In another case involving a former contractor background investigator for the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the Department of Justice announced that former KeyPoint Government Solutions investigator Jason Razo pled guilty in the U.S. District Court in D.C. to making a false statement. This is the latest in a string of convictions involving 21 other background investigators who also falsified Reports of Investigations by ghost-reporting interviews that never occurred. Razzo, in a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, agreed to pay the federal government restitution in the amount of $85,779. Sentencing in this case has yet to occur, but if it follows precedent on previous convictions for the same offense, there is a 50-50 chance Razzo will get some jail time. OPM’s Office of the Inspector General investigators and U.S. District Court prosecutors have sought stiff sentencing from the judges in these cases to send a message that this type of behavior will not be tolerated.
Flying under the radar because of all of the recent security clearance news, little has been written about the facility security clearance backlog that has impacted companies who need the clearance in order to perform work on classified contracts. A Facility Security Clearance (FCL) is an administrative determination that a facility (company) is eligible to access or store classified information at the same or lower classification category as the clearance being granted.
One of the items included in the 2016 omnibus appropriations bill is the Enhanced Personnel Security Program. Why is this significant? Because it will direct agencies to screen social media sites twice within every 5 years as a part of the continuous evaluation process. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has not yet issued guidance on how agencies are to conduct the checks, how to verify any adverse information, or how to apply it using current adjudicative guidelines.
Could it be true? For years I have argued to anyone who would listen, that OPM should not have been given responsibility for national security background investigations. As a security professional in various roles over a number of years, I have seen how the government has allowed human resources managers to inject themselves into what was inherently a security responsibility. At the highest levels, HR senior executives made power grabs in order to give themselves more responsibilities for their performance ratings. As a result, what were once effective background investigation processes were turned into paperwork shuffles and a check the block farce.