McCaskill: USIS’s Actions Represent a Threat to our National Security
After press conference earlier today introducing legislation to overhaul background investigations, Senator reacts to DOJ announcement that a lawsuit will be brought against the company USIS
WASHINGTON – Only hours removed from a press conference where she introduced legislation aimed at improving security clearance background investigations, U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill issued the following statement after the Department of Justice announced that it would move forward with a lawsuit against USIS, the company that conducted the background investigations for both Edward Snowden and Aaron Alexis. According to the complaint unsealed today, the company allegedly directed its investigators to take shortcuts in their investigations while representing to the government that the investigations were complete and accurate.
“Given the systemic problems that recent high-profile events have uncovered, no one should be shocked by today’s announcement. USIS’s contracting practices were a recipe for disaster and constituted a clear threat to our national security. The Department of Justice should aggressively pursue this case against the company, but I also hope that they closely examine whether criminal charges are warranted for individuals who knowingly broke the law.”
McCaskill had previously revealed at a Senate hearing that USIS was under criminal investigation—sharply criticizing the company’s oversight practices. McCaskill also questioned the fact that USIS had two separate contracts – one to conduct background investigations, the other to oversee background investigations conducted by contractors, including USIS itself.
Earlier today, McCaskill, along with Senator Susan Collins of Maine, introduced bipartisan legislation that would implement an automated review of public records and databases for any information that might affect the security clearance status of individuals who have such a clearance.
McCaskill has also introduced a bill with Senator Jon Tester of Montana that improves oversight of the security clearance process by empowering the Office of Personnel Management to use resources from its Revolving Fund to audit and investigate contractors that conduct background checks. That bill recently received the unanimous backing of the Senate and awaits action in the U.S. House.
McCaskill has also written to Government Accountability Office Comptroller General Gene Dodaro requesting that the watchdog examine the security clearance process and report how various federal agencies can streamline and improve clearance investigations.
Click HERE to read highlights of McCaskill’s fight for stronger accountability in Washington.