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Helpful Hints

 



Completing the SF-85


Please follow these helpful hints when completing your SF-85, “Questionnaire for Non-Sensitive Positions.”
 

  • If at all possible, complete the SF-85 using the electronic version found at http://www.opm.gov/forms. This will reduce the possibility of errors.
  • If manually filling out the SF-85, use black ballpoint pen or a typewriter (do not use felt tip pens which can bleed through the form). Follow the instructions fully on the form. If more space is needed, attach either a supplemental sheet listing the additional information or the SF-86A form, Continuation Sheet for Questionnaires SF-85, SF-85P, and SF-86.
  • Page 1 of the SF-85:
    • The MRP-BS Personnel Security Staff completes the Agency Use Only - Blocks A through K. While the Personnel Security Staff will complete Block J for APHIS employees, the AMS and GIPSA offices are responsible for inserting their appropriate accounting code or sub-center number in this area.
    • Block 1: Always include the full middle name at birth. Use code (NMN) for no middle name or (IO) for initial only.
  • Pages 2 through 5: It's important to note that you will be asked to enter your Social Security Number at the bottom right corner of each of these pages before going to the next page.
  • Page 2 of the SF-85, Block 8: Always use complete addresses in correct sequence working back, starting with your present address. Go back 5 full years. For the past 3 years, list an individual who knew you at each address. Remember to include the individual's current address as well.
  • Page 3 of the SF-85, Block 10: Start with your current position and work back. This block generates the most mistakes - remember, all gaps of employment of 4 months or more must be explained, including periods of unemployment and student status. Again, complete mailing addresses must be included. List the past 5 years and remember to annotate both the month and the year.
  • Page 4 of the SF-85, Block 11: List 3 people as personal references. Include their full mailing addresses.
  • Page 5 of the SF-85,
    • Block 12: Selective Service information for males born after December 31, 1959. Additional guidance is available on http://www.sss.gov under “Verify A Registration.”
    • Certification: Signature, date, and social security number are required.
  • Page 6 of the SF-85, Authorization of Release of Information must be carefully read, signed and dated as instructed.
  • The SF-85 forms should be completed within 30 days of receipt or notification.

Completing the SF-85P 


Please follow these helpful hints when completing your SF-85P, “Questionnaire for Public Trust Positions.”
 

  • If at all possible, complete the SF-85P using the electronic version found at http://www.opm.gov/forms. This will reduce the possibility of errors.
  • If manually filling out the SF-85P, use black ballpoint pen or a typewriter (do not use felt tip pens which can bleed through the form). Follow the instructions fully on the form. If more space is needed, attach either a supplemental sheet listing the additional information or the SF-86A form, Continuation Sheet for Questionnaires SF-85, SF-85P, and SF-86.
  • All SF-85P forms must be typed or legibly handwritten. Follow the instructions fully on the form. If more space is needed, attach either a supplemental sheet listing the additional information or the SF-86A form, Continuation Sheet for Questionnaires SF-85, SF-85P, and SF-86.
  • Page 1 of the SF-85P:
    • The MRP-BS Personnel Security Staff completes the Agency Use Only - Blocks A through K. While the Personnel Security Staff will complete Block J for APHIS employees, the AMS and GIPSA offices are responsible for inserting their appropriate accounting code or sub-center number in this area.
    • Block 1: Always include the full middle name at birth. Use code (NMN) for no middle name or (IO) for initial only.
  • Pages 2 through 7: It's important to note that you will be asked to enter your Social Security Number at the bottom right corner of each of these pages before going to the next page.
  • Page 2 of the SF-85P, Block 9: Always use complete addresses in correct sequence working back, beginning with your present address. Go back 7 full years. For the past 5 years, list an individual who knew you at each address. Remember to include the individual's current address as well.
  • Page 3 of the SF-85P, Block 11: Start with your current position and work back. This block generates the most mistakes - remember, all gaps of employment of 4 months or more must be explained, including periods of unemployment and student status. Again, complete mailing addresses must be included. List the past 7 years and remember to annotate both the month and the year.
  • Page 5 of the SF-85P,
    • Block 13: List 3 people as personal references. Include their full mailing addresses.
    • Block 15: Be certain to list all relatives living or deceased. Give the correct code, as provided, to indicate your relationship to each.
  • Page 6 of the SF-85P, Block 18: It's important to carefully follow instructions for Blocks 18a and 18b. If you need assistance, contact the MRP-BS Personnel Security Staff.
  • Page 7 of the SF-85P,
  • The information on this page is critical and should be consistent with the information you provided on Form OF-306, Declaration of Federal Employment.
  • Original signature and date are required under the “Certification That My Answers Are True.” 
  • If the signature date on the SF-85P is older than 3 months the MRP-BS Personnel Security Staff will not be able to accept it for submission to the Department or OPM. This is especially important to remember should your paperwork be returned to you for corrections and/or additional information. A good rule-of-thumb is to re-sign and re-date the form prior to any resubmissions.

  Completing the SF-86 

Please follow these helpful hints when completing your SF-86, “Questionnaire for National Security Positions.”

  • If at all possible, complete the SF-86 (http://www.usda.gov/da/pdsd/SF86Word.doc (DOC; 717Kb). This will reduce the possibility of errors.
  • If manually filling out the SF-86, use black ballpoint pen or a typewriter (do not use felt tip pens which can bleed through the form).
  • Submit your completed form according to the instructions you were provided by your agency. If you have questions call the MRP-BS Personnel Security Staff.
  • Read and follow all the instructions on the SF-86.
  • Pages 2 through 9: It's important to note that you will be asked to enter your Social Security Number at the bottom right corner of each of these pages before going to the next page.
  • Make sure you cover residence, employment and other information ( Questions 9,10, 11, 22, 23 (e and f), 29) for a 10-year period (NOT 7 years as is requested on the form). Do not leave gaps totaling more than 2 months.
  • Question # 1 - Full Name - Enter “NMN” if you have no middle name, or if your middle name is an initial(s) only - put IO after the initial(s).
  • Question # 5 - Other Names Used - All dates (month and year) must be included for each listed name.
  • Question # 8b - Mother's Maiden Name - Last name is required.
  • Questions # 9 and # 11 - Residence and Employment - you must cover a 10-year time frame - NOT 7 years as stated on the form.
  • Question # 13 - Your Spouse - Spouse's Social Security Number (SSN) is required. All information on former spouse(s) for the last 10 years must be entered, when applicable.
  • Question # 14 - Your Relatives and Associates - Code 19 (Adult Currently Living With You) - The nature of the relationship must be defined. The cohabitant's SSN and place of birth is required if the association is a spouse-like relationship.
  • Question # 15 -Citizenship Information for Relatives and Associates - Information required for immediate family members and significant cohabitants.
  • Question #27A - Petition for Bankruptcy - Answer required.
  • Pages 9 and 10 must be signed and dated within 90 days of receipt to allow for processing.
  • All changes, such as cross-outs, scratch-outs and whiteouts, must be initialed and dated.

Completing the SF-87, Fingerprint Card


The fingerprint cards cannot be older than the April 1984 revision. Two sets of clear prints arerequired. Name, signature and social security number must be included. Fingerprints may be administered at any police station or at another government office but it is recommended you contact them in advance. To obtain the SF-87, Fingerprint Card, please contact your Program's administrative office as they should maintain a supply of these forms. Otherwise, contact the MRP-BS Personnel Security Staff for guidance.


For non-Federal employees (Contractors), a FD-258 Fingerprint Card is required. These are typically found at local police stations or through U.S. General Services Administration (GSA).
 

Completing the Fair Credit Reporting Act Form


This form is required when completing either the SF-85P, Questionnaire for Public Trust Positions or the SF-86, Questionnaire for National Security Positions. On occasion, some non-sensitive/low risk (NACI) positions may be designated as having unique conditions which also require a credit check. These unique positions would then require completing this form along with the SF-85., "Questionnaire for Non-Sensitive Positions". This form can be found at http://www.usda.gov/da/pdsd/Web-Fair.pdf.
 


 



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