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Background Investigations Customer Service for Agencies

Suitability Adjudications – 724-794-5612 x7400

Adjudications

FIS' Adjudications Group, Suitability Adjudications, is responsible for the following:

  • Make suitability adjudication determinations for covered positions under the suitability regulations in title 5, Code of Federal Regulations, part 731 (5 CFR 731.) These include agency referrals to OPM for debarment consideration as well as cases identified during the OPM investigative process involving major conduct issues and/or material, intentional false statement, or deception or fraud in examination or appointment (e.g., false education or experience claims, failure to admit issues impacting on fitness for Federal employment, etc.)
  • Act as liaison with OPM Office of General Counsel in cases appealed to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), and provide administrative support in preparing cases for the appeal process.
  • Provide operational expertise and assistance in drafting policy, regulations, correspondence and procedural guidance and manuals related to OPM's suitability program.
  • Maintain Suitability Hotline for agency questions and guidance about suitability adjudication.
  • Coordinate adjudication with the employing agency when major issues are identified during closing for background investigations conducted by OPM.
  • Plan, develop, and provide suitability related information such as quarterly roundtable presentations; oversee the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Grad School suitability course; and participate in site visits to federal agencies to discuss suitability matters upon request.

Suitability

OPM deployed its Suitability Processing Handbook (SPH) in September 2008 through the OPM Secure Portal to the heads of agency security offices. The head of security for each agency has the responsibility to determine which offices and individuals within the agency are authorized to handle suitability adjudications, and to disseminate this Handbook internally to those with a need to know. The SPH is for use by OPM adjudicative staff, as well as personnel of other Federal agency offices who review and adjudicate the suitability of competitive service positions under delegation of Part 731 of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations. For additional information concerning suitability issues, the SPH, or for questions concerning a specific case, please call the Suitability Hotline. For information concerning the OPM secure portal, dial 724-794-5612, x4600 and ask to speak with a member of the Systems Access Support.

Training

OPM now offers a two week course for Suitability Adjudicators called the Essentials of Suitability Adjudication Program. An OPM-approved overview of suitability topics is currently available through the Graduate School. Please refer to the Graduate School website. for further information on the content of that course. You must be issued a copy of OPM's Suitability Processing Handbook by your agency to participate in either class. Suitability Adjudications also hosts periodic "Roundtable" discussions on various topics. These discussions provide agencies with additional adjudicative information and tools useful in adjudicating both routine and more complex issues. For further information, please contact the Suitability Hotline.

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