Contractor Who Cleared Snowden For His NSA Position Fined $30 Million By The DOJ
from the can-only-assume-Snowden-received-a-cursory-examination dept
The government seems to have lost interest in finding anyone to hang for Snowden’s all-access tour of the NSA’s internal servers — access that greatly aided in his absconding with a number of documents revealing the surprising extent of the agency’s surveillance programs. It certainly still wants to hang Snowden — literally, if some legislators get their way.
It has, however, decided to nail one handy scapegoat to the wall. This would be the contractor who allowed Snowden to get in the door in the first place. The Register’s Shaun Nichols reports that the DOJ is fining US Investigative Services (USIS) $30 million for generally being completely terrible at the one thing it’s supposed to be doing: vetting applicants for sensitive government jobs.
The DoJ announced on Wednesday that US Investigations Services (USIS) will give up a $30m (£19.14m) payment in exchange for settling charges that it violated the US False Claims Act by failing to properly screen applicants for government security clearances.
According to the DoJ, USIS failed to properly screen federal security clearance applicants and, in some cases, submitted incomplete background check reports to the US Office of Personnel Management (OPM).
The USIS wasn’t simply mediocre. It was awful. Shortly after Snowden revealed himself as the source of the leaks, USIS was revealed to have riddled the government with security holes over most of the past decade. One contractor was caught interviewing dead people during background checks. Another singlehandedly submitted 1,600 falsified reports.
Then in January of last year, the revelations got even worse. The DOJ accused USIS of faking background checks on 665,000 federal employees — something the DOJ understatedly called “taking shortcuts.”
The USIS won’t actually be paying this fine, however. It will instead work its debt off
doing the DOJ’s dishes doing the same thing it couldn’t be trusted to do in the first place when it was still collecting a paycheck. Why this hasn’t resulted in a permanent pink slip for the contractor is beyond me, but it does show the government’s endless willingness to forgive… well, certain contractors.