Let's talk about reviewers

Let’s talk about reviewers. Genuinely dim, sending RZ messages riddled with typos and misstatements? Or good people stuck in a bad system (please explain how the Subject was able to live in VA and work in DC).



I had a reviewer once who wanted me to make an in person attempt to a P.O box address.


The contractors only want to hire the cheapest reviewers, so they get what they paid for. One company was paying only $15 an hour.


Thanks for the laugh… good one!! How about make in person attempts to a school with no leads… especially high school…I was waiting to get arrested.


Yeah that’s definitely one of the most awkward things you can do in this job. Being expected to go to a high school and canvas for leads is definitely cringey


As a caveat though… I have read some investigative reports in order to figure out why something needed coverage and the report left a lot to be desired not to mention a lot left out.


I heard one investigator was told he needed to dumb the report down so it could be understood.


I also have to explain how people are able to go to school online from their residence in one state although the school headquarters is listed in another state. That’s a daily for me. Almost everyone attends online these days. I don’t mind it anymore, as I’ve gotten used to it.


Generally good people who have been hired into difficult jobs without enough training or experience. Would be ideal if all had 2-3 years experience as field investigators. That said, some seem to have zero common sense and methodically require answers to every question on the issue resolution guidance forms whether they apply to the situation or not. I was once RZ’d because my report didn’t include whether the subject was aware at the time that her suicide attempt would lead to negative issues :thinking:


Where to start!!!

I have been reopened for a “rogue” period…and “please correct t-e-h to t-h-e”. I get it, I have a spelling error…but come on, I you know the correct word and it isn’t like I have to check my notes for how I spelled “the” in my notes. All that said, I did get a OPM quick fix to check my notes, and correct the spelling of “due” in a sentence that read “dur to the subject’s employment…” Again, the word “due” was not in my notes and you knew what the word was…can’t you just correct the word??? Talk about inefficiency!

I actually don’t mind canvasing a high school at all. Usually, a principal, secretary, and/or guidance counselor can work as sources. I absolutely hate canvasing a large university of 50,000 students to cover a subject’s 1 semester (or even 1 month) of GE classes at the university. Classes were there were more than 500 people in the class with professors that don’t remember anyone, let alone the subject. I always feel like an idiot.

I did get reopened once of 85P case papers because the FEMALE subject marked: “No” she is not a male born after 12/31/1959 and “no” she is not registered for the selective service. Well, since she marked “no” to part b, she was required to provide a reason why she is not registered (because she is a woman!)…I had to call back a subject to ask why she was not registered. Just so dumb…but you better bet I have never “missed” that one again.

While I can’t stand getting reopens, I do feel bad for reviewers…I would never want their job. And the relationship between investigators and review is the worst. But there is no way to fix it. I have always heard that if a reviewer gets a reopen from OPM/DCSA that stuff hits that fan (but it doesn’t affect the investigator’s stats at all). Thus the reason review will overwork everything…


I had to ask a subject if she had any future intent to commit suicide…


It’s not a bad question . . . I might word it differently though . . . “How have your thoughts on suicide changed?”


Review training isn’t the easiest thing if you were never an FI or had any review experience. The guidance material is scattered all over the place yet you’re expected to be able to remember and recall all of it and alot of it is vague in how it is written.

The lattitude to let things go, our “discretion” has largely gone away since DCSA took over, we get a lot more stuff kicked back or quick fixes now. And yes, as someone else stated, a DCSA reopen doesn’t count against the FI.

Review staff is also now under more scrutiny to release more reports per day, juggling between units of work and cases per day to meet metrics that seem to make less sense than before.

It’s difficult and I personally am not sure how much longer i’ll be doing this but the larger percentage of reviewers really don’t want to RZ anything because we get less metric points when we have to go back to something but as I stated, we’re getting kick backs for tons of stuff now.

Just my .02


While, I understand you are trying to make sense of a sensitive question/topic - these questions are not the same. Unfortunately, review has a check list of questions that have to be answered and if you do not ask and report in their wording, you will get reopened. It is unfortunate and sad…but the truth. Long gone are the days where you could get a story and resolve an issue without asking 20 stupid box check questions (Is there any reason any person would question your financial responsibility? Is there any reason any person would question your ability to live within your means and pay your bills on time? How long have you been in this financial state?..the list goes on…)


I’ve had them come back from that one where the guy clearly states even in the case papers that he attended strictly online, and they had me canvas the school in person anyway

That is a supervisor error - they need to talk to the reviewer’s supervisor as the process is clear - no personnel for on-line only education. Mind you, one in residence class and…

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Yep . . . I spent a lot of time looking at online masters programs and most required a few weeks a year on campus or a longer residency before graduation. Of course, even online students have interaction with instructors, staff and other students so I can see this being more like case to case.

But, a campus visit doesn’t seem to be required in that case anyway.

ED, just out of curiosity, are you a background investigator?

Nope . . . And when I said “a campus visit doesn’t seem to be required in that case anyway” I was speaking logically, without concern for the rules.

I’m getting an uptick in fresh refiles on old cases. Cases with fieldwork I performed three or four months ago. Cases that have already been handled by two or three reviewers are now getting a fresh working over from a third or fourth reviewer. So I have a new full set of inane, insignificant questions to answer. “What kind of employment was the military duty station?” Good lord.