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U.S. Geological Survey Manual

U.S. Geological Survey Manual

No. OOP-92-1

Date: September 3, 1992

Archive Date:  February 04, 2009

Subject: Completion of Personnel Investigation Forms

Instructions:  This Instructional Memorandum is superseded by OPM Electronic Forms Online with instructions for filling out the required forms in the DOI Handbook and the USGS handbook.

Reference: SM 370.736.3

A recent report received from the Department of the Interior summarizes information relating to unacceptable submissions of forms SF-85 (Questionnaire for Non-Sensitive Positions), SF-85P (Questionnaire for Public Trust Positions), and SF-86 (Questionnaire for Sensitive Positions) during the month of May 1992. The report documents reasons for unacceptability of these forms for processing by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

On average, 35 per cent of our SF-85 submissions to OPM in May were returned to us because of improper completion of the form. Specifically, items which require completion prior to submission of the form to OPM were not completed, complete mailing addresses were not provided by employees completing the form, and there were gaps in the employment history information provided by employees for the coverage period.

Each form provides specific instructions for its completion. Servicing personnel offices and division field offices are responsible for ensuring that the form is completed in an accurate and complete manner and for that period of time for which information is requested. While the employee may type or legibly print answers, we suggest that the form be typed to eliminate any questions regarding its legibility. Forms should be reviewed very closely before they are submitted to servicing personnel offices for forwarding to OPM.

Failure to complete these forms in an accurate manner leads to significant delays in the conduct of important employee background investigations. In some instances, these investigations result in adverse information which requires follow-up clarification or explanation by individuals who have been hired by the U.S. Geological Survey. For this reason, personnel and administrative staff must give a high priority to timely completion, submission, and processing of these personnel investigation forms.

If you have any questions relating to completion of the SF-85 and SF-85P forms, please call your servicing personnel office or the Branch of Recruitment and Placement on FTS (703) 648-6131. Questions regarding completion of the SF-86 form should be directed to your division security officer or the Bureau Security Officer on FTS (703) 648-4467.


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