HIGH PUBLIC TRUST - Questionable Questions

I recently had my BI interview for a High Public Trust Position -
The investigator did these things which call for some concern, is this normal? I am thinking of filing a complaint.

  • Requested and took my passport to read every stamp I’ve ever had. I listed all of my foreign travel on my SF-85P. (I have no foreign contacts only went to Mexico and UAE) for leisure. (My Boss said this is odd to ask for passport and come to my house for the interview).
  • Asked about my salary and my fiance salary, asked when I was getting married? Told me oh ok, your salary is high enough to where you can’t be bribed.
  • Asked about my child’s parent who is deceased. Asked about their background. My child is 20.
  • Asked how I supported my self at 18 when I was charged with theft. I am 40.
  • Asked has Child Services ever been to my residence recently. Again my child is 20.
  • Asked about my sexual history and if someone could use it against me. (Didn’t see sexual history on the 85P). However, the answer was no.
  • Asked about 20yr old charges “Theft” (which I listed) even though it is out of the 7yr period and expunged I have listed them on my SF-86 when getting my clearance and wanted to be upfront. He requested copies of expungement paperwork which I provided. Told me expungements don’t matter and even though the ?? Says say no to say yes. I said so I need to say “Yes” when the ?? Ask in the last 7 years and it has been 19 yrs since the charges said may as well.
  • Did not request any information about work history at all. I don’t have any financial debts or ever been delinquent he requested that info too but he knew that from my credit report.

I have been working for the govt for 9 yrs I have never felt uneasy about a BI interview before today.

Hi, A HRPT is as invasive as a Secret Clearance these days. This is normal, you have been truthful and provided your investigator with your information. Let it go.


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The interview took place at your home? That is a red flag. However, everything else seems fairly normal.

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Take it point by point:
-Must have been a reason to review passport. Without knowing the specifics, it is hard to say. Some interviews require passport review.
-asking about salary and insinuating you could be bribed is off the rails.
-usually only ask about former partner/child’s parent to inquire about current financial ties (i.e. child support) No need if former partner is deceased.
-child services questions again off the rails
-only reason to ask how supported at 18 is if you listed unemployment on your case papers going back to 18. Whatever is listed on case papers is open to question. You are only required to list 7 years, but many people go back to birth(quite the pain).
-Not quite sure where the sexual history came into play. Not a question for the SF85P.
-SF85P only ask for charges in 7 years. No need to list them. No need to discuss them. Certainly no need to provide any kind of documentation.

Just try to understand. The investigation process is an evolving, ever changing process. There are investigators that have been doing this for many many years and there are new investigators who may not know the nuances of all cases. It should not affect the outcome of your case. The information reported should still be accurate, even if it is too much information. Adjudicators can sort through what is needed and what is out of scope.

I thought about the salary ?? I can understand my ?? But he wanted to know fiance salary to include VA disability $$, AF retirement, plus their annual income.
The SF85P goes back 7 yrs. I am 40 unsure of my unemployment at 18 had to do with anything. I think it is because that it is when my charges were committed. I listed my charges (4 petty thefts) in a 1yr period back when 18 only because I have always listed them. However, he wanted to know more about what happened in 98 than anything in 2012-2019. Maybe he was impressed by my story.

It was quite odd to say.

Thank You for your response

Yes, in my home. My supervisor thought that it was quite weird and thought interviews were not to be completed in the home. He was mighty comfy on my couch.

Are you female? I would have requested it be somewhere else.

Yes, and I didn’t know I had the option. I will know next time.

I agree with the others. The interview should not have taken place in your home. That is definitely questionable.

The process has changed significantly in the last couple years. Don’t get stuck on the 7 year limitation for questioning, that is simply not true. the time frames on the various questionnaires are for capturing information provided by you.

Again, the investigator should not have interviewed you at your house. This is specifically prohibited by NBIB without a specific waiver from the supervisor.

Thank You, this is what causes me concern he came to my house, he didn’t provide me with additional options. I’m not into getting anyone in trouble but his questioning made me extremely uncomfortable. Now that I know he should have not been in my house is even more alarming.

Discussing 20 years ago that is fine, I opened Pandoras box by listing my criminal charges even though it happened 20 years ago. Just his line of questioning was questionable. My criminal history was all petty theft related so what does who took care of me at 18 or my adult sexual history, or my fiance (not my spouse) VA benefits, salary have to do with my BI investigation. Again, I’ve been employed by the government 9yrs and have been interviewed before and this interview was the most invasive and I felt outside of the scope.

A venue to report serious concerns regarding potential investigator misconduct is to contact the OPM OIG Office of Investigations. Go here to find out more information: