Report: Firm That Does US Background Checks Cut Corners
Company allegedly skipped second step, says Washington Post
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 28, 2013 10:28 AM CDT
This image made available by The Guardian Newspaper in London shows NSA Wistleblower Edward Snowden.   (AP Photo/The Guardian, Ewen MacAskill)

(Newser) – We already knew Edward Snowden was hired by NSA contractor Booz Allen even though his resumé had issues—but the mess surrounding how Snowden got top-secret clearance grows. The Washington Post reports that USIS, another contractor that screened Snowden for the clearance, allegedly told the government its background checks were more thorough than they really were. USIS was supposed to conduct two checks—the second was to ensure nothing important had been overlooked. But from 2008 through 2011, USIS said these second checks had been done—when actually, in as many as half of the cases, they had allegedly been skipped.

As a result, USIS appeared to be more efficient than it actually was and got incentive awards, the sources say. The whole matter is now under review, and USIS might lose all its government contracts. Whether Snowden's background check was done improperly is not yet known, but the inspector general of the Office of Personnel Management (which oversees most government background checks) said last week "there may be some problems" with Snowden's. In related news, the NSA director yesterday provided more details on the terrorists plots and suspects that have been thwarted because of the government surveillance programs Snowden uncovered, the Post reports. There were 54, according to Gen. Keith Alexander, 13 involving the US and the rest overseas.

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Jun 28, 2013 5:25 PM CDT
One good thing that E. Snowden did was expose how incompetent and or desperate and or disorganized the intelligence community has become. I hope that the government, and the military and the public reform themselves after this great embarrassment. Private contractors have no business in this line of work. Looks like outsourcing, poor quality work, and cutting corners for profit has worked its way into the tax paid jobs that are supposed to keep us safe from terrorists.
Jun 28, 2013 1:52 PM CDT
With all the hundreds of thousands employed by the government, it makes one wonder why they have to contract outside work all the time. These outfits will merely change names and continue feeding off the public. When one loves a bureaucracy, inefficiency will follow. Look at how many directors are telling congress they didn't know what was going on. Not my fault!
Jun 28, 2013 1:47 PM CDT
"Whether Snowden's background check was done improperly is not yet known ... " But we are going to go ahead and assume it was, apparently.