete or discrepant data will delay completion of your investigation.
- Free Credit Report: It is highly recommended that you review copies of all three of your major credit bureau reports (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) prior to responding to any questions on your security forms regarding your personal finances. You are permitted to request a free copy of your credit report from nationwide consumer credit reporting companies once every 12 months. Visit the Federal Trade Commission. To request copies of your consumer credit reports.
- Missing or Incomplete Address Information: Zillow and Google Maps are great resources for researching address information.
- Unknown ZIP Codes: ZIP Code look-up service is available through the U.S. Postal Service.
- Telephone Area Codes: The North American Numbering Plan Administration provides resources to look-up telephone area codes.
- Selective Service Registration: To verify Selective Service registration you may call 1-847-688-6888 or visit the Selective Service Administration website.
DFAS Personnel Security Team
Phone: (317) 212-7888