Title: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service logo - Description: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Logo

430 FW 1
Personnel Suitability and Security Program

Supersedes 430 FW 1-4, FWM 132, 03/11/94

Date: June 30, 2020

Series: Security

Part 430: Personnel Suitability and Security

Originating Office: Division of Human Capital

PDF Version

         

 

                                                                        TABLE OF CONTENTS

Topics

Sections

Overview

1.1 What is the purpose of this chapter?

1.2 What is the scope of this chapter and its accompanying handbook?

1.3 What are the authorities for this chapter and the accompanying handbook?

1.4 What terms do you need to know to understand this chapter and the handbook? 

RESPONSIBILITIES

1.5 What are the overall responsibilities for implementing the program for ensuring personnel suitability and security?

 

OVERVIEW

 

1.1 What is the purpose of this chapter? This chapter establishes:

 

A. The authorities, terms you need to know, policies, and procedural guidelines and responsibilities for the operation of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (Service) personnel suitability and security program; and

 

B. The Service’s Personnel Suitability and Security Handbook (handbook) that managers, supervisors, and Human Resources Security staff must use to ensure they are following the proper procedures when requesting and completing background investigations and clearance levels.

 

1.2 What is the scope of this chapter and its accompanying handbook?

 

A. This chapter and the accompanying handbook apply to all Service employees, volunteers, Youth Conservation Corps members and students, collegiate partners, and seasonal workers, regardless of the type of appointment or position.

 

B. The chapter covers basic information, such as authorities, terms, and responsibilities, while the handbook covers the details of handling investigations and their results.

 

1.3 What are the authorities for this chapter and the accompanying handbook?

 

A. The authorities for this chapter and the handbook are:

 

(1) Civil Service Regulations; Suitability (5 CFR § 731), National Security Positions (5 CFR § 732), and Personnel Investigations (5 CFR § 736).

 

(2) Executive Order (EO) 13467, Reforming Processes Related to Suitability for Government Employment, Fitness for Contractor Employees, and Eligibility for Access to Classified National Security Information.

 

(3) EO 13526, Classified National Security Information.

 

(4) Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD) 7: Critical Infrastructure Identification, Prioritization, and Protection.

 

(5) HSPD 12: Policies for a Common Identification Standard for Federal Employees and Contractors.

 

(6) 441 Departmental Manual (DM), Personnel Security and Suitability Program.

 

B. Nothing in this chapter or the handbook is intended to eliminate or modify any personnel suitability or security requirements established by law or EO.

 

1.4 What terms do you need to know to understand this chapter and the handbook? 

 

A. Background Investigation. A personnel fact-finding exercise conducted to meet the requirements of 5 CFR § 731 and 5 CFR § 732.

 

B. Consultant/Contractor. An individual performing a service under an agreement or contract with the Service.

 

C. Derogatory Information. Information that indicates a person’s employment or continuing employment may not promote the efficiency of Federal service or may not be consistent with the interests of national security.

 

D. National Security Clearance. An administrative determination based on the results of an investigation that an individual is trustworthy so that the Service may grant him or her access to classified national security information required to perform his/her assigned duties. There are three clearance levels: Top Secret, Secret, and Confidential. 

 

E. National Security Position Sensitivity Designation. The categorization of a position by the Service based on the potential damage a person occupying that position could do to national security if he/she mishandled information or duties. The Service makes this designation to ensure appropriate screening under EO 13467. There are three levels of sensitivity:

 

(1) Special Sensitive (SS),

 

(2) Critical Sensitive (CS), and

 

(3) Non-Critical Sensitive (NCS).

 

F. Physical and/or Logical Access Investigation. A type of background investigation necessary to obtain a personnel identification badge to access Government facilities and the network. Personnel must pass a National Agency Check with Written Inquiries (NACI)/Tier 1: physical or logical access investigation, or both, to get a Personal Identity Verification (PIV) card for long-term access to a Government facility and to access electronic information. This is not a security clearance.

 

G. Position Risk Levels. The Position Designation System (PDS) evaluates the duties and responsibilities of a position to determine the degree of potential damage to the efficiency or integrity of the Service that could result from potential misconduct of an incumbent of a position. This establishes the risk level of that position. There are three levels of position risk: High Risk (HR), Moderate Risk (MR), and Low Risk (LR).

 

In both this chapter and the handbook we use “HR” only to mean “High Risk,” and we do not use it as an acronym for Human Resources, which we always spell out.

 

H. Post-placement Investigation. A fact-finding exercise conducted after a person is hired or assigned to a specific position.

 

I. Preplacement Investigation. A fact-finding exercise conducted before a person is hired or assigned to a specific position.

 

J. Public Trust Position. A position that is considered either HR or MR.

 

K. Suitability Position Risk Designations. Risk designations are commensurate with the public trust responsibilities and attributes of the position as they relate to the efficiency of Federal service. Suitability risk levels are ranked according to the degree of adverse impact on the efficiency of Federal service that an unsuitable person could cause.

 

RESPONSIBILITIES

 

1.5 What are the overall responsibilities for implementing the program for ensuring personnel suitability and security? See Table 1-1.

 

                                                                               Table 1-1: Responsibilities for Personnel Suitability and Security

These employees…

Are responsible for…

A. Director

(1) Approving or declining to approve Servicewide policy, and

 

(2) Ensuring there is Servicewide oversight and efficient management of the personnel suitability and security program.

B. The Assistant Director – Management and Administration (AD-MA)

(1) Overseeing the management of the personnel suitability and security program,

 

(2) Designating a Service Security Officer and alternate, and

 

(3) Ensuring full management commitment to the goals and objectives of the program.

C. Chief, Human Resources Operations, under the AD-MA  

(1) Working with program managers and supervisors to implement plans to ensure the assignment of position risk level designations and position sensitivity designations are appropriate, and coordinating with the Bureau Information Resources Security Administrator/Officer.

 

(2) Ensuring the Service Security Officer is promptly notified of all relevant personnel actions for SS, CS, and NCS (national security) and HR and MR (public trust) positions and sending a copy of the Notification of Personnel Action, Standard Form (SF)-50, to the Service Security Officer. Relevant personnel actions include, but are not limited to, the following:

 

(a) Reassignments,

 

(b) Promotions,

 

(c) Details,

 

(d) Transfers, and

 

(e) Separations.

 

(3) Ensuring position risk and sensitivity designation information is entered into the Federal Personnel and Payroll System (FPPS); included on vacancy announcements; and recorded on Requests for Personnel Action (SF-52), Notifications of Personnel Action (SF-50), and Position Descriptions (Optional Form (OF)-8). 

 

(4) Ensuring vacancy announcements for SS, CS, and HR positions state that the appointment is contingent on a favorably adjudicated preplacement investigation.

 

(5) Ensuring the required investigation is conducted for Non-Sensitive /Low Risk (NS/LR) positions.

 

(6) Ensuring suitability adjudication or adverse actions for NS/LR positions are completed in accordance with 5 CFR § 731 and 5 CFR § 732.

 

(7) Ensuring that the individuals reviewing and adjudicating investigations have undergone favorable background investigations commensurate with the scope and coverage of the risk of the investigations they are handling.

 

(8) Maintaining appropriate personnel file documentation in support of the program.

 

(9) Maintaining a record of Office of Personnel Management (OPM) investigations in the Electronic Official Personnel Folder (eOPF), in accordance with the OPM Guide to Personnel Recordkeeping.

 

(10) Obtaining proper training covering program designation, position risk and position sensitivity designation, suitability adjudication and adverse actions, and other personnel suitability- and security-related matters.

 

(11) Ensuring that employees responsible for reviewing, adjudicating, and processing personnel suitability/security investigations receive adequate training.

D. Service Security Officer (within Human Resources Operations, under the AD-MA)

(1) Overseeing, complying with, and inspecting security and training procedures Servicewide to ensure that employees are cognizant of their security responsibilities; and

 

(2) Managing the day-to-day operations of the personnel suitability and security program, which include:

 

(a) Ensuring the program conforms to applicable directives.

 

(b) Holding oversight and review authority for personnel suitability and security, adjudication, position risk designation, and position sensitivity designation.

 

(c) Ensuring investigations and reinvestigations are conducted in accordance with OPM and Department of the Interior (Department) investigative requirements.

 

(d) Reviewing and adjudicating investigations for positions designated SS, CS, and NCS (national security).

 

(e) Ensuring that the people who review and adjudicate investigations for positions designated HR and MR (public trust) and NS/LR have undergone a favorable background investigation commensurate in scope and coverage with the risk of the investigations they are handling.

 

(f) Granting national security clearances within the Service.

 

(g) Ensuring individuals granted security clearances are briefed before they are given access to classified information.

 

(h) Ensuring positions occupied by individuals granted security clearances are periodically reviewed to determine a continuing requirement for the clearance, and administratively terminating or downgrading security clearances that are no longer required.

 

(i) Issuing certifications and recertifications for SS, CS, and NCS (national security) and HR and MR (public trust) positions.

 

(j) Maintaining a master listing of SS, CS, and NCS (national security) and HR and MR (public trust) positions, and a central verification system for SS, CS, and NCS positions requiring national security clearances.

 

(k) Maintaining appropriate suitability/security file documentation for each individual in an SS, CS, and NCS (national security) and HR and MR (public trust) position.

 

(l) Providing guidance on personnel suitability and security matters to the Chief, Human Resources Operations, and other Human Resources managers as necessary.

 

(m) Submitting personnel suitability and security reports to OPM and the Department’s Office of Law Enforcement and Security, as required.

 

(n) Obtaining and certifying personnel investigation and national security clearance information with other agencies and bureaus, as required.

 

(o) Conducting security briefings/debriefings, as required, and ensuring that employees with a security clearance execute the Classified Information Nondisclosure Agreement, SF-312, before accessing classified information.

E. Human Resources Security Specialists, Human Resources Operations, under the AD-MA 

(1) Serving as the principal points of contact with the Service Security Officer for personnel suitability/security matters.

 

(2) Ensuring the original OPM "Certification of Investigation" is uploaded into an individual's eOPF.

 

(3) Ensuring that FPPS is accurate with current personnel suitability/security designations.

 

(4) Initiating security clearance requests and sending them to the Service Security Officer for processing.

F. Managers and Supervisors

(1) Ensuring programs and positions under their authority are properly designated in terms of position risk and position sensitivity. They should assign position risk and position sensitivity designations in coordination with the Human Resources Operations office to ensure uniformity and consistency.

 

(2) Including position risk or position sensitivity on the SF-52 each time an action is requested.

G. Bureau Information Resources Security Administrator/Officer (in the Office of Information Resources and Technology Management)  

Overseeing, reviewing, and ensuring compliance with Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency regulations on all positions that include Automatic Data Processing (ADP) involvement.

H. Employees 

Promptly completing and submitting the required security, investigative, and personnel forms to their servicing Human Resources Operations Security office so that OPM investigations may begin.

 

For more information about this policy, contact the Division of Human Capital. For more information on this website, contact Krista Bibb in the Division of Policy, Economics, Risk Management, and Analytics, Policy and Regulations Branch (PRB).

 

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