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DOJ accuses firm that vetted Snowden of faking 665,000 background checks

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posted on Jan, 24 2014 @ 10:10 AM
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This company does backgrounds for 95 federal agencies.

Secondly I had no idea the office of personal management was privatized. VP Gore got that during his save the trees campaign.




posted on Jan, 24 2014 @ 10:21 AM
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reply to post by Aazadan
 


Well, again, this isn't about Snowden. This same company did the background check for the Washington Navy Yard Shooter.

Unlike Snowden simply blowing US national secrets to the world and our adversaries, the other example carried a body count.

Who knows if they screwed that one up or not. The story suggests 40% of the background checks they ran are apparently flagged as fake. Those are horrible odds when being wrong (just once) can compromise national security, blow critical cases (Department of Justice and Law Enforcement) or cause havoc in God only knows how many other areas given the 95 agencies Xcathdra mentioned these guys were/are responsible for the vetting process with.

That's a horrifying number of agencies when they're batting a 40% fabrication rate on first run through and before a proper examination under the conditions of a law suit and court process. (Of course, they'll probably fall out with a settlement and we won't hear the details...but color me outraged either way)



posted on Jan, 24 2014 @ 11:57 AM
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reply to post by Arbitrageur
 



I'm not sure what fire you're talking about but the company statement sounds somewhat like an admission of limited guilt and they claim to have already rectified the problem, from the OP link:



USIS, which on its website calls itself "the leader in federal background investigations," said in a statement provided to NBC News that "a small group of individuals" was responsible for the bogus checks and that their conduct was "contrary to our values and commitment to exceptional service."


A couple things come to mind reading that.

1, regular profit driven motives by key people in a company, and once the hammer comes down it becomes blame-game and sacrificial sheep time.

2. Possibly foreign interests pushing or manipulating people in those positions for the purpose of getting sleeper agents into positions with top security clearance.

-

The overall theme I get though is the more security measures you put in, the more they are able to be abused. Giving absolute authority simply means someone will have absolute authority to wield on someone else. There obviously has to be some level of security in many industries and aspects of life, but it's a growing giant that becomes more and more disconnected to the people who influence it.



posted on Jan, 24 2014 @ 12:12 PM
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Well, if 665,000 people weren't properly investigated and only ONE guy (Snowden) managed to leak anything of use, I'd say we almost don't even need background checks!

I mean, you'd think with that many people being cleared for TS or more -- SOMEONE would come forward with something a little more juicy than how the NSA wiretaps/spies on people. Many of us here have known this with certainty for YEARS anyway.

How about the secret space program? Anyone got clearance and want to be the next Snowden, only bigger?



posted on Jan, 24 2014 @ 12:23 PM
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To me it seems more a case of greed than incompetence. They knew what they were supposed to do and they just didn't do it, to increase profits. That's greed, not incompetence.


This is the US. I suspect the majority of business is corrupt and cheating in order to make money. The whole federal government and many smaller ones seem to have become an income source for corrupt business.



posted on Jan, 24 2014 @ 01:30 PM
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And that's what you get when you outsource background checks...



posted on Jan, 24 2014 @ 03:33 PM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 


I spend a fortune on background checks for my place. I can honestly say that it really has no bearing on whether or not I get a good employee. It is just a senseless cost that I have to endure for insurance reasons.

I live in a part of the world where it isn't atypical to have possession of MJ on your record. We are near the border, and its cultural (not along lines of race). I view it as no big deal. My Dallas based insurer....they disagree.



posted on Jan, 24 2014 @ 04:48 PM
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Wrabbit2000
[

That raises an interesting question... If you or I agreed to perform a service for Uncle and we screwed the 'ol guy while sticking him with a bunch of people he couldn't trust or use? I think you or I would go to jail or federal prison over it.

So...where are the perp walks and indictments? (crickets chirp)



That would be the lawsuit linked to right in the article that you apparently did not read.


Plaintiff, the United States of America (United States), by its undersigned counsel,
represents as follows:
1. The United States brings this civil action to recover treble damages and penalties
under the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729-33 (FCA), and to recover damages and other
monetary relief for breach of contract. This action arises from false statements and claims that
Defendant U.S. Investigations Services, Inc. (USIS) knowingly presented to, or caused to be
presented to, the United States and the United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM)
related to background investigations that were not reviewed in accordance with the requirements
of the parties’ contracts, in violation of the FCA and the common law.



posted on Jan, 24 2014 @ 04:58 PM
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Wrabbit2000
I think you or I would go to jail or federal prison over it.



Aloysius the Gaul
That would be the lawsuit linked to right in the article that you apparently did not read.

Nope.


1. The United States brings this civil action...

Criminal cases are used to send people to jail or prison. Civil cases only seek to recover monetary or similar damages. So nobody will go to jail as a result of a civil case.

Now the question is, why isn't there a criminal case, or there is one, exactly what criminal law did they break? They probably broke some criminal laws, but I'm just not sure what they are. I'm not an expert but I think they try the criminal cases first.

But I gave you a star for at least reading the article, which a lot of people don't bother to do.
edit on 24-1-2014 by Arbitrageur because: clarification



posted on Jan, 24 2014 @ 10:37 PM
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Wrabbit2000
reply to post by Aazadan
 


Well, again, this isn't about Snowden. This same company did the background check for the Washington Navy Yard Shooter.

Unlike Snowden simply blowing US national secrets to the world and our adversaries, the other example carried a body count.

Who knows if they screwed that one up or not. The story suggests 40% of the background checks they ran are apparently flagged as fake. Those are horrible odds when being wrong (just once) can compromise national security, blow critical cases (Department of Justice and Law Enforcement) or cause havoc in God only knows how many other areas given the 95 agencies Xcathdra mentioned these guys were/are responsible for the vetting process with.

That's a horrifying number of agencies when they're batting a 40% fabrication rate on first run through and before a proper examination under the conditions of a law suit and court process. (Of course, they'll probably fall out with a settlement and we won't hear the details...but color me outraged either way)


I'm not so sure. Charges of this scale don't just appear unless there was no oversight as to the work being done. I suppose that's always a possibility but I think it's Snowden related. They can't get him so they go after the company he worked for. The company he worked for then deflects blame to the background check. The sheer number of false background checks is unbelievable, and this is just their government account, if this is true it was happening to non government checks as well. I just don't see how such a thing is possible.

My first reaction, which I'm still sticking with is the government just throwing out a ridiculously large almost impossible to defend against charge due to the scale in an attempt to punish someone for what happened. Maybe I'm just in disbelief that such a thing is possible. Something I learned in the 2004 election when the dems were throwing everything they could against Bush and seeing what stuck and I've not forgotten is "Don't let facts get in the way of the seriousness of the charge".

I'm just still in that mindset for this.



posted on Jan, 24 2014 @ 11:36 PM
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Wrabbit2000
Well, isn't this just the type of thing to give you a warm and fuzzy feeling at night? 665,000 people were cleared for Top Secret or other Security clearances ... who weren't cleared or properly investigated.

It doesn't say 665,000 security clearances. It says 665,000 investigations. A large number of those would have been for suitability, not security, and some of the security investigations were for sensitive positions, not security clearances (though that distinction really only exists on paper, and only if you hold it up to the light of a full moon). Until you actually see this number broken down into investigation type, including the form used, it's pretty meaningless. And the article doesn't say they were "fake," it says they didn't do the quality review. Perhaps some were faked (vouchers marked as acceptable that were never returned, fictitious ROIs, etc.), but the story as written isn't about that. Only the headline.


Stirling
Er, how much does the company charge for a phoney background check............
Do they give a bulk rate for those or are they full price.....
I mean 650K checks at no cost to the company makes a LOT OF PROFIT!

They weren't fake, they just weren't reviewed after they closed. FIS's expenses in FY2012 were $988.1 million, and $456.3 million of that went to investigative contracts. That's revenue, of course, not profit. They did 2,267,405 investigations in FY2012, so I guess the average revenue per investigation was $201. I have no idea what the profit margin on investigations is, but the marginal profit of skipping a quality review would only be a fraction of that, so I figure they made maybe five or ten extra dollars for each case they pushed out prematurely? This is all extremely rough back-of-envelope stuff and should probably be ignored, but the numbers are available if you want to play with them.


Franklinpillow
You would of thought the FBI and the DOD would do their own work regarding background checks and not leave it to a private contractor. Maybe the cost was a factor in this?

Bigger law enforcement and most intelligence agencies typically do their own investigations. So the FBI and DOD intel agencies do, in fact, do their own work. That doesn't necessarily mean Federal employees are ones doing all the work. LE/IC agencies can hire contractors, too. And the FBI handles Presidential Appointees with Senate confirmation, at least for the initial appointment. The Office of Personnel Management handles everybody else, including military.


From my own investigations during the 1990s the highest clearances was done by the then Office of Federal Investigations, now called the Federal Investigative Services part of the OPM (Office of Personnel Management). www.opm.gov...

They should of done the clearances not some private contractor, who are in it for the money to some degree.

FIS sets standards and hires contractors to carry them out. There are a few special agents in FIS who do investigations, but for the most part the investigations are carried out by contractors.


Snarl
There's your REAL incompetence. They DID everything they were supposed to ... and yet ... Snowmen and Alexis still got past USIS' basic scrutiny. There are certain government business practices which should never be contracted out. Security happens to be one of 'em.

If USIS met the investigative standards of ICPG 704.2 and Snowden and Manning still got their clearances, it doesn't matter whether the investigations were contracted out or not. The problem was with the standards, the sources, the adjudicators, or their agencies' continuous evaluation programs, and none of that can be laid at USIS's doorstep.
edit on 24-1-2014 by FurvusRexCaeli because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 01:17 PM
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Snarl
That's one opinion. I worked side-by-side with NSA employees. I will attest that they were breaking ZERO laws at that time. Now ... is what I have to say opinion, or a fact based on first-hand observation?
Yes, I cited one opinion. You might have developed another opinion. Here a 5 member oversight board has found the program illegal in a 3/5 majority (so 5 more opinions here, and there are even more mentioned in the source):

Privacy report finds NSA spying illegal

The board presented its conclusions Thursday afternoon. Three members of the five person board agreed that the government should end the program, saying it was not just ineffective but illegal. The other two board members dissented from that conclusion.


So, if you are screening people who are loyal to the USA and its constitution in the background checks, it's not logical to later complain if the people you hired actually do have the very qualities you wanted them to have in the screening process. I hope there is nothing in the screening process that says "find us someone who will look the other way when their superiors violate the constitution", though, wouldn't it be scary if such a screening requirement was added?



Wrabbit2000
The story suggests 40% of the background checks they ran are apparently flagged as fake.
That's not the way I read it. The story doesn't rule out that all the background checks are legitimate, it states that 40% didn't have the contractually required quality check. Doing sampling is quite common in quality checks and a 60% sampling rate is considered huge by most standards, but where national security is concerned it's probably not enough. But the article doesn't actually cite fake background checks, only fake quality checks which infers that the background checks were actually done. I think if the background checks themselves were faked, the article would probably mention that and I didn't see that stated.



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 01:41 PM
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reply to post by Arbitrageur
 



Between March 2008 and September 2012, "USIS released at least 665,000 background investigations" to OPM, certifying them as completed when they actually hadn’t been, the complaint charges. This amounted to 40 percent of all the background checks performed by USIS done during this period., it said. The allegedly fraudulent background checks included employees seeking security clearances at the Department of Defense, Homeland Security, Justice Department and other federal agencies.


Innocent until proven in court and all that...but I'm simply sharing what the story from NBC News has to say on it ..not interpreting for what I'd like or not like it to read as. Everyone can make their own determinations...but that is what the story says, and for that much? It is what it is.
edit on 25-1-2014 by Wrabbit2000 because: Tag fix



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 02:08 PM
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bigfatfurrytexan
reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 


I spend a fortune on background checks for my place. I can honestly say that it really has no bearing on whether or not I get a good employee. It is just a senseless cost that I have to endure for insurance reasons.

I live in a part of the world where it isn't atypical to have possession of MJ on your record. We are near the border, and its cultural (not along lines of race). I view it as no big deal. My Dallas based insurer....they disagree.


Yep.. a fortune. A TS when my husband got it was 25K. Yep.. 25K!! The probably outsource it to the lowest bid these days... like everything else they do with contracting. That stuff costs big time. The costs are incredible.. BUT you get what you pay for apparently
Even more when he got his Q and R clearance.. and a whole lot more when he got his SCI. The SAP approval.. hell.. I cant even imagine what that cost or what they looked at. I DO know it was done correctly.. and damned invasive. They even interviewed ME, peeked at my college stuff, passport stuff, family, BIA stuff ( no joke! They actually reviewed my dealings with the BIA on rez ) etc!



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 03:23 PM
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Wrabbit2000
Innocent until proven in court and all that...but I'm simply sharing what the story from NBC News has to say on it ..not interpreting for what I'd like or not like it to read as.
Yes I think you are misinterpreting what it says. Did you miss this part?


“USIS management devised and executed a scheme to deliberately circumvent contractually required quality reviews of completed background investigations in order to increase the company’s revenues and profits,” said the Justice Department in its complaint, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Alabama.
The fraudulent part was stating that the quality reviews had been completed when they hadn't been completed. It doesn't allege that the background checks themselves weren't completed or were fraudulent.



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 04:05 PM
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Advantage
Yep.. a fortune. A TS when my husband got it was 25K. Yep.. 25K!!

I'd like to see the source for that, because it doesn't align with any pricing I've seen for the past twelve years. I suppose it could happen a long time ago, when there wasn't much automation, if you had SES out there hanging door tags and charging for travel days.


Even more when he got his Q and R clearance.. and a whole lot more when he got his SCI.

If you have a TS, you don't get re-investigated for a Q or SCI. The Q is just a DoE clearance based on an SSBI, and SCI is based on an SSBI with slightly different adjudicative guidelines. Or it has been since 1991 ... that's as far back as I have handy. They might have done a new investigation because of bad agency reciprocity policies, but it would be to the same investigative standard. No such thing as an R clearance.


The SAP approval.. hell.. I cant even imagine what that cost or what they looked at.

Depends on the SAP. Generally, polygraph and/or the citizenship of immediate family members. Those are the only ones approved now without an OMB waiver.
edit on 25-1-2014 by FurvusRexCaeli because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 06:17 PM
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FurvusRexCaeli

Advantage
Yep.. a fortune. A TS when my husband got it was 25K. Yep.. 25K!!

I'd like to see the source for that, because it doesn't align with any pricing I've seen for the past twelve years. I suppose it could happen a long time ago, when there wasn't much automation, if you had SES out there hanging door tags and charging for travel days.


Even more when he got his Q and R clearance.. and a whole lot more when he got his SCI.

If you have a TS, you don't get re-investigated for a Q or SCI. The Q is just a DoE clearance based on an SSBI, and SCI is based on an SSBI with slightly different adjudicative guidelines. Or it has been since 1991 ... that's as far back as I have handy. They might have done a new investigation because of bad agency reciprocity policies, but it would be to the same investigative standard. No such thing as an R clearance.


The SAP approval.. hell.. I cant even imagine what that cost or what they looked at.

Depends on the SAP. Generally, polygraph and/or the citizenship of immediate family members. Those are the only ones approved now without an OMB waiver.
edit on 25-1-2014 by FurvusRexCaeli because: (no reason given)


I dont care if you dont believe it.. but its obvious you dont know what you are talking about in any case.
They absolutely DID reinvestigate.. and its common. There is an R clearance regardless of what you think.. its within the DOE.. just like the Q because thats what he was working with in NM with nuclear. I suggest you look it up before calling someone a liar.

By the way.. a source?? Seriously? I guess thats where you got your faulty info. Mine comes from actually LIVING it for over 2 decades. If you live your life through "sources" and "links" online.. you typically DONT have the information you claim you do.
edit on 25-1-2014 by Advantage because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 06:25 PM
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(1) Holder accuses firm of faking 665,000 background checks. We the people accuse Holder of willfully and maliciously violating his oath to the Constitution

(2) What the DOJ/government is really angling for is an outcry by the people for more "security"... and naturally less liberty. This is classic Hegelian Dialectic (problem, reaction, solution) rhetoric. Don't fall for the trap, and point it out to other people so they won't fall for it either.

(3) What the DOJ really wants is an enhanced vetting process that'll give more in-depth consideration to the psychological profiles of those screened for clearances. They want more robots who won't steer the ship according to any moral compass, but rather will tow the official line of this criminal government without qualm or complaint.

(4) Honestly, I'm hoping more Snowdens slipped through the cracks. Somewhere in those 665,000 have to be other men and women of courage and moral integrity. I pray more of them come forward to destroy this criminal enterprise from within. And if you give even the slightest deuce about your freedom, you should too.
edit on 25-1-2014 by therealguyfawkes because: I am a fat-fingered bastard



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 07:42 PM
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For anyone interested, I found what looks like a decent site for explaining costs and types of security checks vs. myths of how it works or what it costs.

How Much Does It Really Cost to Get a Security Clearance?



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 07:49 PM
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Wrabbit2000
For anyone interested, I found what looks like a decent site for explaining costs and types of security checks vs. myths of how it works or what it costs.

How Much Does It Really Cost to Get a Security Clearance?


They also have to pay for other clearances on top of your own when your contract runs out and you switch jobs.. IF the DoD DEMANDS you have a certain clearance on paper. Clearances also expire.. and you have to redo that... and if you are moving positions, like when the husband went to the DOE for the DoD withn the nuclear energy thing.. the DOD picked up the 20K and the DOE picked up the 5K for the Q and R. There IS an R.. and its necessary when working with certain information. It DOES cost more depending on what youre doing and where. You DO get investigated for many of these pretty heavily.. specifically when certain factors arise.. and even what particular department you are working for UNDER the DoD.

ETA.. one thing that DOES come out of a DoD employees pocket but is later reimbursed is the security testing and etc... when its for a specific job and its DEMANDED by the job description. WHen youre straddling several "departments" and firehosing things.. you have to stack your paper to access the info or even be in the same room as the info.... even if you arent directly dealing with this info. WIth him it was in particular as he was on call and was straddling several different "buildings" at that time.
edit on 25-1-2014 by Advantage because: (no reason given)




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