Lack of Action on Proposals To Resolve Longstanding Problems in Investigations of Federal Employees

FPCD-79-92: Published: Sep 25, 1979. Publicly Released: Sep 25, 1979.

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Following a December 1977 report on proposals to resolve problems in investigations of Federal employees, recommendations were made to Congress and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) which showed that the authority for investigations is out of date and has been eroded by more recent laws and court decisions. OPM does not have adequate classification criteria for agencies to determine the proper investigation. The national agency check with inquiry investigation is inadequate for employees with sensitive duties and too extensive for most employees. OPM has inadequate controls for disseminating information to protect individual rights. Concern has been expressed about the lack of action taken to resolve the problems identified.

Even though GAO, Congress, and OPM agree that the current investigation program has serious problems, few improvements have been made. OPM does not plan to make significant changes to the existing program unless it is directed to do so and is provided the needed resources. This follow-up reemphasized the failure of the current program to adequately protect either the Government or individual rights.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Matter: Congress should consolidate into one law the authority to investigate and judge the suitability of Federal employees, including the potential of employees in sensitive positions to impair national security.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: OPM should provide clear criteria for determining the extent of investigations, make sure investigative coverage is proper, establish controls to protect individuals' privacy, and obtain approval to retain the security resource file on organizations.

    Agency Affected:


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