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Program Assessment


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Federal Personnel Background Investigations

The Federal Investigative Services Division conducts background investigations of federal employees and contractors on a fee-for-service basis. Agencies use this information to determine individuals' suitability for Federal employment and eligibility for access to classified information.


What This Rating Means


This rating describes a program that needs to set more ambitious goals, achieve better results, improve accountability or strengthen its management practices.
  • Despite the increase in its caseload, the program has made good progress in reducing the number of backlogged investigations. For example, in 8/2005, 11% of 380, 000 cases were one year or older, but by 6/2006, only 7% of 480,000 cases belonged to that category. At the same time, the program is reducing the time required to complete various types of background investigations.
  • Despite these improvements, the investigations program may be still challenged to meet its goals, as mandated in the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004. To meet the target of completing 80 percent of initial clearance investigations within 90 days by the end of 2006, the program will have to drastically increase its rate of improvement in timeliness.
  • The investigation programs also faces the challenge of increasing the productivity of its investigative workforce as well as contractors' staff. In addition, the program needs to help client agencies to project future workload more accurately and to adjudicate complete cases in a timely manner.

Improvement Plan

About Improvement Plans

We are taking the following actions to improve the performance of the program:

  • Revising its customer satisfaction survey to gather information on all phases of investigations and interactions with customer agencies.
  • Devising performance indicators to measure its efforts to ensure that agencies develop better caseload projections, adopt automated info processing systems, and adjudicate cases in a timely manner.
  • Conducting an independent evaluation of its operations to determine if the program meets its goals.

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