With many federal and other offices that take fingerprints temporarily closed due to the Coronavirus, agencies have discretion to delay fingerprinting that is required for federal and contractor employees, OPM has said.
A memo said that due to the closings, agencies “are experiencing challenges collecting fingerprints to meet existing requirements for a fingerprint check” for purposes of criminal history checks during hiring and eligible for personal identity verification, or PIV, credentials.
Agencies that are able to collect and process fingerprints are to continue to follow standard practices for vetting new hires and determining eligibility for issuance of PIV credentials, it said, but for agencies that are not submission of fingerprints may be delayed “consistent with the agency head’s determination of risk.”
“Agencies will delay reporting the final adjudication of the background investigation until a fingerprint check has been completed and considered in the adjudication. Existing mechanisms for measuring the timeliness of adjudication compliance will continue; however, agencies will not be held accountable for adjudication reporting timeliness during the period this guidance is in effect,” it adds.
Similarly, it said, an agency may waive the requirement for in-person identity proof for issuing credentials and may do so for example over a video link.
The exceptions are only temporary but with no expiration date currently set.