The man who blew the lid off of security clearance fraud committed by former OPM Contractor USIS finally got compensated for his perseverance and courage to speak up and do the right thing. An article in the Washington Post detailed how Blake Percival, a former USIS Director of Fieldwork Services, went from an extravagant office in western Pennsylvania making $110,000 a year, to getting fired and his family having to live at his parents’ house in Alabama with barely enough money to feed his family. Percival filed a civil lawsuit against USIS and after 4 and-a-half years of dealing with the justice system, Percival was awarded a little bit over six million dollars–of which he will get 3.3 million after paying off all of his legal fees.
Over the past several months we’ve heard from both hiring managers and cleared candidates that security clearance processing delays are becoming a serious problem. It’s no surprise that in the wake of the Office of Personnel Management cybersecurity breach, the 30-day eQIP shutdown, and some major reshuffling in contract investigation companies, delays are going to happen. The most recently released figures from the National Industrial Security Policy Program Committee bear that out. Top Secret and Secret investigation times have increased by about 50 days, and Top Secret reinvestigation times have increased by more than 80 days.
According to the acting Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), Beth Cobert, OPM launched a new verification website hosted by the Pentagon that allows you to check to see if your personal information was compromised in the OPM data breech last summer. The site, which has a dmdc.osd.mil URL, asks the individual to input personal information such as name, DOB, SSN, address, email address, and the reason for the request. The drop down for the reason includes:
Late last Fall the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) implemented the first 2 tiers of the new 5-tier background investigation process that was approved through collaboration between OPM and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). Although OPM did not send out an official notice to the field that they were implementing Tiers 3 and 3R (reinvestigation) effective in FY 2016, they have now been incorporated into the new billing standards (Federal Investigations Notice No. 16-01 issued on October 2, 2015). OPM still has not revealed when it will implement Tiers 4 and 5. Below are what the new tiers look like: