KeyPoint Government Solutions (KPGS) announced that is it has doubled its caseload following the downfall of USIS and the subsequent reassignment of their cases over to KPGS and CACI. According to a story published in FedBiz, KPGS has had to borrow $22 million in order to meet the increased workload demands and personnel hiring needed to complete the cases that the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has assigned. CACI has also experienced an increased caseload but was not forthcoming with any statistical data. OPM’s $2.5 billion Background Investigation Fieldwork Program contracts were redistributed between KPGS and CACI following OPM’s decision in September not to renew options with USIS.
In August of 2012 the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), in collaboration with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM,) approved National Training Standards for individuals performing background investigations, national security adjudications, and suitability adjudications. The overall objective of NTS certification is to equip all personnel performing work for the government as background investigators and adjudicators with the necessary tools and knowledge to conduct and adjudicate National Security and Public Trust investigations.
Due to an ongoing investigation conducted by the Department of Justice and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, the current Director of Naval Intelligence, Vice Admiral Ted Branch, has had his security clearance suspended for the past 9 months. According to information in an article posted recently on Federal News Radio, Branch is part of an investigation into the bribery scandal involving Glenn Defense Marine Asia which has thus far resulted in charges against the company owner, three Navy officers, one retired officer and one NCIS agent.
Can individuals access classified national security information without having undergone the background investigation process and been granted a security clearance? Normally the answer is no, but there are certain instances where the requirement is waived. Here are some of the exceptions:
The President and members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives do not undergo the normal background investigation process and are not granted security clearances. They may be granted access to classified information relating to matters under the jurisdiction of the respective committees to which they are assigned and if access is needed to perform their duties in connection with such assignments. This does not apply to their staff members, who are required to undergo the investigation and clearance process just like everyone else.