10.23.1  Personnel Security

10.23.1.1  (11-26-2008)
Purpose

  1. The purpose of this section is to establish general policy and procedures for the personnel security program of IRS, pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 10450, "Security Requirements for Government Employment," as implemented by Title 5, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), parts 731, 732, and 736; E.O. 12968, "Access to Classified Information," and in accordance with the Treasury Security Manual, TDP 15-71, Chapter I, Section 4, "Personnel Security Operations." The Director, Personnel Security (PS) will maintain personnel security operations in accordance with the procedures outlined therein.

10.23.1.2  (05-14-2009)
Personnel Security Files

  1. In accordance with Treasury Security Manual, TD P 15-71, Chapter I, Section 4, "Personnel Security Operations," the Service will establish and maintain a personnel security file for employees in the following positions: (1) national security positions; (2) moderate and high-risk public trust positions; and, (3) those in low-risk/non-sensitive positions on whom unfavorable or derogatory information has been developed or received, unless the file is maintained by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

  2. Contractors are subject to the same requirements as Treasury/IRS employees with a file maintained for contractor personnel covered by the provisions of Chapter II, Section 2, of TD P 15-71 or who require a background investigation to meet the requirements of Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD-12).

  3. The Service will not maintain a file on a contract employee granted access to classified information under the National Industrial Security Program (NISP), unless there is a requirement for additional investigation in connection with access to Treasury/IRS facilities or automated information systems or access to classified information not covered under the NISP.

  4. With regard to favorable investigations on employees or contractor personnel in low or moderate risk positions, the Service will retain pertinent investigative data only.

  5. All personnel security files are under the control of the Director, Personnel Security (PS).

10.23.1.3  (01-18-2008)
Disposition of Investigative Reports

  1. Personnel security files shall be maintained in accordance with Treasury Directive (TD) 80-05, Records and Information Management Program, and Internal Revenue Manual Section 1.15.12, relating to personnel security files.

  2. Investigative reports and related documents obtained from other agencies for making security/suitability determinations shall be destroyed in accordance with the investigating agency’s instructions.

  3. Copies of OPM investigative reports will be retained for the duration of the retention schedule; however, the OPM case transmittal will be retained in the case file as the record of adjudicative action for a minimum of two years from the date of the final decision. Reports of Investigation of cases conducted by other Federal agencies but transmitted through OPM will be handled in the manner prescribed by the originating agency’s Privacy Act system security notice or stamped caveats which may appear on those documents.

  4. To ensure compliance with OPM Federal Investigations Notice 06-03, dated April 13, 2006, "Implementation of Centralized Clearance Database," the IRS has established procedures by which clearance data is electronically submitted to the enhanced Clearance Verification System on a monthly basis in support of reciprocity.

10.23.1.4  (11-26-2008)
Certificate of Clearance and/or Security Determination

  1. For employees granted access to classified information, a Certificate of Clearance and/or Security Determination, (Treasury Department Form [TDF] 15-03.2) shall be executed. This form documents the date and basis of the determination, but does not reflect any adverse information recorded in the personnel security file. When a security clearance has been granted, the form includes the level of security clearance granted and whether it was granted on an interim or final basis. When access to classified information has been granted, upgraded, administratively downgraded, suspended or cancelled, the form will be issued and will include the level of access granted, and, where appropriate, whether the access was granted on an interim or final basis. The form is signed by the Director, PS and the signed certificate is then sent to the Official Personnel Folder (OPF) consolidation site. That office shall file the original on the right side of the OPF with a copy affixed as the uppermost document in the personnel security file.

  2. For employees in public trust positions (moderate and high risk) who do not require a security clearance, IRS Form 2077 will be used to reflect at a minimum the completion date of the investigation, type of investigation, investigative agency and type and date of the suitability/security determination. For employees in low risk positions, IRS will complete the OPM Certificate of Investigation. The originals are filed on the right side of the OPF with a copy affixed as the uppermost document in the personnel security file.

10.23.1.5  (11-26-2008)
National Security or Suitability Adjudication or Background Investigations Conducted on Employees of PS

  1. To ensure independence of the adjudication and referral process and to eliminate any appearance of a conflict of interest in the handling of investigative reports conducted on employees of PS, the following procedures shall be effected:

    1. All completed reports of investigations conducted for suitability or security purposes on employees of PS will be made available either electronically or in hard copy to the Director, PS.

    2. The Director, PS will be responsible for reviewing the completed background investigations for PS employees. The original investigation will be maintained in the National Security Programs files.

    3. A review of reports of investigation for suitability adjudication will be conducted by the Director, PS, and the final determination/adjudication will be referred to Labor Relations only when appropriate disciplinary action is recommended and with instructions to return the report of investigation to the Director, PS upon completion of their action. The Director, PS will maintain a copy of the report of investigation and complete the Form 2077 or TD F 15-03.2.

10.23.1.6  (01-18-2008)
Classified Information Nondisclosure Agreement (SF-312)

  1. As a condition of being granted access to classified information, the individual must first undergo a security briefing by appropriate security officers of PS or other appropriate security officers acting on the authority of that office, wherein he or she is informed of the obligations and responsibilities attendant upon being granted such access, and must execute the SF-312 (see http://hco.web.irs.gov/recruitstaff/PersonnelSecurity/PersonnelSecurityForms.shtml), which shall be appropriately witnessed. For all IRS employees, the original SF-312 shall be placed on the right hand side of the OPF. For individuals not having an OPF, the SF-312 will be maintained in an appropriate system of records that meets the Information Security Oversight Office's 50 year retention requirement.

10.23.1.7  (01-18-2008)
Written Consent Form for Access to Financial Records

  1. Every employee granted access to classified information must provide the employing Treasury/bureau with a written consent form. The consent form allows an authorized investigative agency access to financial and other records as defined in Executive Order 12968 Section 1.2(e), Access to Classified Information, for the duration of the employee’s access to classified information plus three years thereafter when any of the following occur:

    1. There are reasonable grounds to believe, based on credible information, that the employee or former employee is, or may be, disclosing classified information in an unauthorized manner to a foreign power or agent of a foreign power;

    2. Treasury or a bureau has received credible information that an employee or former employee has incurred excessive indebtedness or has acquired a level of affluence that cannot be explained by other information; or

    3. Circumstances indicate that the employee or former employee had the capability and opportunity to disclose classified information that is known to have been lost or compromised to a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power.

10.23.1.8  (01-18-2008)
Transfer of Personnel Security Records and Clearances

  1. In accordance with TD P 15-71, Chapter I, Section 5, when an employee transfers from Treasury to a bureau or from one bureau to another, the complete personnel security file or a copy of it must be transferred from the personnel security office of the losing bureau to the personnel security office of the gaining bureau. Exception: when the file of an IRS employee contains tax information, the tax information is not transferred outside the IRS.

  2. A current security clearance is transferable between Treasury bureaus without re-adjudication of the requisite investigation. Treasury bureaus must complete a Checklist of Permitted Exceptions to Reciprocity prior to requesting additional information (security forms or investigations) on employees with existing investigations.

  3. A current security clearance is transferable between IRS and other Federal agencies without re-adjudication of the requisite investigation. Exception: when the file of an IRS employee contains tax information, the tax information is not transferred outside the IRS.

10.23.1.9  (11-26-2008)
Protection of Personnel Security Records

  1. Personally Identifiable Information (PII) in personnel security investigations, records and operations shall be carefully safeguarded to protect the interests of both the individual and the Service, pursuant to requirements of the Privacy Act. Unless classified at a higher level, personnel security information must be afforded the same degree of protection as material identified as "Controlled Unclassified Information" (CUI) and must be used only for authorized official purposes. When not in use, personnel security information must be stored in a General Services Administration approved security container or in an equally secure area.

  2. Personnel security investigation information requested by the subject of an investigation will be processed according to established procedures under provisions of the Privacy Act or the Freedom of Information Act, as appropriate. Requests for the release of the results of any personnel security investigation should be referred to the Treasury/bureau or non-Treasury agency that conducted it. When another agency requests a copy of a PS report of investigation under the routine use provision of the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a), for the purpose of suitability or the granting of a security clearance, the request must be made in writing to IRS, Personnel Security, FOIA/PA Section, 5025 Leesburg Pike, Suite 510, Bailey's Crossroads, VA 22041.

  3. Reports containing classified information must be protected in accordance with Executive Order 12958, Classified National Security Information, as amended, and appropriate Treasury regulations.

10.23.1.10  (01-18-2008)
Monitoring Personnel and Security Clearance Changes

  1. An effective personnel security program requires that IRS personnel security officials be promptly informed of all personnel changes in order to assure that requisite investigations are obtained. Current data must be maintained on those who have been cleared to occupy sensitive positions or who have been granted access to classified information. Action will be taken to administratively withdraw or reduce the level of classified access as appropriate and to close out security files on separated employees.

10.23.1.11  (05-14-2009)
Clearance Verification

  1. When an IRS employee visits a classified facility, and that facility requires the employee’s security clearance information be transferred as a condition, the IRS Personnel Security office must certify to the host security office the necessary security clearance status and other required visit data on the employee. Acceptance of interim security clearances is left to the discretion of the agency whose facility is to be visited. Details regarding the proposed visit must be provided to the Policy and Planning office within PS sufficiently in advance of the intended activity to permit timely processing of each request. Instructions for requesting clearance verification can be found on the PS web site at http://hco.web.irs.gov/recruitstaff/personnelsecurity/index.shtml.

  2. The PS Policy and Planning office will prepare and fax a clearance verification memorandum to certify to the host or receiving agency security office the necessary security clearance status and other required data on the employee. Acceptance of temporary or interim security clearances is at the discretion of the agency whose facility is to be visited. When a Federal employee is detailed to another agency, Treasury or bureau, it is the responsibility of the sending organization (1) to ensure that the employee meets all investigative/clearance requirements for the new position, and (2) to grant any security clearance required for access to classified information.

  3. When employees of other Federal agencies or cleared contractor facilities require access to classified information at Treasury/bureau facilities, the sponsoring Treasury/bureau office must ask the personnel security office to obtain the pertinent security clearance verification data on the visitors. For Federal employees, the verification data must come directly from the visitor’s agency. For contractors, verification must be obtained from the parent company or the Defense Industrial Security Clearance Office.

10.23.1.12  (04-16-2010)
Suspension of Access to Classified Information

  1. The Service will comply with the Treasury Security Manual, TD P 15-71, Chapter I, Section 5, "Suspension of Access to Classified Information" regarding suspending an employee’s access to classified information, in accordance with Executive Order 12968. The procedures do not apply to termination of access when the individual no longer has a need-to-know.

  2. The Director, PS will be the "Determining Official" for all such determinations within the Service.

  3. The IRS Human Capital Officer will be the "Deciding Authority" for all such determinations within the Service.

  4. Whenever a determination is made to suspend access to classified information, the following will occur:

    • The employee concerned will be notified in writing of the intent of the Director, PS, as appropriate, to suspend access, consistent with the interests of national security. Notification to an employee regarding suspension of access to classified information may be delivered by personal delivery, government or commercial overnight courier or certified mail. It must be delivered in a timely manner and an acknowledgment of receipt shall be requested. The due date specified for a reply or other filing by an employee is the date the reply or other filing must be received by the Determining Official. The reply or other filing can be made by personal delivery, facsimile, mail or General Services Administration approved commercial overnight delivery.

    • A copy of any notification required by this section shall be maintained in the employee’s personnel security file and a copy shall be provided to the Director, Office of Security Programs, Department of the Treasury.

    • A brief statement of the reason(s) for the proposed suspension will be included.

    • The employee concerned will be given an opportunity to reply, in writing, to mitigate or refute the information upon which the intended action is based. Unless explicitly stated otherwise, the time period for a reply or other filing by an employee begins upon delivery of notification to the employee. Where delivery cannot be made or the delivery is refused, the time period begins five calendar days after issuance of notification to the employee.

  5. Upon determination to suspend access:

    • The Director, PS, in conjunction with the employee’s supervisor, will take steps to ensure that the employee's name is removed from all local access rosters and notice of visit certifications and that all coworkers are notified of the suspension.

    • Combinations to classified storage containers to which the employee had access will be changed unless sufficient controls exist to prevent the employee’s continued access to the lock.

10.23.1.13  (11-26-2008)
Denial and Revocation of Access to Classified Information

  1. The Service will comply with the Treasury Security Manual, TD P 15-71, Chapter I, Section 6, "Denial and Revocation of Security Clearance" regarding denying or revoking an employee’s access to classified information, in accordance with Executive Order 12968. The procedures do not apply to termination of access when the individual no longer has a need-to-know.

  2. When the Director, PS determines that (1) an individual who has been nominated for or currently has access to classified information fails to meet eligibility standards for access to classified information and (2) there are insufficient mitigating factors that indicate whether access may be granted in the future, PS should proceed with access denial or revocation of eligibility for access, as appropriate. The individual will be provided with the following review proceedings as set forth in the above section of the TD P:

    • Notification to an employee or applicant regarding denial or revocation of security clearance may be delivered by personal delivery, government or commercial overnight courier or certified mail. It must be delivered in a timely manner and an acknowledgment of receipt shall be requested. A copy of any notification required by this section shall be maintained in the employee’s personnel security file and a copy shall be provided to the Director, Office of Security Programs, Department of Treasury.

    • Unless explicitly stated otherwise, the time period for a reply or other filing by an applicant or employee begins upon delivery of notification to the individual. Where delivery cannot be made or the delivery is refused, the time period begins five calendar days after issuance of notification to the employee. The due date specified for a reply or other filing by an employee is the date the reply or other filing must be received by the appropriate office. The reply or other filing can be made by personal delivery, facsimile, mail, or General Services Administration (GSA) approved commercial overnight delivery.

  3. As set forth in Executive Order 12968, Section 5.2, the applicant or employee must be provided with a written notice of determination stating that he or she does not meet applicable eligibility standards for access to classified information. The written notice of determination must contain the following information:

    • As comprehensive and detailed an explanation of the basis for the determination as the national security interests and applicable laws permit.

    • The name and address of the official to whom the employee should direct any reply, request or other filing.

    • A copy of Chapter I, Section 6, Denial and Revocation of Security Clearance directing him or her to the description of the review proceedings.

    • A copy of Executive Order 12968, Access to Classified Information.

  4. If an employee to whom a notice of determination is issued requests a review of the determination, he or she may:

    1. Be represented by counsel or other representative at personal expense.

    2. Request, in writing, not later than 15 days after receipt of the notice of determination, either or both of the following - 1) Any documents, records, and reports upon which a denial or revocation is based, as defined in Section 5.2(a)(2) of Executive Order 12968 and 2) The entire investigative file, as permitted by the national security and other applicable law.

    3. Request, in writing, a review of that determination, within the following time frames - 1) No later than 30 days after receipt of the notice of determination, if no timely request has been made under paragraph 4a above and 2) No later than 30 days after receipt of a notice from Treasury/IRS to the employee that the Treasury/IRS has made the final release of material requested, where a timely request under paragraph 4b above has been made.

    4. Request to appear personally before the deciding authority (the Treasury/IRS official designated to review any reply to the notice of determination) and present relevant documents, materials and information. A request to appear personally shall be made no later than the time at which a written reply to a notice of determination would be timely made.

  5. Treasury/IRS must notify the employee when final release of documents or the file is made, so that the due date for a written reply may be set. If the applicant or employee requests any documents, records or reports upon which a denial or revocation is based, the documents must be provided to the employee within 30 days of receipt of the request. The documents must be provided to the extent they would be provided if requested and released under the Freedom of Information Act or the Privacy Act, as applicable. If the applicant or employee requests the entire investigative file, such documents must be provided promptly prior to the time set for a written reply, as permitted by the national security and other applicable law. A reply to the notice of determination must be reviewed by an official designated by Treasury/IRS officials or personnel security authority.

    Note:

    The deciding authority shall not be under the supervision of the individual issuing the notice of determination.

  6. If the applicant or employee timely requests an opportunity to appear personally, the deciding authority must comply with the provisions of Executive Order 12968, Section 5.2(a)(7), be present at the personal appearance and prepare a written summary or recording of the personal appearance, at Treasury/bureau discretion. The deciding authority will also make any necessary rulings for the conduct of the personal appearance and regulate the proceeding as may be necessary.

    Note:

    A confrontation interview as part of the investigation does not constitute an opportunity to appear personally.

  7. Upon completion of the review of the case, the deciding authority must notify the employee in writing of his or her decision (notice of review). In the notice of review, the deciding authority must state the reasons for the decision and identify the deciding authority. If the decision of the deciding authority affirms the determination to deny or revoke the security clearance, the notice of review must also inform the employee of the right to appeal the decision to the Department’s Security Appeals Panel, as described in Executive Order 12968, Section 5.2(a)(7).

  8. To file an appeal, the individual must submit a written appeal to the Security Appeals Panel at the following address, within 30 days of receipt of the notice of review: Security Appeals Panel c/o Director, Office of Security Programs, Room 3185 Treasury Annex, 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20220.

  9. When an applicant or employee timely requests a review of a notice of determination or, after such review, appeals to the Security Appeals Panel, the denial or revocation of eligibility for access to classified information is implemented only when any or all such proceedings have been completed.

    • Failure of the applicant or employee to: (1) request review of the determination, (2) appeal to the Security Appeals Panel or (3) meet any applicable time limit for these actions normally results in the termination of any further proceedings. The denial or revocation of security clearance is implemented at that time.

  10. Until a deciding authority is designated, the official who issues the notice of determination will make any necessary rulings with respect to these proceedings. Upon designation of the deciding authority, the deciding authority will make any necessary rulings on these proceedings.

    • Upon receipt of a written appeal to the Security Appeals Panel, the Chair of the Panel shall make any necessary rulings on procedural matters.

  11. These provisions, consistent with Executive Order 12968, Section 5.2(c), create no procedural or substantive rights.


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