Background Investigations for Security & HR Professionals Terms & Definitions

Administrative Return Notice: Case papers are returned when the type of investigation requested is inconsistent with Sensitivity/Access information in the “Agency Use Only” block. The investigation has not been initiated, so the notice must be returned to DCSA with the corrected case papers as soon as possible. Contact DCSA Telephone Liaison at 878-274-5228 for clarification.

Case Closing Transmittal (CCT): The CCT provides a summary of investigated activities and results, and indicates one of the following closing actions: Closed-Complete (CM), Closed-Pending (CP), Incomplete (IC), or Discontinued (DC).

Case in Process Notice: Indicates an investigation meeting or exceeding requirements of the requested investigation is already in process. If the case in process was requested by the same Submitting Office Number (SON), the notice will indicate the second request was a duplicate. If the case in process is for another agency’s Security Office Identifier (SOI), a copy of the case will be sent to the second requestor’s SOI when it is completed.

Certification of Investigation (COI): This is a notice included in the package that a SOI can send to the SON, after adjudication, for filing on the permanent side of the OPF.

Closed-Discontinued Notice: Indicates when the case has been discontinued at the agency’s request. The notice should be forwarded by the SOI to the SON for filing on the permanent side of the OPF.

Closed-Incomplete Notice: Case papers are returned when DCSA has not received a new fingerprint chart previously requested from the SON. The notice must be returned with the new fingerprint chart and the case papers. If the investigation is no longer required, the notice is sent by the SOI to the SON for filing on the permanent side of the OPF.

Central Verification System (CVS): CVS contains information on security clearance, suitability, fitness, and Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD-12) Personal Identity Verification (PIV) credentialing determinations. This information is provided by agency sources from across the Federal Government, DCSA legacy systems and a bridge to the Department of Defense Joint Personnel Adjudication System (JPAS).

electronic Questionnaires for Investigations Processing (e-QIP): e-QIP is a web-based automated system that was designed to facilitate the processing of standard investigative forms used when conducting background investigations for Federal security, suitability, fitness and credentialing purposes. e-QIP allows the user to electronically enter, update and transmit their personal investigative data over a secure internet connection to a requesting agency and then allows the requesting agency to release the investigation request to an Investigations Service Provider (ISP).

FD-258: Fingerprint Chart historically used for contractor fingerprint submissions to DCSA. As of June 2013, contractor fingerprints can also be submitted to DCSA on the SF 87 Fingerprint Chart.

Federal Investigations Notice (FIN): One of DCSA’s predecessors, the National Background Investigations Bureau (NBIB), issued Federal Investigations Notices (FIN) to its customer agencies to inform the agencies of changes in the investigation process, to clarify policy, or to announce upcoming events. There is no regular schedule for FIN issuances. The notices were made available on the NP2 Secure Portal and are currently archived on Notices for Policies, Systems & Processes.

Federal Investigations Processing Center (FIPC): DCSA-FVD, PO Box 618 or 1137 Branchton Road, Boyers, PA 16018-0618. (878) 274-1000

FIPC 11: Request to Agency for New Fingerprint Chart

FIPC 45A: Unacceptable Case Notice. This form is sent to agencies when investigation requests are returned to agencies as unacceptable. This happens when investigative forms are not completed correctly or are missing essential information about the individual being investigated. When this happens the investigation will be rejected back to the agency in e-QIP for correction. If the agency rejects the investigation back to the applicant, the applicant will need to make needed corrections to the form, answer all yes/no questions again and resubmit to agency with signed and dated certification and releases. The FIPC 45A is not needed when the investigation is resubmitted to DCSA electronically. For more information about the unacceptable investigations submission process, visit Authorized Contacts SON/SOI.

FIPC 402: Agency Adjudication on Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Post Appointment Arrest

INV 70B: Request for PIPS/CVS User ID/Access. Use the INV 70B to request access to PIPS and CVS. If you need to request access to CVS in order to upload batch files of clearance or credentialing information, please email

INV 79A: Report of Agency Adjudicative Action on DCSA Personnel Investigations. This form accompanies the CCT and must be returned to DCSA by the SOI to report the action taken. The adjudication must be reported in CVS. Adjudications may also be reported electronically to OPM via CVS. If you have questions about using CVS for this purpose, please call your DCSA Agency Liaison at 878-274-1000.

INV 86C: Request for Special Agreement Check.

Investigation Scheduled Notice: Verifies the requested investigation has been scheduled by DCSA. Agencies should notify Telephone Liaison at 878-274-5228 if there is a question about this notice. Agencies should contact their DCSA Agency Liaison at 878-274-1000 if they wish to stop receiving these notices.

National Background Investigations Bureau (NBIB): One of the two predecessor agencies that merged into of the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA) on October 1, 2019. NBIB was a subcomponent of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management that provided investigative products and services for over 100 Federal agencies to use as the basis for suitability and security clearance determinations as required by Executive Orders and other rules and regulations. The other predecessor agency was the Defense Security Services (DSS).

OF 306: Declaration for Federal Employment

OFI 16A:Specific Release (for specific medical, financial, or other information)

OFI 79: Now obsolete per FIN 13-04

Notice of Personnel Investigation: This form was used by other Federal investigation agencies to notify OPM an investigation was being initiated. This information was added to OPM’s SII and the investigative agency was sent results of an SII search. After adjudication, the agency was required to complete Part C of this form and return it to OPM-FIPC. This form was replaced by an electronic process utilizing the Central Verification System (CVS) called the ISP-INV process outlined in FIN 13-04

Personally Identifiable Information (PII): Information which can be used to distinguish or trace an individual's identity, such as their name, social security number, biometric records, etc. alone, or when combined with other personal or identifying information which is linked or linkable to a specific individual, such as date and place of birth, mother's maiden name, etc.ii

Personnel Investigations Processing System (PIPS): PIPS is the computer system which maintains the Security/Suitability Investigations Index (SII), a repository containing over 11 million background investigation records of Federal employees, military personnel, and contractors. PIPS is also the system that NBIB uses to processes and complete background investigations.

PIPS 11 Form: Security Office Identifier (SOI) Authorization & Amendment Form (PDF file)

PIPS 12 Form: Submitting Office Number (SON) Authorization & Amendment Form (PDF file)

Returned Requirements Met Notice: Indicates an investigation has recently been completed which meets or exceeds requirements of the requested investigation. The request for investigation is returned, as no additional investigation is necessary, and a copy of the previous case, if any, is sent to the SOI for adjudication. After adjudication, this notice is sent by the SOI to the SON for filing on the permanent side of the OPF.

Security/Suitability Investigations Index (SII): OPM's repository containing background investigation records of Federal employees, military personnel, and contractors.

Security Office Identifier (SOI): A unique alphanumeric four-character identifier from DCSA, which is used to identify the appropriate agency official who will receive case results, data, or other information from DCSA. An agency's Security Office is responsible for receiving completed investigation reports from DCSA, controlling the agency's cases, and making the suitability and security determinations on individuals being investigated for employment.

Submitting Office Number (SON): A unique four-character alphanumeric code assigned to each office that requests investigations from DCSA. The SON identifies the office that initiates investigation requests and/or releases the investigation request to the Investigations Service Provider for processing.

SF 85: Questionnaire for Non-sensitive Positions.

SF 85P: Questionnaire for Public Trust Positions.

SF 85P-S: Supplemental Questionnaire for Selected Positions. This supplemental form is for use with the SF 85P. If using DCSA as the Investigations Service Provider, an agreement must be in place with DCSA before DCSA will accept the SF 85P-S for investigations processing.

SF 86: Questionnaire for National Security Positions.

SF 87: Fingerprint Chart historically used for Federal and Military fingerprints submissions to DCSA. As of June 2013, the SF 87 can also be used for contractors.

Page 5 of the Guide to Personnel Recordkeeping, June 1, 2011.

ii OMB Memorandum 07-16, Safeguarding Against and Responding to the Breach of Personally Identifiable Information, dated May 22, 2007.