DCSA Guidance Interviews

As an investigator, me personally wouldn’t even leave my house to meet with an investigator for my co- worker Johnnie that I haven’t spoken to in 3 years. So what makes you think others are willing to do so. They turned on a light switch from 100% phone work to BAM mandatory in person because phone is no longer acceptable! DCSA is a joke.

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After I tell a source who I am and what I want, I ask are you willing and able to meet in person? They always say yes.

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I get different responses. I often have to coax an in-person testimony in my area.

The real silliness is when i get a single extension for a source that is an hour or more away from me (some in other states) where they tell me they told the first investigator they wanted a telephone testimony. Three recently (meaning this month) because they were out of state for an extended period.

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First of all…STOP with the what if’s…if anyone who is seasoned in this job, can’t figure out how to start asking sources how to get an interview, you need you get a new job! Don’t forget we control how cases get done with production, and if everyone drops like a rock with these co called new guidance someone will make changes. Went through this a few times, lasted a short time and then as long as you note out the circumstances, you’re done. No one can force you into a high crime area, distance, or making a source comply with meeting you. Just be firm with your reporting and stick by that. Yes, there are many investigators that are abusing this and I have received many extensions due to lazy other folks that say that this person or that person wants to be interviewed in person, and when you contact them, they say they were never called and want a phone interview. That’s totally unacceptable AND I report them to my SL and add that to the Inote. You should NOT be doing this job if you screw with other investigators. Bottom line, just do YOUR job, work around any dumb ideas and if it does not work, JUSTIIFY it.

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The only way I’ve been successful is doing military cases. I can knock out an ESI, their EMPL-P and usually their REFE all at the same time / same day. Otherwise you’ll never meet SUs

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I don’t know if region matters but it’s not usually a problem to meet in person. I let them know that it’s me coming to them at home, work, wherever they want and I’ll only need about 15mins of their time. 99% are willing.

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The only real issue I’ve noticed is that no one really works in the office anymore. So previously you could do the subject interview and interview a couple co workers all in one trip.

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Yeah - that is what I am discovering too. I certainly have the ability to persuade people to meet in person, and I rarely get any real pushback. BUT: so far it is a big hit on productivity. On a good day pre-covid I might go to an employer and do my ESI, supervisor, second personal source and maybe even a reference and be out of there by noon. A good day!

Now those three or four people sit in three or four different places. One may be on site only on Mondays, the other only on Thursdays. Again I’ve had no problem persuading people to meet elsewhere in person - at their home, at a coffee shop, whatever. But as a contract investigator paid per interview it is making my numbers go down in a way that results in less income.

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This is an asinine decision made by those on a power trip with no sense of an evolved and changed environment. Bottom line - this job is a joke. If you have told yourself anything different, stop lying to yourself. When you break down time spent + expenses incurred vs. money earned, we are earning far FAR less than then the tremendous effort put forth. And how these companies can get away with not paying contract investigators for multiple annual required trainings is despicable. That is a whole other conversation.
It really is simple math, folks. What made the job slightly tolerable was the ability to have remote options AND having the ability to make common sense decisions when it should and can be applied. Now that it has been removed, there is nothing redeemable about this line of work. Millennials (most) and Gen Z get it and retaining young people with archaic principles will not be sustainable. Gen X, you are likely too brainwashed and Boomers, you are the problem.
For those that know they are being taken advantage of and have come to terms with the truth - send a message and look for other lines of work. YOU ARE WORTH it. I’m moving on and you should too.

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That must be some big ass broom you carry to make such a broad sweep…

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Sorry if the truth hurts northstar. I’m sure you are old.

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This thread just got fun. Lol

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My god what is going on here. I’m 26, I was a city cop, then DoD civil service cop and now an investigator. I’m sorry the attribute or generational difference seems to bog people down.

TO ALL:
While we navigate continued guidance on how we conduct interviews and investigations, don’t ever forget why you got into this job / line of work. To support the larger mission of creating a trusted workforce. After I went through 3, yes 3, ITOG referrals this week, we need to remember why we are all here and its importance. If you can’t remember why you’re here, why you’re still here or what we stand for, step aside because I’ll find many qualified, knowledgeable and willing candidates.

Don’t get me wrong, some of these companies hire some of the most terrible investigators I have seen to fill a slot. I promise you, have faith in the system. It may take a while but they are being weeded out and removed.

Stay strong, maintain your integrity, and continue to serve the greater mission of why we are all here.

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I don’t see any generational differences in this job. If anything I think the older folks have a better time of understanding life because they have experienced it. I’ve known some young investigators who don’t even know what the word foreclosure means let alone the difference between a US permanent resident and a US citizen.
I too wholly believe in the creation of a trusted work force. Unfortunately, I wish the high standards of integrity, character, conduct, and trustworthiness that are required for the lowly minion government workers were also required and investigated for those ascended/appointed and/or elected into the upper echelons of our “trusted” workforce.

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That is a fair point. It’s hard to teach life experiences. Training helps you through the ABCs of being an investigator for reporting writing etc but I fear sometimes it becomes so strictly regulated that nobody asks expanding questions. Sure you can read through the line by line questioning as you should but you also have the right and authority to do so to continue to ask questions to clarify information and get all the details. I see so many refiles for other investigators that are simple questions / line of questioning to ask.

I wholeheartedly agree. As a contract investigator I am lucky to average $10 per hour when all is said and done! I constantly get requests to do things for them that I cannot bill for and the amount of effort/time it takes to get the work done that I am assigned amounts to the $10 per hour I am averaging. Not to mention the money I have invested into paper, ink cartridges, mileage and gas that I can’t get reimbursed for, and all other expenses needed to do this job. It is a joke and I am moving on as well.

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Is anyone experiencing Sources decline an in-person interview that are NOT federal employees or federal contractors? I know we are only a week in, but it seems like so far that federal employees and contractors are willing to meet in person. However non federal employee/contractors sources are not willing?

Some sources are less willing to meet in-person than others. Neighbors are sometimes resistant to in-person. Sources with less of a connection to Subject are less willing, for example college students who haven’t went to college with Subject recently. Introverted Subjects that don’t have strong connections to their sources is an issue for in-person. Employees of large corporations that have a lot of clearances processing for their workers are more likely to meet in-person, college students that are currently going to college with Subject are more likely, etc. It is a mixture. It also depends on how persistent you are with this; as is clear by many of the posts on this topic, some investigators are not interested in meeting in-person, some prefer in-person, and some are in the middle. Best to follow what the guidance states. I plan on keeping my percentage of phone interviews on the lower side. I don’t know if the percentage matters, though, if you follow the guidance and the source has a valid reason for wanting a phone interview you should be okay.

It varies - i have many initially ask for a telephone interview because of their work schedule or just hesitant to meet in person. I normally don’t have feds/military/contractors ask for telephone unless they are now remote workers. I have had feds/military ask if they can do the interview via video (probably experiences from COVID).

I recently did an interview by telephone because the non-fed/military (etc) small business owner decided when i showed to the locked gate that she didn’t want to see me in person. So i sat in my GOV at the gate and got the record and testimony.

I even bathed that day - honest!

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More recently I have got requests for in person because some sources seem to think I may be a scammer and question exactly what it is I’m doing. Everyone can make a fake badge but I do mention that if we meet in person I can show them by badge/credentials. I didn’t like doing my own ESI by VTC during Covid. I would have preferred an in person ESI. I would like to know/observe the person who has control of all of my personal information.