Persons applying for a job with the federal government or current feds requiring an upgraded security clearance will have to do things the old fashioned way for a few weeks.

The Office of Personnel Management recently took its Electronic Questionnaires for Investigation Processing (e-QIP) system offline to patch critical vulnerabilities and released interim procedures to accommodate agency needs in the meantime.

Most of the basic protocols are still in effect, just in paper form.

Candidates for employment or security clearances can download the required form and deliver the completed hardcopy to the respective agency's human resource department or security official. Agencies are required to keep a list of all investigations started through this process and might be called upon to provide a full accounting to OPM or the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, if requested.

The three standard forms can be downloaded through OPM or General Services Administration websites.

SF 85: OPM | GSA


SF 86: OPM | GSA

Applicants should also keep a copy of the completed form, as they will have to reenter the information in the e-QIP system once it is back online.

Despite these workarounds, there is currently no method for processing Top Secret, Top Secret SCI or "Q" level clearances until the e-QIP systems is back online, officials said.

"We recognize and regret the impact on both users and agencies," OPM Director Katherine Archuleta and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said in a memo to agencies late last week. "OPM is committed to resuming this service as soon as prudent and practicable."

After the initial announcement that e-QIP would be pulled offline, OPM officials estimated the remediation would take four to six weeks.

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