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USIS Loses Federal Background Check Business

First, it was the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board parting ways with Dun & Bradstreet. Now, another federal agency has lowered the boom on a major supplier to the federal government.

It was reported last week that background check contractor U.S. Investigations Services LLC (USIS) will lose a large chunk of its federal business starting next month. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) will not renew USIS’s $2.5 billion Background Investigation Fieldwork contract and its $288 million Background Investigation Support Services contract.

This move was somewhat expected, given the government’s suspension of USIS’s work last month after a cybersecurity attack on the company compromised the personal data of thousands of government employees. In addition, the Justice Department is asserting in a False Claims Act lawsuit that USIS fraudulently submitted 665,000 background checks between 2008 and 2012 that were either incomplete or not properly reviewed. Among the individuals USIS screened during that time was NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. USIS also performed a 2007 background check on Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis.

USIS issued the following statement regarding its reversal of fortune at the OPM:

"We are deeply disappointed with OPM’s decision, particularly given the excellent work our 3,000 employees have delivered on these contracts. While we disagree with the decision and are reviewing it, we intend to fulfill our obligations to ensure an orderly transition. The Company continues to provide high quality service to its many other valued government customers."

As noted in the statement, USIS still has contracts with other federal agencies—a situation that has become a matter of concern in both the House and Senate. The OPM is still making up its mind on whether to impose a government-wide contracting ban on USIS. Given the impact on USIS’s bottom line, however, the loss of its OPM contracts arguably has as much impact as a suspension or debarment.

By: Neil Gordon
Investigator, POGO

Neil Gordon, Investigator Neil Gordon is an investigator for the Project On Government Oversight. Neil investigates and maintains POGO's Federal Contractor Misconduct Database.

Topics: Contract Oversight

Related Content: Contractor Accountability, Federal Contractor Misconduct

Authors: Neil Gordon

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