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
Report: Firm That Does US Background Checks Cut Corners
This image made available by The Guardian Newspaper in London shows NSA Wistleblower Edward Snowden.   (AP Photo/The Guardian, Ewen MacAskill)

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. (Read more Keith Alexander stories.)

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