Background Investigation (in accordance with Department of Veterans Affairs 0710 Handbook, “Personnel Suitability and Security Program,” Appendix A)
Low / Tier 1
Tier 1 / National Agency Check with Written Inquiries (NACI) A Tier 1/NACI is conducted by OPM and covers a 5-year period. It consists of a review of records contained in the OPM Security Investigations Index (SII) and the DOD Defense Central Investigations Index (DCII), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) name check, FBI fingerprint check, and written inquiries to previous employers and references listed on the application for employment. In VA it is used for Non-sensitive or Low Risk positions.
Moderate / Tier 2
Tier 2 / Moderate Background Investigation (MBI) A Tier 2/MBI is conducted by OPM and covers a 5-year period. It consists of a review of National Agency Check (NAC) records [OPM Security Investigations Index (SII), DOD Defense Central Investigations Index (DCII), FBI name check, and a FBI fingerprint check], a credit report covering a period of 5 years, written inquiries to previous employers and references listed on the application for employment; an interview with the subject, law enforcement check; and a verification of the educational degree.
High / Tier 4
Tier 4 / Background Investigation (BI) A Tier 4/BI is conducted by OPM and covers a 10-year period. It consists of a review of National Agency Check (NAC) records [OPM Security Investigations Index (SII), DOD Defense Central Investigations Index (DCII), FBI name check, and a FBI fingerprint check report], a credit report covering a period of 10 years, written inquiries to previous employers and references listed on the application for employment; an interview with the subject, spouse, neighbors, supervisor, co-workers; court records, law enforcement check, and a verification of the educational degree.
The position sensitivity and the level of background investigation commensurate with the required level of access for the following tasks within the PWS are:
Position Sensitivity and Background Investigation Requirements by Task
Tier1 / Low / NACI
Tier 2 / Moderate / MBI
Tier 4 / High / BI
The Tasks identified above and the resulting Position Sensitivity and Background Investigation requirements identify, in effect, the Background Investigation requirements for Contractor individuals, based upon the tasks the particular Contractor individual will be working. The submitted Contractor Staff Roster must indicate the required Background Investigation Level for each Contractor individual based upon the tasks the Contractor individual will be working, in accordance with their submitted proposal.
Contractor Responsibilities: The Contractor shall prescreen all personnel requiring access to the computer systems to ensure they maintain the appropriate Background Investigation, and are able to read, write, speak and understand the English language.
The Contractor shall bear the expense of obtaining background investigations.
Within 3 business days after award, the Contractor shall provide a roster of Contractor and Subcontractor employees to the COR to begin their background investigations in accordance with the ProPath template. The Contractor Staff Roster shall contain the Contractor’s Full Name, Date of Birth, Place of Birth, individual background investigation level requirement (based upon Section 6.2 Tasks), etc. The Contractor shall submit full Social Security Numbers either within the Contractor Staff Roster or under separate cover to the COR. The Contractor Staff Roster shall be updated and provided to VA within 1 day of any changes in employee status, training certification completion status, Background Investigation level status, additions/removal of employees, etc. throughout the Period of Performance. The Contractor Staff Roster shall remain a historical document indicating all past information and the Contractor shall indicate in the Comment field, employees no longer supporting this contract. The preferred method to send the Contractor Staff Roster or Social Security Number is by encrypted e-mail. If unable to send encrypted e-mail, other methods which comply with FIPS 140-2 are to encrypt the file, use a secure fax, or use a traceable mail service.
The Contractor should coordinate the location of the nearest VA fingerprinting office through the COR. Only electronic fingerprints are authorized.
The Contractor shall ensure the following required forms are submitted to the COR within 5 days after contract award:
Optional Form 306
Self-Certification of Continuous Service
VA Form 0710
Completed Security and Investigations Center (SIC) Fingerprint Request Form
The Contractor personnel shall submit all required information related to their background investigations (completion of the investigation documents (SF85, SF85P, or SF 86) utilizing the Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) Electronic Questionnaire for Investigations Processing (e-QIP) after receiving an email notification from the Security and Investigation Center (SIC).
The Contractor employee shall certify and release the e-QIP document, print and sign the signature pages, and send them encrypted to the COR for electronic submission to the SIC. These documents shall be submitted to the COR within 3 business days of receipt of the e-QIP notification email. (Note: OPM is moving towards a “click to sign” process. If click to sign is used, the Contractor employee should notify the COR within 3 business days that documents were signed via eQIP).
The Contractor shall be responsible for the actions of all personnel provided to work for VA under this contract. In the event that damages arise from work performed by Contractor provided personnel, under the auspices of this contract, the Contractor shall be responsible for all resources necessary to remedy the incident.
A Contractor may be granted unescorted access to VA facilities and/or access to VA Information Technology resources (network and/or protected data) with a favorably adjudicated Special Agreement Check (SAC), training delineated in VA Handbook 6500.6 (Appendix C, Section 9), and, the signed “Contractor Rules of Behavior.” However, the Contractor will be responsible for the actions of the Contractor personnel they provide to perform work for VA. The investigative history for Contractor personnel working under this contract must be maintained in the database of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).
The Contractor, when notified of an unfavorably adjudicated background investigation on a Contractor employee as determined by the Government, shall withdraw the employee from consideration in working under the contract.
Failure to comply with the Contractor personnel security investigative requirements may result in loss of physical and/or logical access to VA facilities and systems by Contractor and Subcontractor employees and/or termination of the contract for default.
Identity Credential Holders must follow all HSPD-12 policies and procedures as well as use and protect their assigned identity credentials in accordance with VA policies and procedures, displaying their badges at all times, and returning the identity credentials upon termination of their relationship with VA.