Periodic Reinvestigation of Employees
SUMMARY: NTEU and the IRS have reached agreement regarding the
Periodic Reinvestigation (PRI) of employees in Moderate Risk Public Trust Positions
February 5, 2013
On February 4, 2013, NTEU and the IRS executed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) concerning the implementation of the PRI initiative. On January 16, 2009, President Bush signed Executive Order (EO) 13488, which mandates that each federal agency reinvestigate employees in Moderate Risk Public Trust Positions every five years to ensure that the employee’s continued employment is appropriate. The IRS has identified approximately 32,000 bargaining unit employees who will be reinvestigated pursuant to EO 13488. The agency plans to conduct approximately 18,000 investigations of bargaining unit employees by December 2014.
As part of this agreement, the IRS has determined that each employee will receive no less than four weeks advanced notice of the commencement of the reinvestigation. The reinvestigation process will require an employee to fill out the SF85P form through eQIP (Electronic Questionnaire for Investigative Processing) program. Upon the completion of the form, the IRS will direct the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to conduct the National Agency Check with Law and Credit (NACLC). The agency has represented in bargaining that no employee will be required to provide fingerprints for purposes of reinvestigation.
The investigative scope for the NACLC includes a search of federal investigative indexes, a FBI criminal history search, law enforcement inquiries into where the employee resided and worked for the last seven years, and credit history searches with the national credit bureaus. Once OPM completes the NACLC report, it will be sent back to the IRS.
After receiving the NACLC report, IRS Personnel Security investigators will continue the investigation. Eventually, these investigators will close the investigation or refer the matter to management for further action on issues that may have come up in the reinvestigation, which may result in disciplinary action. For all reinvestigations, the employee will be notified when the reinvestigation is completed.
NTEU was able to negotiate a number of important provisions in this MOU, including a provision that makes it clear that employees will not be required to complete the SF85P “Medical Information Release.” Additionally, the October 10, 2008 eQIP Letter of Understanding (LOU) between the parties governs all aspects of employee use of eQIP. (See LOU attached.) The 2008 LOU allows employees up to six hours of administrative time to read, prepare, and complete the SF85P form. Further, this MOU has a provision requiring that requests for additional duty time for completion of the SF85P form shall not be unreasonably denied, and a provision that all denials are subject to the parties’ grievance process.
Other highlights of the MOU include:
- At least ten (10) workdays prior to the implementation of the Periodic Reinvestigation initiative for bargaining unit employees, the agency will conduct formal meetings with all impacted bargaining unit employees in accordance with Article 8, Section (1) and (2) of the Parties’ 2012 National Agreement II (the Parties’ 2012 NA II). Impacted bargaining unit employees and chapter leaders will be provided with at least five (5) workdays’ notice of the meetings. All such meetings will be held face-to-face, via telephone, or via any other remote technological method that allows two-way communication which use has been previously agreed to by the Parties.
- Consistent with workload and staffing needs, employees will be given a reasonable amount of administrative time to review this MOU and related IRS issued guidance prior to the formal meeting.
- The agency will post written responses to any unanswered questions on the Program Website in a Frequently Asked Questions section normally within fourteen (14) calendar days of receiving the question. The agency will provide written responses addressing the private or personal nature of the question directly to employees via email within a reasonable period of time.
- Consistent with Article 8, Section 1(d)(3)(e) of the Parties’ 2012 NA II, a Union representative will be able to meet with employees for up to thirty (30) minutes without management present after the formal meeting.
- In the event that an employee inadvertently completes the Medical Information Release, the IRS will not utilize this form or release this form to the OPM as part of the reinvestigation process.
- IRS has determined that an interview is not part of the initial stage of the periodic reinvestigation. However, in exceptional situations, an interview may occur if additional information is ultimately required.
- Employees will be informed of how to obtain a copy of their previous investigation forms. (See FAQ Attachment.)
- Consistent with Article 50, Section 2(I) of the Parties’ 2012 NA II, employees who are not on a telework agreement may complete the form at a telework location.
NTEU’s bargaining team consisted of Lauri Goff, Chapter 45; John Kelshaw, Chapter 60; Malcolm Gettmann, Chapter 92; and Shelley Caspary, Chapter 222.
If you have any questions about the PRI process, please contact your National Field Representative.