Late last Fall the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) implemented the first 2 tiers of the new 5-tier background investigation process that was approved through collaboration between OPM and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). Although OPM did not send out an official notice to the field that they were implementing Tiers 3 and 3R (reinvestigation) effective in FY 2016, they have now been incorporated into the new billing standards (Federal Investigations Notice No. 16-01 issued on October 2, 2015). OPM still has not revealed when it will implement Tiers 4 and 5. Below are what the new tiers look like:
Lately there has been a lot of discussion and questions on the site regarding polygraphs and in response I have put together this general information. Keep in mind that each agency has its own criteria and policies regarding the use of polygraphs and acceptable results.
NDI = A ‘passed’ polygraph
In the security clearance arena polygraphs are used to help determine an individual’s eligibility for a special assignment or access to specifically designated information protected within SAPs. The most desirable polygraph result would be something called NDI or “No Deception Indicated.” NDI means you passed. You can also “pass” the polygraph if you fall within an acceptable range of the NDI threshold. If you do not fall within the acceptable NDI parameter range of an agency or department’s polygraph program, your application process is terminated.
An 0p-ed in the Washington Post by former deputy secretary of defense and chairman of the Defense Policy Board John Hamre calls the current security clearance process pathetic.
Hamre relayed the process he had to go through for his recent top secret security clearance renewal. For unclear reasons he had to re-submit his electronic SF-86. While this itself was an annoyance, it seemed to be the security clearance interview that sent Hamre over the edge in his frustration with the process.