DCSA Guidance Interviews

Did anyone see the new DCSA guidance for Source / Subject interviews?! Specifically for phone interviews.

“Sir, I understand you have a busy work schedule and can only do a telephone interview but that’s not good enough for us you have to meet me”.

Goodbye SUs!

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CACI hasn’t given us that guidance yet. Our last guidance is to just report why they wanted a phone interview and honor the request. Ive checked all my emails as of the time I posted this, maybe new guidance is coming any they just haven’t sent it yet. I don’t know.


I checked mine also, found nothing. With the new time tracking and zero phone interviews, I am worried.

The new guidance, issued last May, is the old guidance before Covid. If a Source asks for a telephone interview, generally you can do it. We don’t turn down interviews because needed Sources decline to be interviewed in person.

Your company or supervisor(s) made a decision if you received different instructions.

I am worried we well. No Source wants to meet in person anymore. NOT acceptable to put in inote anymore include “due to busy schedule, lack of child care, working remote, or working full time” So basically we have to force them to meet with us in-person? What loyalty does Susie Q have to the Subject who she worked with 2.5 years ago and hasn’t seen since? Not enough loyalty for Susie Q to use her own time and gas to meet with us that’s for sure.

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It’s coming, just wait. It’s bad. Convenience, busy work schedule, child care, convenience, are no longer acceptable reasons for a phone interview.

The contract that just keeps on giving - in the worst way. This uphill battle with the new metrics standards and charge time cost strings just got extremely steeper, basically impossible…unless you work off the clock which CACI does not deserve from any of us!

Which vendor are you with? Wondering why CACI is behind schedule on this news.

Almost every source will meet in-person if you present it the right way - investigators have to take charge of that process and be confident when speaking with sources. A few sources resist. In pre-COVID days, an investigator would not want to do any more than perhaps 5 to 10 percent of sources via phone because that was tracked. My guess is, that same tracking will likely return, so beware! The real problem is the time factor - takes a lot of time to get these done in-person! But that is the way it is now.

So Peraton (idc) said it was DCSA movement/guidance but you are right, some clarification looks like it was just pre-covid but now it is more stringent. As in, ‘Investigator needs to confirm Source/Subject refuses to meet in-person and must document as such’.

I 100% disagree with this.


Pre-covid guidance used to allow for distance, current guidance has no mention of a distance allowance. Current guidance allows phone interviews if the source won’t meet in person. The real question is, can sources be solicited for phone interview or do they have to refuse in person or request a phone interview. I’m sure most Investigators are wording it so that it’s an either/or option which probably wouldn’t be honored in an integrity situation. Be careful.

I disagree as well. Sources generally do not want to take time away from work to meet with us in-person during work hours or leave work early (therefore using PTO), their lunch hour or after work hours as they usually have a family to tend to. Not to mention the cost of gas.


I have not heard any ya out no phone interview yet. But it’s silly to cut that out because it saves time and money. But what do I know ?

Out of context for guidance. It’s no longer permissible just because of COVID and now must be a legit reason from Source.

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Pre-Covid was a different word. We would have never in a million years thought that the job would have gone 100% by phone. Yes, telephone interviews were tracked pre-covid…but it was a different world. It was pre-protests, pre-social distancing, pre-Zoom. The people making these rules have either never done this job or haven’t done it in 20 years. It is a different world now. People don’t want strangers coming to their house. Flashing badges when knocking on random doors is not always safe. People are working from home. Zoom/Teams meetings are normal ways of doing business. We can no longer show up at an employer and get what we need in 1 stop. We have to chase down each source and the record as nobody is in the office on the same day (if they are in the office at all). Telephone interviews were completely allowed for near 2-1/2 years and then suddenly they are not okay anymore. Any of the allowances that we had even pre-covid have been taken away. Sources are used to telephone interviews. I completely disagree that all sources will do interviews in person if you “word it correctly” but I also believe that some sources can and should be interviewed by telephone. Neighbors who hardly know their neighbors were hard enough to get by telephone and now we have to get them to meet us in person…it is amazing how a neighbor knows their neighbor until we start trying to schedule an appointment and suddenly they hardly know their neighbor anymore and can’t answer any questions…

It is like DCSA is trying to stop us in our tracks…making it impossible to get any work done (and for the contract companies to make any money)…and CACI is blind to that, forcing us to get more and more work done (because they need to make money)…we are all in an impossible situation and it is making this job unbearable…


Whether or not sources will meet in person is irrelevant. Forcing sources to meet in person if they are not expected to be aware of or cover issues is a huge waste of time and resources. Driving 2 hours round trip for a 15 minute minute interview that might not even provide sufficient coverage is how we ended up with a 600,000 plus backlog and provides nothing to national security


Forcing sources to meet in person is nothing I plan on doing and I don’t think DCSA wants us to either. If sources insist on phone for COVID or health/sickness/sanitary reasons I will gladly give it to them. It’s just a pivot by DCSA to start gearing everyone back into “in person” work and to watch your phone percentages. So many other professions are moving back into that mode as well. COVID has stolen a lot of personal interaction from us all and personal connections does add to the humanness of everything so many professions do.


It would have been better if the source guidance was the same as for records, where there was maximum flexibility with the method. The new source guidance seems to be suggesting that they mostly want in-person meetings. If a source wants a phone interview and they have a reason that fits within the guidance, then we should do a phone interview. If a source does NOT ask for a phone interview and doesn’t bring it up, from what I am reading in the guidance it should be done in-person. I’ll be following the guidance verbatim. The possible concern is having a high percentage of phone interviews. It is difficult to believe that ALL sources, or mostly ALL, want a phone interview. But if we are finding out that almost all sources request a phone interview, and we carefully note their reason for that request, maybe the high percentage of phone interviews wouldn’t be a concern. This is all guesswork. I don’t know.

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“and for the contract companies to make any money”….

Since when do we care if contract companies make any money? They’ve been asking you to work time off the clock for years and you’ve complied. The contract companies have made money have over fist by not paying drive time or mileage for over 3 years. The last thing we should be worried about is the contract companies making any money. The money should be made by the Investigator and the one that does 75% of the work from start to finish. That’s why I believe direct independent federal contracting is the answer and remove the background investigation vendor from the equation.