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DCSA FOIA and Privacy

The Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA) conducts background investigations on civilian and military applicants and Federal employees or employees of government contractors, experts, instructors, and consultants to Federal programs who undergo a personnel background investigation for the purpose of determining suitability for government employment, fitness for appointment to an excepted service position, fitness to perform work under a Government contract, eligibility to serve in a national security sensitive position, acceptance or retention in the armed forces, eligibility for access to classified information, and/or eligibility for logical or physical access to a federally controlled facility or information technology system.

The DCSA Freedom of Information and Privacy Act (FOI/PA) office supports the collection, dissemination, and re-dissemination of all information gathered during the investigative process in accordance with the Privacy Act.  The DCSA maintains a record of all background investigation information that is governed by systems notice, Personnel Vetting Records System, DUSDI 02-DoD, as published in the Federal Register.  This includes all background investigation records, previously controlled by the OPM National Background Investigations Bureau and covered under the OPM Central 9 systems notice.  Effective October 1, 2019, these records were transferred to the DCSA. 

The primary duties of the FOI/PA office include:

  • release of investigative information to the general public, and to subjects of investigation and/or their designated representative
  • review and respond to requests for amendment of investigative files
  • release of investigative files to law enforcement or counterintelligence investigative entities
  • release of investigative files to parties involved in administrative proceedings or hearings

The Privacy Act 1974 - Section 552a of title 5, United States Code

The purpose of the Privacy Act (PA) is to regulate the collection, maintenance, use, and dissemination of personal information by Federal Executive Branch agencies. Generally speaking, the Act prohibits the disclosure of records contained in a system of records without the written request or consent of the individual to whom the records pertain, unless a condition of disclosure is met or the release is covered by a routine use of the SORN for the system.

The DCSA FOIPA offices supports individual privacy rights in regards to the collection and re-dissemination of all information gathered during the investigative process. As mentioned above, DCSA maintains a record of all background investigations. Dissemination of DCSA background investigations is done in accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974 [5 U.S. Code 552(a)] and Title 32, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 310: Protection of Privacy and Access to and Amendment of Individual Records Under the Privacy Act of 1974.

The Freedom of Information Act, Title 5 of the United States Code, section 552

This Act gives you the right to request access to federal agency records or information. All U.S. government agencies are required to disclose agency records to the public unless the records are protected by one or more of the FOIA's nine exemptions or three exclusions. The nine exemption categories that authorize government agencies to withhold information are:

  • Exemption 1: Information that is classified to protect national security.
  • Exemption 2: Information related solely to the internal personnel rules and practices of an agency.
  • Exemption 3: Information that is prohibited from disclosure by another federal law.
  • Exemption 4: Trade secrets or commercial or financial information that is confidential or privileged.
  • Exemption 5: Privileged communications within or between agencies, including:
  • Deliberative Process Privilege
  • Attorney-Work Product Privilege
  • Attorney-Client Privilege
  • Exemption 6: Information that, if disclosed, would invade another individual's personal privacy.
  • Exemption 7: Information compiled for law enforcement purposes that:
  • 7(A). Could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings
  • 7(B). Would deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or an impartial adjudication
  • 7(C). Could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy
  • 7(D). Could reasonably be expected to disclose the identity of a confidential source
  • 7(E). Would disclose techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions
  • 7(F). Could reasonably be expected to endanger the life or physical safety of any individual
  • Exemption 8: Information that concerns the supervision of financial institutions.
  • Exemption 9: Geological information on wells.

How do you get access to a previous investigative form you filled out?

If you have already filled out an investigative form in e-QIP prior to October 2019, it is likely that your information is available for you to review while filling out your next investigative questionnaire. Before contacting DCSA’s FOI/PA office, determine if your local human resources or security office can give you access to log back into the e-QIP system and retrieve your form. This method is likely more efficient than requesting a copy from DCSA’s FOIPA office. Your local security or human resources office may be the individual that sent you the email requesting you to fill out your next investigative questionnaire.

If your agency doesn’t have this ability, follow the directions on how to request a copy of your background investigation.

Getting a Copy of Your Background Investigation Records

To request a copy of your own background investigation you should submit a request to the DCSA FOI/PA office. You may use the INV100 Freedom of Information, Privacy Act Record Request Form or submit a handwritten request.

The INV100 is specific to DCSA and its predecessor, the National Background Investigation Bureau. Although use of this form is not mandatory, we encourage you to utilize it when making a request. Providing all the information requested on the INV100 will help complete your request in a timely manner and ensure that it is returned for additional information.

Alternatively, if you wish to submit a written request, your request must include the following information:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Full social security number
  • Mailing address and email address if you'd like your material returned electronically
  • Any available information regarding the type of record involved
  • An original notarized statement or an unsworn declaration in accordance with 28 U.S.C. 1746, in the following format: I declare (or certify, verify, or state) under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on (date). (Signature).
  • Photocopies of two different identity source documents

Note: Whether you use the INV100 or you submit a written request, you are required to also provide photocopies of two different identity source documents (see below).

Requests can be sent to the DCSA office via the methods listed below:

Mail to:

Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency
ATTN: FOI/PA office
OPM-FIPC 
PO Box 618 
Boyers, PA 16018

For deliveries requiring a street address use:

1137 Branchton Road
Boyers, PA 16016
OR 
E-mail: 
FOIPARequests@nbib.gov

E-mail Advisement: You may submit your request and identity source documents as scanned attachments to an email.  However, you should ensure that the security of your email system is adequate for transmitting sensitive information before choosing to transmit your request which contains your personally identifiable information (full name, social security number, date of birth, etc.).

Access by the Representative of the Data Subject

A request for records from a representative of a data subject may be submitted on the INV100, or submitted as a written request.  If submitted as a written request, the following must be included:

•Designation of the third party / representative, which includes the name and mailing address of the representative / third party to whom the data subject permits DCSA to release his/her record.
•Specific authorization from the data subject indicating DCSA may release his/her records to the designee.  
•Specification of the records DCSA may release to the designee.

 

The written authorization must include an original notarized statement or an unsworn declaration, from the data subject, in accordance with 28 U.S.C. 1746, in the following format: I declare (or certify, verify, or state) under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on (date). (Signature).

The written request must include the following about the data subject:

•Full name
•Date of birth
•Place of birth
•Full Social Security Number
•Photocopies of two different identity source documents

 

Acceptable Identity Source Documents

Privacy Act Requesters are required to provide photocopies of two forms of identity source documents (ID). All identity source documents provided by a requester must be the individual’s own, and ID must be current (not expired nor cancelled). The two identity source documents must bear the same name.

Approved Identity Source Documents – These documents are provided for official government use only.

  • Full Social Security Number
  • Photocopies of two different identity source documents
  • U.S. Social Security Card issued by the Social Security Administration
  • U.S. Passport or a U.S. Passport Card
  • Driver's license or an ID card issued by a state or possession of the United States provided it contains a photograph (Student ID Cards are not acceptable)
  • U.S. Military ID card or CAC card
  • U.S. Military dependent's ID card
  • PIV Card
  • Copy of a birth certificate issued by a state, county, municipal authority, possession, or outlying possession of the United States bearing an official seal
  • Certification of Birth Abroad or Certification of Report of Birth issued by the Department of State (Form FS-545 or Form DS-1350)
  • Voter registration card from the U.S.
  • Permanent Resident Card or an Alien Registration Receipt Card (Form I-551)
  • Certificate of U.S. Citizenship (Form N-560 or N-561)
  • Certificate of Naturalization (Form N-550 or N-570)
  • Employment authorization document issued by the Department of Homeland Security (such as: Form I-688A, Form I-688B or Form I-766)
  • U.S. Citizen ID Card (Form I-197)
  • Employment Authorization Card (Form I-688A)

Amendment of Records (Update DoD SoRN Updating guidance)

According to the Privacy Act an agency must permit an individual the opportunity to request amendment of a record pertaining to him/her, and our agency’s Privacy Act regulations, at Title 32 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 310.07 explain this process. Amendment requests may be submitted using the INV100 Freedom of Information, Privacy Act Record Request Form or written. Whether you choose to use the INV100 or submit a written request, the following must be included: :

  • Full name
  • Date and place of birth
  • Full Social Security Number
  • The precise identification of the record in question
  • A statement defining the amendment or corrective action you’re seeking
  • An explanation why the record is not accurate, relevant, timely, or complete without the correction
  • Factual documentation that supports your request for amendment
  • Mailing address or e-mail address where correspondence should be sent
  • An original notarized statement or an unsworn declaration in accordance with 28 U.S.C. 1746, in the following format: I declare (or certify, verify, or state) under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on (date). (Signature).
  • Photocopies of two different identity source documents

Note: Whether you use the INV100 or you submit a written request for amendment, you are required to also provide photocopies of two different identity source documents.  Please refer to the Acceptable Identity Source Documents section.

If an individual's representative submits an amendment request on behalf of the subject, written authorization from the individual who is the subject of the record must also be submitted to DCSA. The written authorization must include the name and address of the representative. It should also state the subject's permission for the representative to request amendment of the subject's record on behalf of the subject, and, indicate that DCSA is authorized to correspond with and release a copy of the revised report to the representative. The written authorization must also include an original notarized statement or an unsworn declaration in accordance with 28 U.S.C. 1746, in the following format:  I declare (or certify, verify, or state) under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on (date). (Signature).

The amendment procedures are not intended to allow a challenge to material that records an event that actually occurred nor are they designed to permit a collateral attack upon what has already been the subject of a judicial and quasi-judicial determination. The amendment procedures are also not designed to change opinions in records pertaining to the individual.

Did you move during your background investigation?

If you have moved while your background investigation is ongoing, please contact your security officer, human resources representative or facility security officer so that they can verify the correct information and communicate the update to DCSA.

Note: DCSA only needs updated contact information if your background investigation is open.