For NPC Employees with WOC Appointments
As part of the WOC process, almost all NPC employees must go through some degree of security clearance and background check. The Department of Veterans' Affairs Security and Investigations Center conducts security and background checks for the VA.
VA security regulations are contained in VA Handbook 0710, Personnel and National Information Security:
Depending on an NPC employee's position description or statement of work, an employee will go through one of the five investigations described below. Duration of the WOC appointment has no impact on whether an employee undergoes an investigation except for VA appointees in non-sensitive positions whose period of employment is specifically limited to 6 months or less in the following categories: per diem, temporary, seasonal, and intermittent. Most employees will probably go through one of the first two investigations.
The most basic level of investigation is called the NACI or National Agency Check with Written Inquiry. This is for employees in non-sensitive positions (i.e., clerical support, mail clerks, etc.). Employees who have access to patient information (i.e., dealing with patients directly and/or inputting data into the computer system) or accounting information will be required to have an MBI or Minimum Background Investigation. Employees who pass either of these investigations will receive a Certificate of Eligibility that is good for 5 years. On rare occasions information received during an MBI may trigger the next level investigation called the LBI - Limited Background Investigation. An LBI will look further into credit and character issues. NPC Employees will not fall under the top two levels of investigation (BI - Background Investigation - for Service Chiefs, Medical Center Directors, etc.; or SSBI - Single Scope Background Investigation - for individuals with who need access to National Security or top secret information).
At this time, VHA has not decided whether a WOC appointment is equivalent to a contractor for purposes of the security clearance and background check. In any case, NPCs should be aware that there are costs incurred when performing these investigations and each VAMC may have a different procedure for handling the payment.
All VA appointees are required to complete the following forms:
In addition, VA appointees are required to complete one of the following forms/investigations:
Background investigations may take up to 120 days. NPCs are encouraged to work with their affiliated VA Medical Center to ensure that all NPC employees have undergone the appropriate security and background investigation process.
For NPC Administrative Only Employees
NPCs should have external background checks performed for administrative only personnel. It is particularly important to conduct background checks for those employees that will have access to accounts receivable (incoming checks) as well as bank account and credit card information.
Helpful Documents and Links:
To view the following publications, go to http://www1.va.gov/vapubs/ to
VHA Handbook 0710 - Personnel and Classified Information Security
VHA Handbook 0710, Appendix A - Position Risk and Sensitivity Level Designation
VHA Directive 0710 - Personnel and Classified Information Security
VA Security and Investigations Center - http://www.osp.va.gov/Security_and_Investigations_Center_FF.asp