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CHAPTER 1. POSITION RISK DESIGNATION PROGRAM

1. General.

A. Title 5 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Part 732, National Security Positions, requires each agency to follow established procedures to identify national security positions. Positions identified by this process within U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) require regular use of or access to classified information. This handbook addresses the designation program associated only with national security, the criteria for determining national security sensitivity levels, and screening (i.e., the type of investigation) required under Executive Order (E.O.) 10450, Security Requirements for Government Employment, and E.O. 12968, Access to Classified Information.

B. This chapter does not address other aspects of the position risk designation program which include Personnel Suitability described in Title 5 CFR, OPM Part 731, Suitability; Automated Information System Security defined in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-130; and numerous laws. These programs require a determination of a position’s risk level (i.e., Low Risk, Moderate Risk, or High Risk) using criteria that are separate and distinct from the national security criteria. Information regarding Personnel Suitability may be obtained from the Office of Personnel. Survey Manual 600.5, Automated Information Systems Security – General Requirements, establishes the policy, assigns responsibilities, and prescribes standards and procedures for the management of the Information Technology (IT) security program for the USGS.

C. The Security Management Office is responsible for the program management, oversight, and review authority for position risk designation. Supervisors are responsible for ensuring each position is properly designated. Background investigative requirements for individuals being placed into each Federal service position are based on the final position risk designation, which is based on suitability, IT, and national security criteria. The Office of Personnel maintains the position risk designation record.

2. Definitions. A glossary of definitions which relates to national security positions is in Appendix A.

3. National Security Sensitivity Levels and Criteria. A national security position’s sensitivity level is based on an assessment of the degree of damage that an individual, by virtue of the occupancy of a position, could effect the national security. A national security position will be allocated to one of three sensitivity levels: Noncritical-Sensitive, Critical-Sensitive, or Special-Sensitive.

National Security Sensitivy Levels National Security Risk Criteria
Special-Sensitive (SS) Includes any positions that the head of the agency determines to be in a level higher than Critical-Sensitive because of special requirements under authority other than E.O. 10450 and E.O. 12968 (e.g., DCID 6/4, Personnel Security Standards and Procedures Governing Eligibility for Access to Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI)).
Critical-Sensitive (CS) Potential for exceptionally grave damage to the national security:

Includes positions involving any of the following:
Potential for exceptionally grave damage to the national security:

Includes positions involving any of the following:

  • Access to Top Secret national security information or materials;
  • Requirement for a Department of Energy (DOE) “Q” security clearance for access to DOE national security information, materials, and/or sites.
  • Development or approval of war plans, plans or particulars of future major or special operations of war, or critical and extremely important items of war.
  • Investigative duties, the issuance of personnel security clearances, or duty on personnel security boards.
  • Commissioned law enforcement duties.
  • Other positions related to national security, regardless of duties, that require the same degree of trust.
Noncritical-Sensitive (NCS) Potential for damage to serious damage to the national security:

Includes positions involving any of the following:

  • *Access to Secret or Confidential national security information or materials;
  • *Requirement to obtain a Department of Energy (DOE) “L” security clearance for access to DOE national security information, materials, and/or sites;
  • Duties that may directly or indirectly adversely affect the national security operations of the agency.


*Positions requiring access to Secret information, Confidential information, and/or requiring a DOE "L" security clearance that are also designated as High Risk as part of the Personnel Suitability determination (see l.l.B. above) must be adjusted to the national security sensitivity level of Critical-Sensitive.
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U.S. Department of the Interior
, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA, USA
URL: http://www.usgs.gov/usgs-manual/handbook/hb/440-7-h/440-7-h-ch1.html
Contact: APS, Office of Policy and Analysis
Content Information Contact: kkevans@usgs.gov
Last modification: 11-Jan-2013@10:51 (kk)
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