The Office of Personnel Management’s National Background Investigation Bureau (NBIB) currently conducts most of the background investigations for the federal government. These include Tier 1-3 investigations for low risk non-sensitive, public trust, and national security positions for both civil servants and contractors working on behalf of the government. Some of the items on the investigations may require completion of a form sent out by the NBIB to a person named by the subject of the investigation. These forms may or may not get sent back in, just depends on the wherewithal, time available, and diligence of the recipient. Here is a brief description of the forms used by NBIB:

General Request for Investigative Information (INV 40) – is used to collect records from a Federal or State record repository or a credit bureau.

Investigative Request for Law Enforcement Data (INV 44) – is used to collect law enforcement data from a criminal justice agency.

Investigative Request for Employment Data and Supervisor Information (INV 41); Investigative Request for Personal Information (INV 42); and Investigative Request for Educational Registrar and Dean of Students Record Data (INV 43) – these forms are sent to employment references, associates, and educational institutions. The forms disclose that the source’s contact information was provided by the subject to assist in completing a background investigation to help determine the subject’s eligibility for employment or security clearance, and request that the source complete the form to help in this determination.

All of these forms are currently undergoing minor tweaks in verbiage that will not change their intended purpose, but rather provide clarity to those filling them out. Additionally, soon to come is an updated Questionnaire for Non-Sensitive Positions (SF-85) for which NBIB solicited final comments to proposed changes last month. From what I can tell, two major changes of note are the addition of a Police Record section and the removal of the “people that know you well” reference section. This makes sense, as most of the time these do not get returned during the course of a low risk background investigation.

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Marko Hakamaa served in various military police positions with the United States Army worldwide for 22 years before retiring in 2006 as a Master Sergeant. Afterwards, he transitioned into the civilian workforce as a contractor background investigator for the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) before entering civil service as a Security Specialist in 2009.