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Unrestricted Access to Electronic Official Personnel Folders

Tuesday, November 25, 2008
MEMORANDUM FOR: 
Chief Human Capital Officers
From: 
Michael W. Hager, Acting Director
Subject: 
Unrestricted Access to Electronic Official Personnel Folders

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s Federal Investigative Services Division (OPM-FISD) conducts background investigations pursuant to Executive Orders 10450, 12968, and 13381; Public Law 99-169 as codified in Part 9101 of title 5, United States Code; and section 5.2 of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations.

The review of an individual’s Official Personnel Folder is a required element of most background investigations. With the implementation of OPM’s Enterprise Human Resources Integration (EHRI) electronic Official Personnel Folder (eOPF) initiative, it is possible for OPM-FISD to achieve greater efficiency in the investigative process by reviewing eOPF’s from a centralized location.

Because of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act mandate to process security clearances within an average of 60 days by 2009 and given OPM’s authority over the Official Personnel Folder records system, each Federal agency that deploys eOPF must do so with the understanding that OPM-FISD will be provided unrestricted access to eOPF data for authorized background investigation purposes.

OPM-FISD is not authorized to conduct a background investigation unless a release, signed by the subject of the investigation is received. This release authorizes OPM-FISD to gather the information required to complete the background investigation, including the information obtained from the review of the eOPF. In addition, the electronic audit log capability built into the eOPF software provides the agency with the ability to review queries into an employee’s eOPF record and determine which OPM-FISD investigator accessed the eOPF record. Agency audits of OPM-FISD reviews are welcomed and encouraged.

For additional information, please contact William L. Marosy, Program Manager of the Records Access and Research Development Group, OPM-FISD, at william.marosy@opm.gov, or (724) 794-5612 extension 7356. We appreciate your cooperation and continued support of the Federal Government’s personnel security investigation program.