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e-QIP (Electronic Questionnaires for Investigations Processing) is a secure website managed by the United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM) that is designed to automate the common security questionnaires used to process federal background investigations. e-QIP was created in 2003 as part of the larger e-Clearance initiative designed to speed up the process of federal background investigations conducted by OPM's Federal Investigative Services (FIS). e-QIP is a front end data collection tool that has automated the SF-86, questionnaire for national security investigations as well as the SF-85P, the questionnaire for public trust positions. e-QIP allows applicants for federal jobs to enter, edit and submit their investigation data over a secure internet connection to their sponsoring agency for review and approval.
An individual cannot apply for a Security Clearance. A cleared federal contractor or government entity must sponsor you. You either (a) must be an employee of or consultant for that cleared contractor, or (b) you've received and accepted a written offer of employment from the cleared contractor. That offer must also indicate your employment will begin within 30 days of receiving your clearance, (c) a member of the United States Armed Forces, or (d) authorized federal employee
A cleared contractor's Facility Security Officer (FSO) starts the process in two ways. First the FSO sends an investigation request through the Joint Personnel Adjudication System (JPAS). Second, the FSO has the employee complete a clearance application in the Electronic Questionnaires for Investigations Processing (e-QIP). After review and approval of that information, the FSO submits the completed e-QIP to the Defense Industrial Security Clearance Office (DISCO) for review. Once DISCO approves the information, it is sent on to Office of Personnel Management (OPM), which conducts the actual investigation and sends the findings back to DISCO. DISCO then either gives clearance, or forwards the results to Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals (DOHA) for further action.
The Intelligence Community Security Clearance Repository, commonly known as Scattered Castles, is an up-to-date, authoritative source of clearance and access information on approximately 2 million IC and Department of Defense personnel. Scattered Castles is hosted as Community of Interest (COI) on the Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System (JWICS). The scope of the Scattered Castles Program is to provide a common, trusted repository of individuals' clearance and accesses, easily accessible by a controlled set of security professionals within the IC with a valid need to verify clearance and access information.