Normal Topic FBI website application - QUESTION (Read 4780 times)
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FBI website application - QUESTION
Jan 16th, 2003 at 8:20pm
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This has nothing to do with the polygraph, but I found this board during a search for a related question, and I am posting it here because it is somewhat topical. It's a long question, so please bear with me . .

I recently applied online for a SA position on the FBI's website. On the first page, I entered my name, SSN, home address, etc. On the second screen, there were a series of questions about personal drug use with yes/no radio buttons beside them. The questions are as follows:

-------------------------------------

"Have you used marijuana at all within the last three years?"
(I answered 'YES'.)

"Have you used marijuana more than a total of 15 times in your life?"
(I answered 'YES')

"Have you used any other illegal drug (including anabolic steroids after February 27, 1991) at all in the past 10 years?"
(I answered 'YES')

"Have you used any other illegal drug (including anabolic steroids after February 27, 1991) more than a total of five times in your life?"
(I answered 'NO')

"Have you ever sold any illegal drug for profit?"
(I answered 'NO')

"Have you ever used an illegal drug (no matter how many times or how long ago)while in a law enforcement or prosecutorial position, or in a position which carries with it a high level of responsibility or public trust?"
(I answered 'NO')

-------------------------------------

There were no additional qualifiers after the questions, just the radio buttons. I clicked 'next', and a page came up stating that based on my past drug use, I am not eligible for employment with the FBI.

It appears that the FBI collects this information and stores it in some sort of database so that a user cannot just go back to the previous page and change their answers. Here is my question: can they share this information with other agencies that I may be applying to during background investigations?

Even though I am not eligible for employment with FBI, I still would like to consider myself eligible for employment with other Federal law enforcement branches. My concern is that based on my answers on the FBI web form, I would be under closer scrutiny or "red flagged" if I undergo a background investigation with another agency. Is that information available to other agencies? In retrospect, I probably should have known the Bureau's policy before entering all that information including my SSN on their website and I could have saved time and just not bothered. But have I inadvertantly lessened my chances with other agencies? I am concerned that I will be seen in a less than favorable light if during my background investigation, an investigator contacts the FBI to see if they have any information about me, and gains access to that information. Even if I am honest and am eligible under that agencies guidelines regarding drug policy, that could be seen as a strike against me, especially since I was not given the opportunity on the FBI site to qualify my answers. For all they know, checking 'YES' to whether I used  marijuana over 15 times can just as easily be 60 times as it can 16, and any background investigator that sees that information would likely already be already be suspicious about what I disclosed in thier own agencies application.

Does anyone have any advice? Could I petition the FBI to release that information to me so that I will have a chance to explain myself? Or at least allow me to send an appendix or personal declaration to them. Is there any way I can find out for sure what agencies are allowed to share with each other and at what point can they do so? I definitely see the value in agencies sharing information with each other, but this was an online application that I was barely two pages into with no chance to qualify my answers in a way that would be applicable. Is it legal for them to keep information in their database that was never obtained through an investigation, but only through a screening proceedure? I have nothing to hide, but I am uncomfortable about the fact that I was not able to explain myself had I would have been if I'd filled out the form in writing.

Has anyone ever run across a situation like this, or does anyone have any advice?

Thank you in advance . .
  
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Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box beech trees
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Re: FBI website application - QUESTION
Reply #1 - Jan 16th, 2003 at 8:39pm
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Hi John,

Just one man's opinion: In theory and in practice you have not actually had your application for employment accepted by the FBI-- in other words you have not actually applied, it was over before it started based on your answers to the drug questions. You therefore are under no obligation to tell another agency that your application was rejected by the FBI because of prior drug use... the FBI merely said you were ineligible *to* apply. Do you see my point?
  

"It is the duty of the patriot to protect his country from its government." ~ Thomas Paine
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Re: FBI website application - QUESTION
Reply #2 - Jan 16th, 2003 at 9:18pm
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Hi Beech, thanks for responding.

I considered that, but I read elsewhere on the site in the privacy act section that they may share all or any part of any information you willfully submit to them. Here is what I was concerned with (the applicable parts indicated by ***):

--------------------------------

Privacy Act Notice

Pursuant to the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. 552a, we are providing the following information on principal purposes and routine uses for individuals completing the FBI employment application forms.


Principal Purposes and Routine Uses

The principal purpose of this form is to collect information to determine the qualifications and suitability of FBI employment . . . (n/a stuff omitted) . . ***Furthermore, all or part of your completed FBI application form may be disclosed outside the Department of Justice to the following:

Federal agencies requesting lists of individuals who are eligible for appointment, reassignment, reinstatement, transfer, or promotion.

State or local government agencies under either the Intergovernmental Personnel Act or the President's Executive Program when you have expressed an interest in such employment.

***Federal agency investigators to determine suitability for federal employment.

***Selecting officials who are involved with the internal personnel management of federal agencies.

***Appropriate federal, state, local, foreign, or other public authorities conducting criminal, intelligence, or security background investigations.

***Federal, state, or local agencies creating other personnel records after you have been appointed to an agency position.

.

.


***Pursuant to the routine uses most recently published in the Federal Register for the FBI's Central Records System (Justice/FBI-002), Bureau Personnel Management System (Justice/FBI-007) and Blanket Routine Uses (Justice/FBI-BRU)."

---------------------------------

I know what you're saying though, officially I never applied, but they do keep a record of my answers somewhere, because I went back in several months after my initial appication, to try and re-apply based on the fact that I am now within their time guidelines of past drug usage. I entered my name and SSN and hit enter, and the same page came up indicating that I was ineligible. (Most likely because I'm still above the +15 times of marijuana usage. No matter how much time passes between usage and re-applying, I cannot answer no to that question unless I can go back in time.)

Anyway, I might be making a deal deal out of nothing, but like I said, I don't want an investigator from another agency to use that disclosure against me to somehow weed me out based on the fact that I'm not up to the standards of the FBI. Or worse, I don't want to say I've never applied to the FBI, and have them come back and say "According to the FBI, you applied on X date and made these declarations."



  
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Re: FBI website application - QUESTION
Reply #3 - Jan 17th, 2003 at 7:21am
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The FBI doesn't really have proof that it was YOU that applied via the web.  As far as they can prove, it could've been anyone who had access to your personal information.
  
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Re: FBI website application - QUESTION
Reply #4 - Jan 17th, 2003 at 2:46pm
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Vato is technically correct (as far as a legal accusation in court) but if you read the rest of the FBI's disclosure on what information is gathered and why, you will see that after you enter into the employment htl page and start answering questions, they also gather your e-mail source address and other information that they would not keep on file if you were "just browsing the web pages."

John 555, you have brought to light some interesting information which I believe not many applicants even think of when they go on line to the FBI's site.

Regards.
  
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FBI website application - QUESTION

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