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Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Coordination
Personnel and Document Security Division (PDSD)
United States Department of Agriculture

About PDSD

Personnel Security

PDSD controls access to classified information by establishing and implementing USDA's "Access to Classified Information" program as required under Executive Order 12968 - "Access to Classified Information" (PDF; 96 Kb).

 

Responsibilities include:

  • Establishing and implementing the personnel security process for conducting background investigations, and adjudicating cases to determine eligibility for access to national security classified information, as well as issuing, suspending, and revoking security clearances for USDA personnel.
  • Investigating and adjudicating possible breaches in security within USDA that are determined to be violations of Federal laws, and/or Departmental regulations, policies, and procedures pertaining to safeguarding of national security.
  • Promulgating USDA-wide policies and regulations related to access to national security information, including the issuance of security clearances.
  • Providing technical support on security clearance matters to USDA agencies and staff offices.
  • Receiving and passing security clearances from other federal agencies and departments.
  • Requesting OPM conduct background investigations.

PDSD is responsible for establishing and implementing USDA's "Suitability for Employment" program. Responsibilities include:

  • Establishing and implementing the personnel security process for requesting background investigations and adjudicating cases to determine the suitability for USDA employees to encumber public trust positions in accordance with applicable Federal laws, as well as Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and Departmental regulations, policies, and procedures.
  • Promulgating policies and regulations for USDA concerning security clearances and suitability for public trust positions.
  • Providing technical support on suitability for federal employment matters to USDA agencies and staff offices.
  • Requesting that OPM conduct background investigations.

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