80 FR 32262, June 5, 2015, unless otherwise noted.
(a) This part sets forth certain requirements and procedures which each agency shall observe for determining national security positions pursuant to Executive Order 10450 - Security Requirements for Government Employment (April 27, 1953), 3 CFR 1949-1953 Comp., p. 936.
(b) All positions must be evaluated for a position sensitivity designation commensurate with the responsibilities and assignments of the position as they relate to the impact on the national security, including but not limited to eligibility for access to classified information.
(a) In this part -
(1) Critical infrastructures are systems and assets, whether physical or virtual, so vital to the United States that the incapacity or destruction of such systems and assets would have a debilitating impact on security, national economic security, national public health or safety, or any combination of those matters.
(2) Key resources are publicly or privately controlled resources essential to the minimal operations of the economy and government.
(3) National security refers to those activities which are directly concerned with the foreign relations of the United States, or protection of the Nation from internal subversion, foreign aggression, or terrorism.
(4) National security position includes any position in a department or agency, the occupant of which could bring about, by virtue of the nature of the position, a material adverse effect on the national security.
(i) Such positions include those requiring eligibility for access to classified information.
(ii) Other such positions include, but are not limited to, those whose duties include:
(A) Protecting the nation, its citizens and residents from acts of terrorism, espionage, or foreign aggression, including those positions where the occupant's duties involve protecting the nation's borders, ports, critical infrastructure or key resources, and where the occupant's neglect, action, or inaction could bring about a material adverse effect on the national security;
(B) Developing plans or policies related to national defense or military operations;
(C) Planning or conducting intelligence or counterintelligence activities, counterterrorism activities and related activities concerned with the preservation of the military strength of the United States;
(D) Protecting or controlling access to facilities or information systems where the occupant's neglect, action, or inaction could bring about a material adverse effect on the national security;
(E) Controlling, maintaining custody, safeguarding, or disposing of hazardous materials, arms, ammunition or explosives, where the occupant's neglect, action, or inaction could bring about a material adverse effect on the national security;
(F) Exercising investigative or adjudicative duties related to national security, suitability, fitness or identity credentialing, where the occupant's neglect, action, or inaction could bring about a material adverse effect on the national security;
(G) Exercising duties related to criminal justice, public safety or law enforcement, where the occupant's neglect, action, or inaction could bring about a material adverse effect on the national security; or
(b) The requirements of this part apply to positions in the competitive service, positions in the excepted service where the incumbent can be noncompetitively converted to the competitive service, and Senior Executive Service (SES) positions held by career appointees in the SES within the executive branch. Departments and agencies may apply the requirements of this part to other excepted service positions within the executive branch and contractor positions, to the extent consistent with law.
OPM and the Security Executive Agent designated pursuant to Executive Order 13467 or any successor order may set forth policies, general procedures, criteria, standards, quality control procedures, and supplementary guidance for the implementation of this part.
(a) For purposes of this part, the head of each agency must designate, or cause to be designated, a position within the department or agency as a national security position pursuant to § 1400.102(a). National security positions must then be designated, based on the degree of potential damage to the national security, at one of the following three sensitivity levels:
(1) Noncritical-Sensitive positions are national security positions which have the potential to cause significant or serious damage to the national security, including but not limited to:
(i) Positions requiring eligibility for access to Secret, Confidential, or “L” classified information; or
(ii) Positions not requiring eligibility for access to classified information, but having the potential to cause significant or serious damage to the national security.
(2) Critical-Sensitive positions are national security positions which have the potential to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security, including but not limited to:
(i) Positions requiring eligibility for access to Top Secret or “Q” classified information;
(ii) Positions not requiring eligibility for access to classified information, but having the potential to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security;
(iii) Positions involving development or approval of war plans, major or special military operations, or critical and extremely important items of war;
(iv) National security policy-making or policy-determining positions;
(v) Positions with investigative duties, including handling of completed counterintelligence or background investigations, the nature of which have the potential to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security;
(vi) Positions involving national security adjudicative determinations or granting of personnel security clearance eligibility;
(vii) Positions involving duty on personnel security boards;
(viii) Senior management positions in key programs, the compromise of which could result in exceptionally grave damage to the national security;
(ix) Positions having direct involvement with diplomatic relations and negotiations;
(x) Positions involving independent responsibility for planning or approving continuity of Government operations;
(xi) Positions involving major and immediate responsibility for, and the ability to act independently without detection to compromise or exploit, the protection, control, and safety of the nation's borders and ports or immigration or customs control or policies, where there is a potential to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security;
(xii) Positions involving major and immediate responsibility for, and the ability to act independently without detection to compromise or exploit, the design, installation, operation, or maintenance of critical infrastructure systems or programs;
(xiii) Positions in which the occupants have the ability to independently damage public health and safety with devastating results;
(xiv) Positions in which the occupants have the ability to independently compromise or exploit biological select agents or toxins, chemical agents, nuclear materials, or other hazardous materials;
(xv) Positions in which the occupants have the ability to independently compromise or exploit the nation's nuclear or chemical weapons designs or systems;
(xvi) Positions in which the occupants obligate, expend, collect or control revenue, funds or items with monetary value in excess of $50 million, or procure or secure funding for goods and/or services with monetary value in excess of $50 million annually, with the potential for exceptionally grave damage to the national security;
(xvii) Positions in which the occupants have unlimited access to and control over unclassified information, which may include private, proprietary or other controlled unclassified information, but only where the unauthorized disclosure of that information could cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security;
(xviii) Positions in which the occupants have direct, unrestricted control over supplies of arms, ammunition, or explosives or control over any weapons of mass destruction;
(xix) Positions in which the occupants have unlimited access to or control of access to designated restricted areas or restricted facilities that maintain national security information classified at the Top Secret or “Q” level;
(xx) Positions working with significant life-critical/mission-critical systems, such that compromise or exploitation of those systems would cause exceptionally grave damage to essential Government operations or national infrastructure; or
(xxi) Positions in which the occupants conduct internal and/or external investigation, inquiries, or audits related to the functions described in paragraphs (a)(2)(i) through (xx) of this section, where the occupant's neglect, action, or inaction could cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security.
(3) Special-Sensitive positions are those national security positions which have the potential to cause inestimable damage to the national security, including but not limited to positions requiring eligibility for access to Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI), requiring eligibility for access to any other intelligence-related Special Sensitive information, requiring involvement in Top Secret Special Access Programs (SAP), or positions which the agency head determines must be designated higher than Critical-Sensitive consistent with Executive order.
(b) OPM and ODNI issue, and periodically revise, a Position Designation System which describes in greater detail agency requirements for designating positions that could bring about a material adverse effect on the national security. Agencies must use the Position Designation System to designate the sensitivity level of each position covered by this part. All positions receiving a position sensitivity designation under this part shall also receive a risk designation under 5 CFR part 731 (see 5 CFR 731.106) as provided in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section.
(c) Any position receiving a position sensitivity designation under this part at the critical-sensitive or special-sensitive level shall automatically carry with that designation, without further agency action, a risk designation under 5 CFR 731.106 at the high level.
(d) Any position receiving a position sensitivity designation at the noncritical-sensitive level shall automatically carry with that designation, without further agency action, a risk designation under 5 CFR 731.106 at the moderate level, unless the agency determines that the position should be designated at the high level. Agencies shall designate the position at the high level where warranted on the basis of criteria set forth in OPM issuances as described in § 731.102(c) of this title.
(a) Waivers -
(1) General. A waiver of the preappointment investigative requirement contained in section 3(b) of Executive Order 10450 for employment in a national security position may be made only for a limited period:
(i) In case of emergency if the head of the department or agency concerned finds that such action is necessary in the national interest; and
(ii) When such finding is made a part of the records of the department or agency.
(2) Specific waiver requirements.
(i) The preappointment investigative requirement may not be waived for appointment to positions designated Special-Sensitive under this part.
(ii) For positions designated Critical-Sensitive under this part, the records of the department or agency required by paragraph (a)(1) of this section must document the decision as follows:
(A) The nature of the emergency which necessitates an appointment prior to completion of the investigation and adjudication process;
(B) A record demonstrating the successful initiation of the required investigation based on a completed questionnaire; and
(C) A record of the Federal Bureau of Investigation fingerprint check portion of the required investigation supporting a preappointment waiver.
(iii) When a waiver for a position designated Noncritical-Sensitive is granted under this part, the agency head will determine documentary requirements needed to support the waiver decision. In these cases, the agency must favorably evaluate the completed questionnaire and expedite the submission of the request for an investigation at the appropriate level.
(iv) When waiving the preappointment investigation requirements, the applicant must be notified that the preappointment decision was made based on limited information, and that the ultimate appointment decision depends upon favorable completion and adjudication of the full investigative results.
(b) Exceptions to investigative requirements. Pursuant to section 3(a) of E.O. 10450, upon request of an agency head, the Office of Personnel Management may, in its discretion, authorize such less investigation as may meet the requirement of national security with respect to:
(1) Positions that are intermittent, seasonal, per diem, or temporary, not to exceed an aggregate of 180 days in either a single continuous appointment or series of appointments; or
(2) Positions filled by aliens employed outside the United States.
(c) Applicability. This section does not apply to:
(1) Investigations, waivers of investigative requirements, and exceptions from investigative requirements under 42 U.S.C. 2165(b);
(2) Investigative requirements for eligibility for access to classified information under Executive Order 12968; or
(3) Standards for temporary eligibility for access to classified information established by the Security Executive Agent pursuant to section 3.3(a)(2) of Executive Order 12968.
(a) The incumbent of a national security position requiring eligibility for access to classified information is subject to the reinvestigation requirements of E.O. 12968.
(b) The incumbent of a national security position that does not require eligibility for access to classified information is subject to periodic reinvestigation at least once every five years. Such reinvestigation must be conducted using a national security questionnaire, and at a frequency and scope that will satisfy the reinvestigation requirements for both national security and public trust positions.
(a) Agency heads must assess each position covered by this part within the agency using the standards set forth in this regulation as well as guidance provided in OPM issuances to determine whether changes in position sensitivity designations are necessary within 24 months of July 6, 2015.
(b) Where the sensitivity designation of the position is changed, and requires a higher level of investigation than was previously required for the position,
(1) The agency must initiate the investigation no later than 14 working days after the change in designation; and
(2) The agency will determine whether the incumbent's retention in sensitive duties pending the outcome of the investigation is consistent with the national security.
(c) Agencies may provide advance notice of the redesignation of a position to allow time for completion of the forms, releases, and other information needed from the incumbent to initiate the investigation.
(d) Agencies may request an extension, pursuant to guidance issued jointly by OPM and ODNI, of the timeframe for redesignation of positions or initiation of reinvestigations, if justified by severe staffing, budgetary, or information technology constraints, or emergency circumstances.
No provision of the rule in this part may be applied to make an adverse inference in pending administrative proceedings. However, the redesignation of a position may require that the occupant of that position undergo a new adjudication. An administrative proceeding is deemed to be pending from the date of the agency or OPM notice described in § 1400.301(c)(1).
When an agency makes an adjudicative decision based on an OPM investigation or an investigation conducted under an OPM delegation of authority, or when an agency, as a result of information in such an investigation, changes a tentative favorable placement or clearance decision to an unfavorable decision, the agency must comply with all applicable administrative procedural requirements, as provided by law, rule, regulation, or Executive order, including E.O. 12968, and the agency's own procedural regulations, and must:
(a) Ensure that the records used in making the decision are accurate, relevant, timely, and complete to the extent reasonably necessary to assure fairness to the individual in any determination;
(b) Consider all available, relevant information in reaching its final decision; and
(c) At a minimum, subject to requirements of law, rule, regulation, or Executive order:
(1) Provide the individual concerned notice of the specific reason(s) for the decision, an opportunity to respond, and notice of appeal rights, if any; and
(2) Keep any record of the agency action required by OPM as published in its issuances.
(a) Each agency conducting an investigation under E.O. 10450 is required to notify OPM when the investigation is initiated and when it is completed.
(b) Agencies must report to OPM an adjudicative determination and action taken with respect to an individual investigated pursuant to E.O. 10450 as soon as possible and in no event later than 90 days after receipt of the final report of investigation.
(c) To comply with process efficiency requirements, additional data may be collected from agencies conducting investigations or taking action under this part. These collections will be identified in separate OPM and ODNI guidance, issued as necessary under § 1400.103.