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New polygraph regulation for CID and military intelligence agents

The Army regulation governing polygraph examinations in criminal and military intelligence investigations has been updated, and will take effect May 21.

While the Army provost marshal general is proponent for the revised AR 195-6 (DA Polygraph Activities), the policies contained in the document are a shared responsibility of the service's Criminal Investigation Command and Intelligence and Security Command.

The new regulation, which replaces an October 1995 version of the document, can be accessed online at

Detailed policies regarding intelligence polygraphs, including counterintelligence scope polygraph exams, are addressed in AR 381-20 (Army Counterintelligence Program), a classified document.

Basic policies spelled out in the revised regulation stipulate that while the polygraph is a useful tool to secure and verify evidence, "it only will be used as an aid in support of other investigative means," and "is not necessarily the final action in an investigation."

Questions asked by polygraph examiners must relate to matters under investigation, and cannot include any of the following issues unless they directly relate to the criminal probe:

• Religious beliefs and lawful affiliations.

• Beliefs and opinions regarding racial matters.

• Sexual orientation or preferences.

• Political beliefs and affiliations of a non-subversive nature.

• Opinions on the constitutionality of legislative policies.

The regulation requires that "no adverse action will be taken against persons who are unwilling to be examined by polygraph during a criminal investigation," although other investigative methods may continue following such a refusal.

Persons who are examined in connection with a criminal investigation must provide voluntary consent in writing on a DA form 2801 (Polygraph Examination Statement of Consent).

Rules governing counterintelligence polygraph exams of persons with access to certain sensitive and highly classified programs, are addressed in the classified  AR 381-20.

AR 195-6 contains explicit guidance for the conduct of polygraph exams, including the facilities to be used for such exams.

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