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Professional Opinion on Background Check of Aaron Alexis & Edward Snowden

September 23, 2013 News

As a retired Los Angeles Police Detective and a member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), I find it appalling in this day and age that individuals can get a security clearance as easily as Aaron Alexis and Edward Snowden


What makes it even worse is that the same privately contracted firm, USIS, had conducted the backgrounds on both of these individuals. Are there any checks and balances with this company that audits their background investigators’ work product?

A crucial stage in any background investigation at this level is the one-on-one interview with the candidate. Was it ever done? It’s one thing to review what a candidate for a security clearance or employment application submits, but it’s another thing to rely solely on that candidate’s written word as though it were gospel.

I question if this Firm even left the confines of its offices to validate the candidates’ security applications. Did their investigators even speak with their former or current neighbors, prior co-workers or former supervisors?

Did they contact the local law enforcement departments in the candidates’ areas where they reside to see if there were ever any incidents involving them?

If the government continues to contract out their future employee backgrounds, then they should also thoroughly vet those companies or keep it in-house as they do by allowing the FBI to conduct security clearances as in the case of the Department of Justice.

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