CBP Public Trust BI

A former manager called me to let me know that he will have a conversation with an investigator about my BI.

What part of the process is that?

The investigative process

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I hope near the end.

Likely the beginning of the process. The early paper work portion is just that - paperwork and doesn’t really indicate where you are on the timeline of the process.

And don’t bother asking your investigator how long the investigation will take. Each investigator is different and each case is unique. In short, it will take as long as it takes.


Fantastic… thank you.

I have a full-time job. I always let them do their job.

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What determines whether they have a personal interview or just mail them a “card?”

The investigation type.

What kind or type of questions the investigator will ask my former manager?

Whatever the investigator needs to ask in order to clarify, understand, or seek further information.

Once again - it depends, each case is unique.


Should I wear suit and tie for my face to face interview with my investigator?
Long sleeve shirt with tie only or just a long sleeve shirt?

The investigator likely won’t care what you’re wearing. Just be presentable lol


and don’t show up with a cold!! (this is why I am not working right now)

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I’m about to bex going thru a public trust investigation for BOP Bureau of Prisons. I’m not sure what level of Public trust that is. I did the SF85P. So will my previous supervisor be called or do a face to face with an investigator? Also, I’m wondering what types of questioning or intoformarion the investigator will be seeking from my supervisor. The 85P was very non intrusive in its query into work performance history. I’m guessing they go beyond the questions of the 85P and ask how my work performance was, any discipline issues, and why I left employment there, if they’d hire me again? Then try yo find other coworkers to interview?
Trying to understand the difference of investigation depths. Thought Public Trust was supposed to be less intrusive. Thanks to anyone who will give some insight/input

The case type will dictate who they contact as far as supervisors go (or if they will even interview them) but if an interview is needed it will usually be done face to face.

Yes they will ask all the questions you listed and more.

When thinking about the different levels of investigations, what makes them different is scope of the investigation. How far they look back and what sort of info is required (aka do they actually interview past supervisor and coworkers, or just verify that you worked there, etc), whether they go knock on doors around your house and interview a neighbor or not, things like that.

Public trust IS much less “intrusive” than higher levels, but it has more to do with the number of people they interview than what questions are asked. In a T5 investigation they’ll talk to neighbors, friends, current and past coworkers and supervisors, and more if needed. In lower level investigations they aren’t going to do things like neighbor sources or social sources in most cases. The content of the interviews and the questions that are asked doesn’t change, it’s just who and how many people are interviewed. Hope that makes sense.

Ok thanks. So if they’re going to ask those questions to supervisors, why aren’t those questions asked on the 85P? Looks like that would be another way to check integrity by checking what you disclosed against what the supervisor says in work performance/discipline issues. Seems like in that context… if I had negative employment performance history…but its not asked about on the 85P, so I don’t disclose it. And I get an interim clearance based off the 85P answers…then the investigator learns I have negative employment performance history during the investigation. Is that grounds to not grant the final adjudication for Public Trust? In short…why are they asking questions to supervisors that you werent asked go provide on the 85P and questions that your interim clearance wasn’t based on? Seems like the questions asked/how deep they dig would depend on the level of investigation… i. e.public trust, T3, secret, top secret… Thanks for any clarification.

The sf85P does ask those types of questions. There is a section that asks about employment record. (Aka- have you been fired, quit after being told you’d be fired, left after allegations of misconduct… etc)

There are also supplemental questions that are asked depending on what actual tier type your case is. The employment question is related to any employment issues or misconduct, etc.

An interim is just that, an interim. They reviewed everything and decided they could be hopeful that your case would go through based on what you submitted and your unique situation.

Minor employment issues aren’t going to make or break you here. Now if they find you’ve had numerous security violations or some egregious issues, then you’ll be in hot water.

It sounds to me like you’re concerned about this because you’ve had an employment issue in the past. Have you had any interview with an investigator? Also, do you know what level clearance/trust this is? That will clarify things for me.

It is for Public Trust with the bureau of prisons (Dept of Justice) for a correctional officer. I do not know what level of PT that would be. I’m guessing moderate level. The only employment question I seen on the 85P is if I was fired, resigned in lieu of termination, yadda yadda ya. But it doesn’t ask if I’d had any misconduct or negative work performance history. I wasn’t a favorite at my workplace for sure. So I don’t know how they’d comment about me. So again, wasn’t sure what questions would be asked. The 85p I filled out was not intrusive asking about job related stuff. Only if I’d been fired or quit before I was fired. I feel like its easy to get the investigation processes mixed up between public trust and secret or top secret. So I’m trying to figure out basically how deep they would dig into my background for the specific public trust suitability I am applying for.

I have not had an interview with an investigator yet. Additionally I feel like there is alot of information here regarding the SF86 and T3 or T5 clearances…secret and top secret. But how much of that is relative to a Public trust investigation/suitability? Is the investigation, questioning, and gathering of info different between each investigation type or is it that only the 85p and 86 is different in the depth of questioning

Yes, every case type is different in terms of gathering info. Aka how much info is gathered and how far back in years the investigation looks. As I said before, the questioning in the source interviews is really the same, it’s just which people (and how many people) will be interviewed that is the difference between the case types.

For example, if an investigator is working a Top Secret case, they may be doing those source interviews with, let’s say around 5-10 people. This would be neighbors, friends, coworkers, etc. They’re all being asked the same general set of questions in the interview.

If they are working a public trust case, they might only talk to 2-3 people. Still, asking that same general set of questions in the interview.

There are generally time windows that dictate a lot. Let’s say your case type requires coverage of employment for the past ten years. If you’ve been working at Walmart since 2004, the investigator is only going to have to talk to your supervisor and coworker from Walmart.

On the flip side- If you’ve worked at seven different jobs in the past ten years, the investigator would have to talk to a supervisor and coworker from EACH of those seven jobs.

The same is true for all the case types.

For example- a T2 case type doesn’t even require actual interviews to be done of supervisors and coworkers for previous employment. They simply verify your employment (aka make sure that if you said you worked at Target from 2/12-4/15 that you really did work there for that timespan).

Most of the time the public trust levels don’t involve a ton of actual interviews. This is of course barring any sort of major issues that are identified. (Think police record issues or history of drug use, etc)

Think of it as a gradual incline in detail for the respective case types. Obviously someone who is getting a top secret clearance and access to classified info is going to have a much more in-depth and extensive investigation than someone who is getting a public trust level. Most of the work on public trust cases is just to make sure you’re not just BSing anything or there aren’t any major issues you’re hiding. Does this make a bit more sense?

Also, some of the questions I mentioned will come up during an interview and aren’t typically listed on the form. That may explain why you haven’t seen/heard them yet.