PDF Version

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 48 (Tuesday, March 12, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 15755-15756]
[FR Doc No: 2013-05611]


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OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT


Submission for Renewal: Information Collection; Questionnaire for 
National Security Positions, Standard Form 86 (SF 86)

AGENCY: U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

ACTION: 60-Day notice and request for comments.

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SUMMARY: Federal Investigative Services (FIS), U.S. Office of Personnel 
Management (OPM) offers the general public and other Federal agencies 
the opportunity to comment on an information collection request (ICR), 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Control No. 3206-0005, for 
Questionnaire for National Security Positions, Standard Form 86 (SF 
86). As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, (Pub. L. 104-
13, 44 U.S.C. chapter 35) as amended by the Clinger-Cohen Act (Pub. L. 
104-106), OPM is soliciting comments for this collection. The Office of 
Management and Budget is particularly interested in comments that:
    1. Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is 
necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, 
including whether the information will have practical utility;
    2. Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of 
the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the 
methodology and assumptions used;
    3. Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to 
be collected; and
    4. Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those 
who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, 
electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or 
other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic 
submissions of responses.

DATES: Comments are encouraged and will be accepted until May 13, 2013. 
This process is conducted in accordance with 5 CFR 1320.1.

ADDRESSES: Interested persons are invited to submit written comments on 
the proposed information collection to the Federal Investigative 
Services, U.S. Office of Personnel Management, 1900 E. Street NW., 
Washington, DC 20415, Attention: Donna McLeod or sent via email to 
[email protected].

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: A copy of this ICR, with applicable 
supporting documentation, may be obtained by contacting the Federal 
Investigative Services, U.S. Office of Personnel Management, 1900 E. 
Street NW., Washington, DC 20415, Attention: Donna McLeod or sent via 
email to [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Questionnaire for National Security 
Positions, SF 86, housed in a system named e-QIP (Electronic 
Questionnaires for Investigative Processing), is an information 
collection completed by applicants for, or incumbents of, Federal 
Government civilian or military positions, or positions in private 
entities performing work for the Federal Government under contract. The 
collection is used as the basis of information:
     By the Federal Government in conducting background 
investigations, reinvestigations, and continuous evaluations, as 
appropriate, of persons under consideration for or retention in 
national security sensitive positions as defined in Executive Order 
10450 and 5 CFR part 732, and for positions requiring eligibility for 
access to classified information under Executive Order 12968;
     By agencies in determining whether a person performing 
work for or on behalf of the Federal Government under a contract should 
be deemed eligible for logical or physical access when the nature of 
the work is sensitive and could bring about a material adverse effect 
on national security.
    The SF 86 is completed by civilian employees of the Federal 
Government, military personnel, and non-federal employees, including 
Federal contractors and individuals otherwise not directly employed by 
the Federal Government but who perform work for or on behalf of the 
Federal Government. For applicants for civilian Federal employment, the 
SF 86 is to be used only after a conditional offer of employment has 
been made. It is estimated that 263,566 non-federal individuals, will 
complete the SF 86 annually. The SF 86 takes approximately 150 minutes 
to complete. The estimated annual burden is 658,915 hours. e-QIP is a 
web-based system application that currently houses electronic versions 
of the SF 86. This electronic data collection tool provides

[[Page 15756]]

immediate data validation to ensure accuracy of the respondent's 
personal information. The e-Government initiative mandates that 
agencies utilize e-QIP for all investigations and reinvestigations. A 
variable in assessing burden hours is the nature of the electronic 
application. The electronic application includes branching questions 
and instructions which provide for a tailored collection from the 
respondent based on varying factors in the respondent's personal 
history. The burden on the respondent is reduced when the respondent's 
personal history is not relevant to a particular question, since the 
question branches, or expands for additional details, only for those 
persons who have pertinent information to provide regarding that line 
of questioning. As such, the burden on the respondent will vary 
depending on whether the information collection relates to the 
respondent's personal history. Additionally, once entered, a 
respondent's complete and certified investigative data remains secured 
in the e-QIP system until the next time the respondent is sponsored by 
an agency to complete a new investigative form. Upon initiation, the 
respondent's previously entered data (except ``yes/no'' questions) will 
populate a new investigative request and the respondent will be allowed 
to update information and certify the data. In this instance, time to 
complete the form is reduced significantly.
    OPM proposes the following changes to instructions in the SF 86. 
The section, ``Instructions for Completing This Form (Paper Form 
Only),'' will be amended to delete the instruction ``If additional 
space is required for an explanation or to list your residences, 
employment/self-employment, or education, you should use a continuation 
sheet, SF 86A.'' The SF 86A is no longer useful as SF 86 requests are 
conducted entirely through e-QIP. The instructions in Section 11, 
``Where You Have Lived,'' will provide clarifying instruction to not 
list a spouse, cohabitant, or relative as the verifier for periods of 
residence. The instructions in Section 12, ``Where You Went to 
School,'' will include the Department of Education Web site (http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/search.aspx) to assist respondents in 
obtaining their school address(es). The instructions in Section 20b, 
``Foreign Government Contacts,'' regarding contact with a foreign 
government, will be amended so that the respondent need report neither 
contact related to official U.S. Government travel (including official 
contact as a U.S. military service member on a U.S. Government military 
duty assignment) nor contact related to routine visa applications and 
border crossings on a U.S. passport. Section 20c, ``Foreign Travel,'' 
will be amended to clarify that travel solely for U.S. Government 
business is travel on official Government orders. Section 23, ``Illegal 
Use of Drugs and Drug Activity,'' will include instruction to clarify 
that drug use or activity illegal under Federal laws must be reported, 
even if that use or activity is legal under state or local law(s). OPM 
intends to amend the ``Authorization for Release of Information'' to 
clarify that information obtained from ``other sources of information'' 
includes publicly available electronic information.
    OPM proposes the following change to more accurately collect 
information regarding legally recognized relationships. Section 17, 
``Marital Status,'' will be renamed ``Marital/Relationship Status.'' 
Where the form requires collection of information regarding civil 
marriages and divorces, the same collection of information will be 
required of legally recognized civil unions and legally recognized 
domestic partnerships, and dissolutions of these. Since information 
regarding legally recognized civil unions and domestic partnerships 
will be captured in the ``Marital/Relationship Status'' section, the 
definition of cohabitant will be amended to exclude legally recognized 
civil unions and legally recognized domestic partnerships. Changes will 
be made to the branching questions in Section 20a, ``Foreign 
Activities,'' to collect details regarding prior ownership of foreign 
real estate that has since been sold. This change will correct a 
deficit in the branching questions that do not currently account for 
this scenario.
    OPM is proposing to make changes to Question 21, ``Psychological 
and Emotional Health,'' in connection with a comprehensive review being 
conducted by the Director of National Intelligence, in his role as 
Security Executive Agent, with the Department of Defense, OPM, and 
other Federal agencies, for the purpose of clarifying support for 
mental health treatment and encouraging pro-active management of mental 
health conditions to support wellness and recovery.

U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
John Berry,
Director.
[FR Doc. 2013-05611 Filed 3-11-13; 8:45 am]
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