Fingerprint and namecheck - help needed

Hi everyone,

I needed a Public Trust Level of clearance for my job. The eQip was submitted on June 8, 2017.
Today (04/05/2018) , I heard from the office that submitted my background check that my case in the process of fingerprint and name check. It’s been over 10 months after the submission date. It feels to me like it is still in the very early stage of the background check.

Can anyone here confirm “what does fingerprint and name check” mean and at what stage of the whole process this is performed and how long the process is gonna take from here?


Given that a public trust is NOT a clearance, the investigation is usually the quickest. You should have had your fingerprints submitted around the time you filled out the SF-85 form as they are part of the FBI database check at the beginning of the process. I’m not sure if you followed up with the agency in the last 10 months but it seems like someone sat on your file given that the fingerprint submission usually isn’t what holds a background check up. At this rate, I wouldn’t expect your investigation to be completed anytime soon.

Hi Jubilant,

I believe the fingerprint and name check portion is at the beginning of the background investigation process.

Hi rbr,

Thanks for your reply. In the last 10 months, my direct supervisor and I inquired the office that submitted my background check to OPM asked for the updates. Until this last time, we always heard them saying it is in the process and there is no other go than waiting. One of my other colleagues got the clearance in 10 months, so we decided to wait for 10 months. Yes, I submitted my fingerprints 10 months ago when I filled in and submitted the eQip.

What do you mean by contacting “agency”? What’s the agency that we can contact?
Any other ways that we can get this going?


Given that you are a contractor, you and your FSO would deal directly with OPM. It depends on what tier your investigation is but Public Trust investigations are generally lower tier and take the least time to complete. The fact that you are waiting 10 months for a public trust adjudication is practically unheard of even with all the problems with OPM. To put things in perspective, I just had a Tier 5 level investigation (SSBI), generally the longest and most extensive investigation, for a public trust position and that took less than 2 months to complete.

Just to correct some information from the last poster, Tier 2 and 4 Public Trust investigations require a subject interview and can take up to a year to close and get adjudicated. The federal agency who is employing the contractor is the one to go to regarding status since they would be the one to adjudicate it if you are not with DoD. Since this is not for a clearance there most likely won’t be an FSO associated with the contractor company. I have previously posted that the FBI name check has been holding up investigations when there is a hit that needs to be manually resolved.

@Marko - What is the underlying purpose for the tier 2 ESI? Both times I’ve went through it the BI just confirms my answer on the 85p… I’ve also wondered the difference between the tier 2 product and tier 3… it appears to me that everything is the same except tier 3 is for cleared positions (sf86) and tier 2 has esi and no focus on foreign contacts (85p)

Same as for a national security investigation, to confirm submitted information and gather additional information as needed.

Right but an ESI is not always required for tier 3; whereas, tier 2 has ESI requirement. I’d like to see the tier 2 ESI switch to as needed like tier 3. That would save .gov a lot of money. Those ESI’s are about$800 a pop

What are the usual steps for the Public Trust check?
None of my references were contacted by anyone, no credit report check yet.
So, it seems now that nothing was done on my case in the last 10 months.

I can tell you that there has also been an increase in the number of Public Trust investigations and many are stuck in the backlog because there weren’t enough investigators to get fieldwork and subject interviews done. Many are beyond the year mark already.

You’d be mistaken.

I just did additional work requested due to recently developed derogatory information on a case I completed nearly a year ago, which was initially submitted in late 2016. It’s based on priority.

I should add that between the time it was fieldwork finished and the time new work was requested, it just sat there in limbo until someone looked at it.

@dave019 can you elaborate on your T2 ESi experience, or can we chat elsewhere?

there isnt much to elaborate on… the investigator simply goes over the questions on you SF.

@dave919 I guess what I’m after is regarding the drug use questions. The SF85P asks for use within 1 year, which is a no from me. I’m curious if the in-person interview then asks about use within 7 years…or perhaps ever using? Also, did they send written forms to your references or in person interviews?

Here’s what I’ll say: mission dictates the standards, the standards have changed since the incorporation of tiered cases. Your paperwork submission is always just the beginning of the conversation

@waldowaldo All my interviews have went like this - First, they are going to go over your answers on your SF-85p. After that is complete, the investigator will “confront” you with any derogatory information that they developed prior to the interview. For example - late payments, credit problems, bankruptcy, criminal charges or convictions, job terminations, etc.

So @datesnotrecalled is correct in saying that the form is the beginning of the conversation. However, I do know that contract investigators are bound by company policy with respect to interview etiquette and protocol. Meaning they have to adhere to a specific guideline and script, so to speak, of questions. They cant just arbitrarily come up with their own random questions they want to ask subjects. I recommend recording the entire encounter with the BI - check your states laws regarding 1 party or 2 party consent!

Regarding the drug use question - you are correct the sf-85p only asks for use within 1 year; however, if you also filled out the sf-85ps that form asks more broad and specific questions regarding drug use. If you want my advice - don’t volunteer anything that they won’t or can’t find out.

And finally, with respect to references being contacted - all they have ever done on my investigations is send out questionnaires to references that I have listed.

For what it’s worth - when I was a state LEO, the background investigations on regular police officers were much more intense and intrusive than the federal governments tier 2 or tier 3 product. To be honest, I wouldn’t even consider the tier 2 or tier 3 a legitimate background investigation when comparing it to what a regular municipal, city, county or state cop goes through to obtain employment.

1 Like

@dave19 @datesnotrecalled thanks. I appreciate the input.