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Security Requirement for Contractors
Personnel Security/Suitability Clearance Requirements

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All contract personnel who will have access to U.S. Census Bureau (CB) data or have access to a Census Bureau site shall have a CB-approved background investigation prior to gaining access to the CB. CB-approved background investigations may include the Applicant Name Check, the National Agency Check and Inquiry (NACI), Special Agreement Check (OFI-86C), and/or other CB-approved previous investigation(s).

Two (2) weeks prior to having access to any CB site, the Contractor shall submit to the Contracting Officer two completed FD-258, "Fingerprint Cards," and the required CB suitability investigation applications below:

These requirements also pertain to contractor project supervisors, contractor management officials, and other contract personnel who plan to visit a Census Bureau site or access CB data.

Once the Contracting Officer or his/her designee receives a favorable pre-employment report from the OSY, upon issuance of a CB Contractor badge, and prior to access of a Census Bureau facility, the contract employee shall be required to complete the CB form BC-1759, Application for Special Sworn Status, shall take the CB Oath of Non-disclosure of the data, and shall be subject to penalties prescribed in Title 13, United States Code, Section 214. This requirement also pertains to contract project supervisors, contract management officials, and other contract personnel who may come into contact with Title 13 data.

Should the Contracting Officer or designee receive an unsuitable report on any contract employee as a result of processing the required forms, or should an existing employee under this contract become unsuitable or unfit for assigned duties in this regard, the Contractor shall be advised by the Government that such employee cannot be assigned to work or continue to work under the contract. The Contractor shall immediately remove any such employee and begin the process to replace him/her with a suitable substitute.

Potential contract employees who have previously had their suitability determined may not need to submit forms, pending verification to the CB by the prior Government agency or unless one (1) calendar year or more has elapsed since they last started work under a CB or General Services Administration contract. These potential contract employees shall, however, submit, in lieu of CB required paperwork and prior to CB employment, a statement on the prior agency’s letterhead that they have a current suitability determination. In addition to being submitted on the respective agency's letterhead, the statement shall also list the following: Full Name, Social Security Number, Date of Birth, and a Point-of-Contact, including an up-to-date telephone number, contract number(s), and performance dates for contracts on which they have or are currently participating, which required such a determination.

Legal Authorities Governing the Use of Census Bureau Data

Title 13, United States Code (U.S.C.), authorizes the Census Bureau to collect and maintain data on a broad range of subjects. Most of these data are confidential under Title 13, U.S.C., Section 9. Section 214 of that law provides strict penalties for unauthorized disclosure of Title 13 information. These penalties include a fine of up to $250,000 or a jail term of up to 5 years, or both.

Title 13, U.S.C., Section 23(c) permits the Census Bureau to use non-Census Bureau employees to assist the agency in performing the work authorized under this title, "but only if such temporary staff is sworn to observe the limitations imposed by Section 9 of this title." In other words, contractors and other temporary personnel must shall the Oath of Nondisclosure to be given Special Sworn Status. In taking the Oath of Nondisclosure, the contractor agrees "not to disclose any information contained in the schedules, lists, or statements obtained for or prepared by the U.S. Census Bureau to any person or persons either during or after appointment" and acknowledges the penalties for unlawful disclosure discussed in the previous paragraph.

In addition to Title 13 protections, some programs make use of administrative records information that the Census Bureau obtains from other agencies, under the authority of Title 13, U.S.C., Section 6. In addition to Title 13 protections to these data, they may also be covered by specific protections specified in the law of the source agency. If a contractor is given access to such information, he or she shall observe any additional agency confidentiality protections that must be implemented to protect these data. As with Title 13 data, the contractor shall be subject to additional penalties for violation of administrative record protection requirements.

Contractors shall observe security procedures documented in the Handbook for IT Security.

Title 13 and Non-disclosure Requirements

Given that Census data collection programs and information are protected by various Titles and Acts, any potential contractor shall be required to complete the BOC form BC-1759, Application for Special Sworn Status, shall take the BOC Oath of Non-disclosure of the data, and shall be subject to penalties prescribed in Title 13. The Oath will be administered after completion of a favorable pre-employment check by an authorized BOC official immediately upon assignment to a BOC contract or upon issuance of a BOC Contractor badge. This requirement also pertains to project supervisors, management officials, and other contract personnel who may come into contact, either directly or indirectly, with T13 data.

View entire Title 13 code

What is Title 15?

Title 15 is the Department of Commerce's legislative authority which permits the Secretary of Commerce to conduct special studies for other organizations. The Census Bureau uses this authority to conduct non Title 13 reimbursable surveys and acts as a contractor for sponsoring agencies.

View entire Title 15 code

What is Title 18?

Title 18 covers general rules for government agencies regarding the collection, maintenance, use, and dissemination of records of identifiable personal information.

View entire Title 18 code

  • Also see "What a Contractor Needs to Know" for more info.

  • Source: U.S. Census Bureau
    Acquisition Division

    Created: 5/8/2001
    Last Revised: October 07, 2014

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