Hi there. Let me first preface that I know that an SF 85 is not a clearance but rather a suitability investigation.
I just received a TO for a low level forecaster position (NWS-NOAA-DOC). I submitted the OF-306 and the TO stated that when once the OF-306 is approved, if I did not meet background investigation requirements, than I would be sent an email to complete the e-qip for SF 85. I have looked at the SF 85 form…I have no problems with any of it…no skeletons in the past, no criminal background, excellent credit etc…
I have performed this same exact position for this agency in the past & 10 years ago I left to go into private industry. 15 years ago when I was in this hiring situation with the Fed Government, I was able to start work while the SF 85 was being processed. I looked back in my files & it took about 2 months for this background check to get completed & signed off on. I was just talking to a friend in the NWS and he said he thinks they are no longer letting you start work during the processing period and that it has been about a 2 month wait before the SF 85 investigation gets completed and THEN the Final Offer & EOD are given.
I have no problem being patient & waiting. However, I am concerned about the possible hiring freeze that Mr. Trump may initiate quickly upon his start. I’ve heard a rumor that if I did not have a Final Offer in hand at that time, my TO would become null & void.
Finally to my question: Has anyone had recent experience with an SF 85? (NOT an 85P…that is a different form). If so, what was the processing time?
Also, is that true about the hiring freeze and FO?
I know this was long but I wanted to make sure I gave full details for my particular situation.