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Balancing Personal Privacy and Transparency

Agency Requests for Background Investigations

Pre-Placement Releases to Agencies

Designated agency officials can request copies of NBIB conducted background investigations for use in making determinations concerning whether an individual is suitable or fit for Government employment; eligible for logical and physical access to federally controlled facilities and information systems; eligible to hold a sensitive position (including but not limited to eligibility for access to classified information); fit to perform work for or on behalf of the Government as a contractor employee; qualified for Government service; qualified to perform contractual services for the Government; and loyal to the United States. This is considered a pre-placement file release request.

To request a copy of a background investigation from NBIB for pre-placement purposes agencies can:

  • Call NBIB's Telephone Liaison at 724-794-5228 and provide the requested information to obtain the file
  • Submit a file request through agency on-line access through the Personnel Investigations Processing System (PIPS)
  • Fax a written request to 724-794-9861
  • Mail a written request to:
    Liaison Group
    Attn: Telephone Liaisons
    PO Box 618
    1137 Branchton Road
    Boyers, PA 16018-0618

Requests for Background Investigation Records for Other, Non-Adjudicative Purposes:  Intelligence Purposes, Administrative Court Proceedings, UCMJ Hearings, Discovery/Litigation, EEOC matters, etc.

Background investigation records are maintained as part of the OPM Central-9 system of records.  Central-9 includes many routine uses or reasons why NBIB may re-disseminate a subject’s record without his/her direct consent at the time the request is made.  The Privacy Act also outlines several exceptions under which Privacy Act protected records can be disclosed without a subject’s direct consent.

Routine use requests and Privacy Act exception requests should be sent to NBIB FOI/PA office via one of the below methods:

  • Fax to: 724-794-4590
    Advisement: this is not a secure fax
  • Mail to:
    National Background Investigations Bureau
    FOI/PA office
    Attention: Supervisory FOI/PA Specialist
    PO Box 618
    1137 Branchton Road
    Boyers, PA 16018-0618
  • E-mail:
    Advisement: The request may be submitted as a scanned attachment to an email. However, you should ensure that the security of your email system is adequate for transmitting sensitive information before choosing to transmit the request which contains personally identifiable information (full name, social security number, date of birth, etc.).

Requests Specifically Needed for Civil or Criminal Law Enforcement Activities

Subsection (b)(7) of the Privacy Act states: No agency shall disclose any record which is contained in a system of records by any means of communication to any person, or to another agency, except pursuant to a written request by, or with the prior written consent of, the individual to whom the record pertains, unless disclosure of the record would be to another agency or to an instrumentality of any governmental jurisdiction within or under the control of the United States for a civil or criminal law enforcement activity if the activity is authorized by law, and if the head of the agency or instrumentality has made a written request to the agency which maintains the record specifying the particular portion desired and the law enforcement activity for which the record is sought

If an agency needs to request records from NBIB under subsection (b)(7): A written request on agency letterhead should be submitted by the agency head or the head of the instrumentality making the request, or by another senior official with evidence that the request function has been delegated (not by the individual agent). If the request is made pursuant to subsection (b)(7) of the Privacy Act, as defined above, then this should be noted in the request. The request letter must include:

  • Purpose of the request (e.g., the information is needed in connection with an ongoing criminal investigation)
  • All available subject identifiers

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