Bush orders reciprocity for employment suitability decisions
President George W. Bush today ordered agencies to recognize each other’s previous favorable decisions when determining the fitness and suitability of federal contractors, along with employees who are part of the excepted federal service. Bush also said it is necessary to re-investigate people in positions of “public trust” to ensure they remain suitable their jobs.
The executive order, was issued "to simplify and streamline the system of federal government personnel investigative and adjudicative processes to make them more efficient and effective,” the document states. The director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) was ordered to implement the policy.
According to federal regulations, public trust positions can involve policy making, major program responsibility, public safety, health or law enforcement duties, fiduciary responsibilities or access to financial records.
With the exception of people in public trust positions, the order said agencies’ favorable eligibility determinations should be reciprocal provided that:
standards that meet OPM criteria were used in the original determination and the current determination.
applicant had no break in employment since the original favorable
determination was made.
However, agencies are not required to grant reciprocal recognition
of another agency's prior favorable determinations when:
- A new
position requires a higher level of investigation that previously
agency gets new information that calls into question the person’s fitness
to serve based on character or conduct.
- The person’s
investigative record shows conduct that is incompatible with the duties
of the new position.
Ben Bain is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.