Last week the Office of Personnel Management submitted a 60-day notice and request for comments period for a new Personnel Vetting Questionnaire. The form enables improvements in the personnel security process outlined in the Trusted Workforce 2.0 effort. It eliminates the need for the three separate forms used today (the SF-85, SF-85P, and SF-86), eliminates certain questions, and adds others. The new PVQ will make the security clearance process clearer for applicants and also more simplified for investigators and adjudicators.
OPM is Suitability Executive Agent responsible for overseeing aspects of the vetting and approval process for government personnel. In that role, OPM oversees the current forms used to intake and evaluate cleared personnel. OPM works alongside the Security Executive Agent, the National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC), as both government agencies work through the Trusted Workforce 2.0 and maintaining the current personnel vetting and security clearance programs.
The PVQ is a significant update to how security clearances are issued for two reasons – it consolidates current forms, and it eliminates and adds sections.
The form removes questions that aren’t relevant while allowing for a more inclusive form when it comes to gender and family structure. It also adds questions around adjudicatively significant issues like the handling of protected information.
The two keywords are streamline and simplify – the updated form aims to do both, and is facilitated through the new National Background Investigation Services (NBIS), which is also hosting the replacement to the current digital security clearance application form, eApp, which is being phased out to replace the eQIP form.
Agencies have until January 23 to provide their feedback on the new form, and more details can be found on the Federal Register notice.