The Office of Personnel Management has released further guidance on the recent shutdown of the Electronic Questionnaire for Investigating Processing system.
The guidance allows for potential employees to fill out an SF 85, 85P, or 86 form in order to meet the 14-day initiation of a background check before an appointment or after a promotion. However, though the guidance has been approved by the Office of Personnel Management and the Department of Defense, Donna Harris, WSMR’s human resources specialist supervisor said it has not been approved at an Army level yet.
“DoD and OPM may have come to an agreement, but until Army decides we can’t do anything about it,” Harris said.
Based on the DoD guidance, the SF forms that will be filled out will not be turned into OPM and will only be kept in the local human resources office. Once the E-QIP system is back up, potential applicants will need to re-enter their information into the system. There is currently no work around for access to Top Secret level information. David Plourde with WSMR’s Personnel Security said they are currently awaiting additional guidance from OPM.
The workaround should only be conducted based on mission-essential needs. New requests will be suspended until the E-QIP system is restored. The submission of physical forms will also require a submission of fingerprints.
The shutdown has affected 19.7 million individuals that applied for a background investigation. The new guidance will remain in effect until OPM restores E-QIP service.