Question asked to a Reference by Agency

All, I have had two positions in the past couple of weeks where the Hiring Official has had a conversation with one of my references, which is encouraging as I was told the conversations went well. On both occasions, and from unrelated agencies, the last question asked to my reference was identical, “Do you know of any misconduct that would interfere with his ability to do this job?” My question is, does this question relate to an initial standard security-like screening question that is akin to being a prelude to an “official” background investigation? At this point I haven’t been offered the position , but I’ve never heard of this as being a standard, or required, question to be asked. Any thoughts from folks out there?
Thanks, M.

If you haven’t filled out security forms and these are just references that you supplied to your prospective employer, you are not undergoing a clearance investigation yet. This is just typical preemployment screening. However, there is no reason that the employer can’t ask security related questions in order to check some of your behavior before making an offer or before putting you into the clearance process.