OPM: Only Federal Employees Will Do Final Review of Background Checks

SOMMAI/Shutterstock.com

The Office of Personnel Management on Thursday tightened its control of the governmentwide background check process that is performed primarily by contractors.

The move comes two weeks after the Justice Department officially charged the Falls Church-Va.,-based contractor USIS, the company that performed the background checks on fired National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden and Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis.

“Today, I have directed that the background investigations quality review process conducted by OPM be fully federalized,” said OPM Director Katherine Archuleta in a statement. “Effective February 24, only federal employees will be conducting the final quality review before the investigative product is sent to the agency for review and adjudication.”

The agency’s ongoing review of background checks, she said, makes it “clear that the overriding performance criteria must be quality. This decision acts as an internal quality control preventing any contractor from performing the final quality review of its own work.”

Archuleta added that she will work with OPM’s inspector general, employees and other partners to further improve the process, which must balance national security risks against costs and fairness to job applicants.

Legislation to allow OPM to use its revolving fund to audit and probe contractors performing background checks has passed both the House and Senate, but is awaiting reconciliation in conference. 

(Image via SOMMAI/Shutterstock.com)

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.