Public Trust BI timeline and questions

Hello all,

I may soon be in the position to complete a Public Trust background check, and have some questions regarding the process. Adding to my apprehension is past drug use.

This position is with a Treasury bureau.

Some background. i have been an infrequent user marijuana. Maybe 3-5 times a year, other than early 2021 when I smoked a few times a month from Feb-April. I stopped in mid ‘21, and outside of an isolated incident in Nov22, haven’t done anything since. I have zero plans to use again and am willing to put that in writing. Nothing else would appear on the background (no arrest record, clean financials, solid work history, etc)

Regarding the future timeline, correct me if im wrongs, but I believe I would receive a tentative offer and then begin the background process. I could see receiving an interim clearance, but eventually the intermittent marijuana use ultimately denying me.

Do I have a snowball’s chance, or should I withdraw now? It’s not a drug tested position (outside of preemployment screening, I assume) so how much weight would the agency place of my light-but-regular past usage. As I mentioned, I’m remorseful in my past and plan to express my commitment to abstinence going forward.

Also, I am currently in a good role with my current employer and wouldn’t want to jeopardize my current gig should my Public Trust ultimately be denied. Could the background investigation be completed prior to receiving a full offer/start date? Obviously I couldn’t accept an interim clearance and leave my current job without being 100% of PT being cleared.

Thoughts? My mind is racing in a 1000 different directions, and appreciate the feedback. I have already learned a ton from this site. Thanks

You will be fine. There have been some data points of people using up to very recently before they submitted their BI forms and still getting cleared. Be honest, note how your life circumstances have changed, say you have no intention to use again, and enjoy federal service. My Tier 1 BI took around 2-3 months, but that was in the middle of COVID and I also noted some marijuana usage within the previous year before submitting.

Thanks. My plan is to definitely be honest, remorseful (which I am), and express a commitment to abstain going forward.

And I don’t mean this to sound flippant, but what’s the worst that could happen? Obviously I would have to wait at least 12 mid before trying again and that this would stay on my record, but if I can remain in my current role, I lean towards at least trying

Following up on this, and new questions.

If I were to get a tentative offer and accept, I believe the eQip process begins shortly thereafter.

Do agencies typically waiting for the public trust/eQip process to be completed before establishing a full offer/start date? I know these investigations can take months, but would they wait that long?

The only potential issue in my file would be the past drug use. With my credit and arrest records being clean, would I get a “interim” start date while the public trust is completed? Or would they see the admitted drug use and hold off until something was decided?

Thanks again for the feedback

Quick follow up. Preparing in my mind what what I’ll list in my sf85p regarding my drug use in the past 7 yrs.

  • marijuana: infrequent use since 2016, usually 2-4 times per year, with a month stretch in 2018 and two month stretch in early 2021 of regular usage. Nothing in 2020. Last use in nov 22 (6mos). No plans to use again

  • there were also two instances of ecstasy in 2016 and 2017. No uses since, no plans to use again. I’ve since disassociated with this individual.

Also, I’m in my mid 30s.

How likely am I to pass a Public Trust? I got feedback that I’d likely be okay with the marijuana use, but the ecstasy (albeit 6-7 yrs ago) makes me second guess myself. Looking for feedback whether to bail out now. As I stated in the OP, I’ve got a great current job and and everything else in my file would be squeaky clean, but being the sole breadwinner in the family, I’m having a hard time taking the risk of being walked out 6 mos down the line.