About Us
Mission Statement
Rules of Conduct
 
Name:
Pswd:
Remember Me
Register
 

Outsourcing: The best Security Clearance money can buy.
Author: Raine    Date: 2013-06-21 10:34:16

A lot of people are spitting bullets over the NSA scandal and Edward Snowden. I questioned Edward Snowden myself. I don't regret asking those questions. I've wondered about Snowden and how he got such a security clearance. Then, tonite -- I read something very interesting. We are outsourcing background checks for contract jobs that are critical to our national security. .

It's high time we talk about the ongoing privatization of things that used to be governmental responsibilities - Security Clearances in particular. Case in point:
Patrick McFarland, the inspector general at the Office of Personnel Management, said during a Senate hearing that the contractor USIS is being investigated and that the company performed a background investigation of Edward Snowden.

McFarland also told lawmakers that there may have been problems with the way the background check of Snowden was done, but McFarland and one of his assistants declined to say after the hearing what triggered the decision to investigate USIS and whether it involved the company's check of Snowden.
Did you grasp that? let me drive it home a little more :
USIS is a private company based in Falls Church that has done, under contract to OPM, a large portion of the background inquiries, including Snowden’s reinvestigation. USIS, itself, is under investigation.

Michelle B. Schmitz, OPM’s assistant inspector general for investigations, told the hearing that USIS has been under investigation since late 2011 in a “complicated contract fraud case.” Inspector general officials provided no details about that investigation.
This is USIS:
USIS specializes in providing information and security services to government agencies and commercial enterprises. Headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, USIS delivers background screening and risk management solutions that not only protect national security, but also support and help empower decision-makers the world over.

Since 1996, USIS has been the leading provider of background investigations to the federal government. Along with its focus on protecting national security, USIS is a preeminent source of comprehensive litigation support services in the legal services market.

So, what we have here, in a nutshell is a situation where the federal government is questioning how a private enterprise approved a security clearance to Edward Snowden who has given state secrets to China and Russia.

Let me tell you what I find incredibly fucked up about this: Security clearances are OUTSOURCED.

You can't have security when everything is privatized.

McCaskill, chairwoman of the other subcommittee, was skeptical about the use of so many contractors doing background checks. USIS, she said, gets $45 million a year for administrative support “to do office work,” plus “several hundred million dollars a year to do background checks.” It takes 999 people to do the office work; only 35 are federal employees.

“Why are we paying contractors instead of hiring people?” McCaskill wanted to know.

An OPM official said contractors cost less but acknowledged that the agency had no cost-benefit analysis.

“I’m tired of this assumption being made that contractors are cheaper” when some studies show they are more expensive, McCaskill said.

Sometimes, the investigators need to be investigated.


“Why are we paying contractors instead of hiring people?” McCaskill wanted to know.

Maybe it's time to stop outsourcing government -- it cannot continue both ways. We cannot have security while embracing privatization. I'm not against government contracting -- I'm against contracting out to private companies that have a say in who gets security clearances.

Security clearances should be solely left to the government -- they should not be outsourced.

period.

and
Raine

88 comments (Latest Comment: 06/21/2013 21:40:58 by Will in Chicago)
   Perma Link

Share This!

Furl it!
Spurl
NewsVine
Reddit
Technorati

Add a Comment

Please login to add a comment...


Comments:

Order comments Newest to Oldest  Refresh Comments

Comment by Will in Chicago on 06/21/2013 11:54:12
First!! Good morning and happy Summer Solstice!! Happy first day of summer!!

Raine, we are doing far too much out sourcing in the government. We saw a lot of it during the invasions and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, where many jobs formerly done by government employees (especially soldiers) were and are being done by government contractors. There was a time when cooking and laundry for the armed forces were done by those agencies, not private contractors.

I think we need to question the whole push for privatization and profitization (to borrow a term from Thom Hartmann) of our government services and the commons. In Chicago, we have a tollway (the Chicago Skyway) which has been privatized. We need to dispel the myth that private corporations are more efficient and effective than government. My hope is that we will do so soon -- I am weary of Ayn Rand's rhetoric being spouted by politicians as if it was delivered on two tablets at Mount Sinai.

Comment by Will in Chicago on 06/21/2013 12:00:54
I will be busy babysitting for a friend today and tomorrow, but should be able to check in.

Here is a thought. As it is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere (and the shortest in the Southern Hemisphere), think of something that would spread some light and goodwill today. Here is one: I am very grateful for this blog and everyone here.

Comment by wickedpam on 06/21/2013 12:42:04
Morning

Comment by wickedpam on 06/21/2013 13:41:43
I've often wondered about how and why so many security clearance and done and needed around here. I swear if you check out any of the job hunting sites there are tons of company's who demand you have a certain clearance even before you send them a resume.

Comment by TriSec on 06/21/2013 13:44:51
Morning, comrades!

I have a question for our resident football person...

I've recently learned that we're camping with a troop from Oxfordshire during our week at Scout Camp. I'm wondering which football club I should insult on their behalf. I looked, and they're a small village northwest of London.

Although I suspect that "Eat a bag of dicks, Man U!" is the English equivalent of "Yankees Suck!".



Comment by Mondobubba on 06/21/2013 13:55:37
Quote by TriSec:
Morning, comrades!

I have a question for our resident football person...

I've recently learned that we're camping with a troop from Oxfordshire during our week at Scout Camp. I'm wondering which football club I should insult on their behalf. I looked, and they're a small village northwest of London.

Although I suspect that "Eat a bag of dicks, Man U!" is the English equivalent of "Yankees Suck!".




Yes, you are correct. As is "Eat a Bag of Dicks, Man City." It would depend on which league the lads follow. My bet is Premier. You could insult the follow as the are all based in London:

1. Arsenal
2. Tottenham
3. Chelsea
4. West Ham United
5. Crystal Palace
6. Fulham

Note: There are 20 teams in the EPL. Of those 6 are in London.


Comment by Mondobubba on 06/21/2013 13:58:47
Now back to my scheduled outrage. Security clearances have been outsourced? WTF? That has been a job for the FBI in the past and should be again.

"We might be assholes, but there are a whole lot of us." Special Agent FitzHugh of the Baltimore field off in season 2 of "The Wire."

They could shake a few of those folks to do back round checks.

Comment by Will in Chicago on 06/21/2013 14:03:28
Quote by Mondobubba:
Now back to my scheduled outrage. Security clearances have been outsourced? WTF? That has been a job for the FBI in the past and should be again.

"We might be assholes, but there are a whole lot of us." Special Agent FitzHugh of the Baltimore field off in season 2 of "The Wire."

They could shake a few of those folks to do back round checks.



Well, here is the key difference between government and private industry handling our security needs. Government employees are not only cheaper, but are focused on doing the job and public service. Ultimately, they and their bosses report back to us and are subject to public pressure and changes pushed by the voters. As for private corporations, their concern is profit and they usually only respond to their majority share holders. I can show up at a Congressman's office and someone will meet with me to address my concerns. Try that at Booz Hamilton.

Comment by Mondobubba on 06/21/2013 14:08:31
Quote by Will in Chicago:
Quote by Mondobubba:
Now back to my scheduled outrage. Security clearances have been outsourced? WTF? That has been a job for the FBI in the past and should be again.

"We might be assholes, but there are a whole lot of us." Special Agent FitzHugh of the Baltimore field off in season 2 of "The Wire."

They could shake a few of those folks to do back round checks.



Well, here is the key difference between government and private industry handling our security needs. Government employees are not only cheaper, but are focused on doing the job and public service. Ultimately, they and their bosses report back to us and are subject to public pressure and changes pushed by the voters. As for private corporations, their concern is profit and they usually only respond to their majority share holders. I can show up at a Congressman's office and someone will meet with me to address my concerns. Try that at Booz Hamilton.




The man from Chicago wins today's coveted Blog Bonus Point.

Comment by wickedpam on 06/21/2013 14:08:40
Quote by Will in Chicago:
Quote by Mondobubba:
Now back to my scheduled outrage. Security clearances have been outsourced? WTF? That has been a job for the FBI in the past and should be again.

"We might be assholes, but there are a whole lot of us." Special Agent FitzHugh of the Baltimore field off in season 2 of "The Wire."

They could shake a few of those folks to do back round checks.



Well, here is the key difference between government and private industry handling our security needs. Government employees are not only cheaper, but are focused on doing the job and public service. Ultimately, they and their bosses report back to us and are subject to public pressure and changes pushed by the voters. As for private corporations, their concern is profit and they usually only respond to their majority share holders. I can show up at a Congressman's office and someone will meet with me to address my concerns. Try that at Booz Hamilton.



I was just thing the same thing!


Ok Will, out of my head!

Comment by wickedpam on 06/21/2013 14:31:15
Its very quiet with mom and dad on the road

Comment by Mondobubba on 06/21/2013 14:35:16
Quote by wickedpam:
Its very quiet with mom and dad on the road




KEGGER!

Comment by TriSec on 06/21/2013 14:35:39
Speaking of bags of dicks, anybody hear anything from Scoop at anytime after his brief appearance yesterday?

<-- admonishes self.



Comment by Will in Chicago on 06/21/2013 14:36:13
Quote by wickedpam:
Quote by Will in Chicago:
Quote by Mondobubba:
Now back to my scheduled outrage. Security clearances have been outsourced? WTF? That has been a job for the FBI in the past and should be again.

"We might be assholes, but there are a whole lot of us." Special Agent FitzHugh of the Baltimore field off in season 2 of "The Wire."

They could shake a few of those folks to do back round checks.



Well, here is the key difference between government and private industry handling our security needs. Government employees are not only cheaper, but are focused on doing the job and public service. Ultimately, they and their bosses report back to us and are subject to public pressure and changes pushed by the voters. As for private corporations, their concern is profit and they usually only respond to their majority share holders. I can show up at a Congressman's office and someone will meet with me to address my concerns. Try that at Booz Hamilton.



I was just thing the same thing!


Ok Will, out of my head!


Well, I went to Rush Limbaugh's head first but found it to be rather empty and barren.




http://www.comictrek.net/main/images/jla_martian_manhunter.jpg


Comment by Mondobubba on 06/21/2013 14:37:16





Comment by wickedpam on 06/21/2013 14:38:03
Quote by Will in Chicago:
Quote by wickedpam:
Quote by Will in Chicago:
Quote by Mondobubba:
Now back to my scheduled outrage. Security clearances have been outsourced? WTF? That has been a job for the FBI in the past and should be again.

"We might be assholes, but there are a whole lot of us." Special Agent FitzHugh of the Baltimore field off in season 2 of "The Wire."

They could shake a few of those folks to do back round checks.



Well, here is the key difference between government and private industry handling our security needs. Government employees are not only cheaper, but are focused on doing the job and public service. Ultimately, they and their bosses report back to us and are subject to public pressure and changes pushed by the voters. As for private corporations, their concern is profit and they usually only respond to their majority share holders. I can show up at a Congressman's office and someone will meet with me to address my concerns. Try that at Booz Hamilton.



I was just thing the same thing!


Ok Will, out of my head!


Well, I went to Rush Limbaugh's head first but found it to be rather empty and barren.




http://www.comictrek.net/main/images/jla_martian_manhunter.jpg






Comment by Mondobubba on 06/21/2013 14:39:21
Quote by TriSec:
Speaking of bags of dicks, anybody hear anything from Scoop at anytime after his brief appearance yesterday?

<-- admonishes self.




I hope he went to the doctor and I hope he and his thing are okay.

Comment by Mondobubba on 06/21/2013 14:41:20
Tri, as an addendum to my previous post about the EPL, In the Greater Manchester-Liverpool area (the two cities are 33 miles apart) there are four teams:

Everton
Liverpool
Man City
Man U



Comment by Mondobubba on 06/21/2013 14:43:19
As you know, Slim Whitman died earlier this week. What you didn't know was he was a long time resident of the Jacksonville Co-Prosperity Sphere, living as he did in Middleburg, FL.

Comment by Mondobubba on 06/21/2013 14:45:42
On a sports moment, the Heat win...horaaaay :trails off:



Yes this is

Comment by TriSec on 06/21/2013 14:51:52
Interesting.

It seems that it's much easier to follow American professional sport.

No city within 33 miles of me has another team in the same sports and/or leagues, although there's a number of "minor" and "semipro" entities within that sphere. (across all sports, not just MLB or anything else.)



Comment by TriSec on 06/21/2013 14:54:24
*non-sequitir*

Independence Day is a Thursday this year. As a result, many folks are turning this into a thanksgiving-style weekend and taking the Friday off as well. (Including FCHP - they just gave us a freebie.)

In any case, the City of Waltham is having a massive, 2-day patriotic affair, featuring our vaunted city fireworks on Friday night.

I recognize the "convenience" factor, but who has freakin' 4th of July fireworks on July 5???

I must write a tongue-in-cheek complaint to my friends on City Council.


Comment by Will in Chicago on 06/21/2013 15:06:20
Quote by TriSec:
*non-sequitir*

Independence Day is a Thursday this year. As a result, many folks are turning this into a thanksgiving-style weekend and taking the Friday off as well. (Including FCHP - they just gave us a freebie.)

In any case, the City of Waltham is having a massive, 2-day patriotic affair, featuring our vaunted city fireworks on Friday night.

I recognize the "convenience" factor, but who has freakin' 4th of July fireworks on July 5???

I must write a tongue-in-cheek complaint to my friends on City Council.


The big fireworks festival I am going to is on July 3rd. My temple is right by the fire works, so we will open our lot to the public for a small fee of $5. I am supposed to help out, as I am a temple officer. (Brotherhood secretary.)

Comment by Mondobubba on 06/21/2013 15:08:52
Quote by TriSec:
Interesting.

It seems that it's much easier to follow American professional sport.

No city within 33 miles of me has another team in the same sports and/or leagues, although there's a number of "minor" and "semipro" entities within that sphere. (across all sports, not just MLB or anything else.)




The way I rationalize London having six teams is the city is the New York, Los Angeles and Washington DC of the UK. So yeah it has a lot of teams. Liverpool/ Manchester is a hybrid of Boston and Chicago. Tri figure out which one is Boston Mmmkay?

I've only mentioned the Premier League. There is also the Championship League as well. If you include those teams, there are TEN professional soccer teams in London worth worrying about.

Queen's Park Rangers
Charlton Athletic
Crystal Palace
Millwall

Confused yet?

Comment by Mondobubba on 06/21/2013 15:12:01
London is littered with stadia that can hold anywhere from about 19,000 to about 68,000 screaming soccer fans.

Comment by Mondobubba on 06/21/2013 15:37:43
C'mon people I can't do this by myself! Post! :whip:

Comment by wickedpam on 06/21/2013 15:42:45
Quote by Mondobubba:
C'mon people I can't do this by myself! Post! :whip:



trying to get some work done since I'm taking Monday off - plus sports - meh

Comment by wickedpam on 06/21/2013 15:45:48
ya, now that they are classifying obesity as a disease maybe insurance company's will start kicking in to help pay for weight loss programs that can be very expensive.

Comment by Mondobubba on 06/21/2013 15:48:57
Quote by wickedpam:
Quote by Mondobubba:
C'mon people I can't do this by myself! Post! :whip:



trying to get some work done since I'm taking Monday off - plus sports - meh



Fireworks and sad dog and cat diaries, which are hilarious!

Comment by Scoopster on 06/21/2013 15:49:23
Mornin' all & Happy Fridee!!
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by TriSec:
Speaking of bags of dicks, anybody hear anything from Scoop at anytime after his brief appearance yesterday?

<-- admonishes self.


I hope he went to the doctor and I hope he and his thing are okay.

After they didn't call me back all day yesterday... I tried calling on my way home but got the service, and of course no one called me back until this morning. And the only opening they have today is at 1pm, right in the middle of a company meeting. And of course they're closed weekends..

So I'm not gonna be able to get in there until Monday morning.

In the meantime I did some more reading up on my symptoms. Could be a pinched nerve, could just be sciatica or something related to the difference in lengths of my legs, could be a herniated disc. But the thing that worries me most is it could be deep vein thrombosis.

Comment by Mondobubba on 06/21/2013 15:50:03
Quote by wickedpam:
ya, now that they are classifying obesity as a disease maybe insurance company's will start kicking in to help pay for weight loss programs that can be very expensive.



Speaking of that, I know get a $20 discount on my health insurance since I am a non-smoker.

Comment by Raine on 06/21/2013 15:51:07
Hi! just wanted to pop in and say hello from the alwasy Lovely Jersey turnike.

the Wifi is terrible on the bus...

Comment by Mondobubba on 06/21/2013 15:52:08
Attention! Scoop has been sighted. He commented on a FB post.

Comment by Mondobubba on 06/21/2013 15:53:00
Quote by Raine:
Hi! just wanted to pop in and say hello from the alwasy Lovely Jersey turnike.

the Wifi is terrible on the bus...



Bus wifi?

Comment by wickedpam on 06/21/2013 15:53:52
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by wickedpam:
ya, now that they are classifying obesity as a disease maybe insurance company's will start kicking in to help pay for weight loss programs that can be very expensive.



Speaking of that, I know get a $20 discount on my health insurance since I am a non-smoker.



we don't get discounts like that- everything is averaged over the whole company so we all pay the same rate for the same programs -

I think its mostly cause our HR person is more interesting is chatting with her 2 bffs then doing anything detailed

Comment by Raine on 06/21/2013 15:55:47
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by Raine:
Hi! just wanted to pop in and say hello from the alwasy Lovely Jersey turnike.

the Wifi is terrible on the bus...



Bus wifi?
Why yes!


Can someone PLEASE tell that is NOT true that Kanye West named his baby North. Please?

Comment by wickedpam on 06/21/2013 15:59:28
Quote by Raine:
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by Raine:
Hi! just wanted to pop in and say hello from the alwasy Lovely Jersey turnike.

the Wifi is terrible on the bus...



Bus wifi?
Why yes!


Can someone PLEASE tell that is NOT true that Kanye West named his baby North. Please?


if it is - dumbest. baby name. ever.


Comment by TriSec on 06/21/2013 15:59:52
Quote by wickedpam:
ya, now that they are classifying obesity as a disease maybe insurance company's will start kicking in to help pay for weight loss programs that can be very expensive.



Have you seen the recent BMI and obesity index tables that Uncle Sam has put out? According to my latest checkup, I am classified as "obese", and remember how much weight I lost last year due to other factors....

I'm hearing from my Scouting contacts that next month's Jamboree is going to be a disaster. The BSA went all hardline, and a lot of folks that went last time under the old rules can't qualify under the new health guidelines, so they're going to be severely shorthanded on the staff front...

(BTW, FCHP just sent me $50 for participating in the "Healthy Health Plan" program. I also could qualify for $20 off my premiums at the office by participating in a couple of employee initiatives. But I only get $10 because I like my cigars too much.)


Comment by Mondobubba on 06/21/2013 16:03:49
Quote by Raine:
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by Raine:
Hi! just wanted to pop in and say hello from the alwasy Lovely Jersey turnike.

the Wifi is terrible on the bus...



Bus wifi?
Why yes!


Can someone PLEASE tell that is NOT true that Kanye West named his baby North. Please?


No, it is Kaidyn or something equally stupid starting with a K. Enough of that Kardashians! One generation is a enough.


Comment by Mondobubba on 06/21/2013 16:05:18
Quote by wickedpam:
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by wickedpam:
ya, now that they are classifying obesity as a disease maybe insurance company's will start kicking in to help pay for weight loss programs that can be very expensive.



Speaking of that, I know get a $20 discount on my health insurance since I am a non-smoker.



we don't get discounts like that- everything is averaged over the whole company so we all pay the same rate for the same programs -

I think its mostly cause our HR person is more interesting is chatting with her 2 bffs then doing anything detailed



Does your HR person look something like this:

http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20110213010123/archer/images/d/da/Pam.png


Comment by wickedpam on 06/21/2013 16:06:03
Quote by TriSec:
Quote by wickedpam:
ya, now that they are classifying obesity as a disease maybe insurance company's will start kicking in to help pay for weight loss programs that can be very expensive.



Have you seen the recent BMI and obesity index tables that Uncle Sam has put out? According to my latest checkup, I am classified as "obese", and remember how much weight I lost last year due to other factors....

I'm hearing from my Scouting contacts that next month's Jamboree is going to be a disaster. The BSA went all hardline, and a lot of folks that went last time under the old rules can't qualify under the new health guidelines, so they're going to be severely shorthanded on the staff front...

(BTW, FCHP just sent me $50 for participating in the "Healthy Health Plan" program. I also could qualify for $20 off my premiums at the office by participating in a couple of employee initiatives. But I only get $10 because I like my cigars too much.)



Sometimes I think they over do what they consider "obese"

I think our company gets all the money/discounts back and don't share it with the employee's, I'm thinking of putting a proposal together to get employees a company paid membership to a local pool

Comment by wickedpam on 06/21/2013 16:06:53
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by wickedpam:
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by wickedpam:
ya, now that they are classifying obesity as a disease maybe insurance company's will start kicking in to help pay for weight loss programs that can be very expensive.



Speaking of that, I know get a $20 discount on my health insurance since I am a non-smoker.



we don't get discounts like that- everything is averaged over the whole company so we all pay the same rate for the same programs -

I think its mostly cause our HR person is more interesting is chatting with her 2 bffs then doing anything detailed



Does your HR person look something like this:

http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20110213010123/archer/images/d/da/Pam.png



almost but with dark hair, lazier and more uptight

Comment by Raine on 06/21/2013 16:07:34
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by Raine:
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by Raine:
Hi! just wanted to pop in and say hello from the alwasy Lovely Jersey turnike.

the Wifi is terrible on the bus...



Bus wifi?
Why yes!


Can someone PLEASE tell that is NOT true that Kanye West named his baby North. Please?


No, it is Kaidyn or something equally stupid starting with a K. Enough of that Kardashians! One generation is a enough.

whew! I was worried for a minute!

Comment by wickedpam on 06/21/2013 16:07:52
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by Raine:
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by Raine:
Hi! just wanted to pop in and say hello from the alwasy Lovely Jersey turnike.

the Wifi is terrible on the bus...



Bus wifi?
Why yes!


Can someone PLEASE tell that is NOT true that Kanye West named his baby North. Please?


No, it is Kaidyn or something equally stupid starting with a K. Enough of that Kardashians! One generation is a enough.




ssshhhhhush they must not be named

Comment by wickedpam on 06/21/2013 16:08:33
running errands back soon

Comment by Mondobubba on 06/21/2013 16:11:45
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by Raine:
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by Raine:
Hi! just wanted to pop in and say hello from the alwasy Lovely Jersey turnike.

the Wifi is terrible on the bus...



Bus wifi?
Why yes!


Can someone PLEASE tell that is NOT true that Kanye West named his baby North. Please?


No, it is Kaidyn or something equally stupid starting with a K. Enough of that Kardashians! One generation is a enough.


I stand corrected, they named their spawn "North" middle name "West." Nori for short. Apparently the two parent aren't familiar with the kelp used in sushi.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/be/Nori.jpg/300px-Nori.jpg


Comment by Raine on 06/21/2013 16:14:50
Comment by TriSec on 06/21/2013 16:15:20
Markey opens his lead going into the last weekend.

As reported by the Murdoch / Herald, not that liberal fishwrap Globe!


Comment by Mondobubba on 06/21/2013 16:18:12
It could have been worse K&K could have named the kid North and middle name Rolle as a tribute to Esther Rolle of "Good Times" fame.

So she would be one of these:

http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/images/cabbage-nori.jpg



Get it? Nori Roll! I slay myself!

Okay, I worked way to hard for a really lame visual pun.

Comment by Raine on 06/21/2013 16:20:57
here is a little more information for you regarding todays blog. The Carlyle group owned USIS u ntil 2007....