OPM makes five security clearance awards

The Office of Personnel Management has awarded contracts to five investigative companies to perform background screenings on current and prospective federal employees and contractors, and military personnel.

The 15-month contracts run through Sept. 30, 2007 with three performance-based option years, OPM said. The awards are worth between $2.3 billion and $2.5 billion, depending on the investigative benchmarks reached by the contractors and whether all options are exercised.

Jeff Schlanger, president of winning bidder Kroll Government Services, said OPM has different requirements for the types of investigations the winning contractors are to do, making it unlikely that any one of the winners will get all of the work.

But Michael John, a spokesman for another winnder, US Investigative Services, said the company expects to win 70 percent to 80 percent of the contract value.

He said USIS plans to increase its full-time investigative staff to 3,000 from the current level of 2,800. “As we transition to this new contract in the month of July, we would anticipate that we would be the largest private company performing background investigations,” he said.

Earlier, OPM announced that it awarded USIS a $260 million contract to provide a range of administrative services at OPM’s Federal Investigations Processing Center in Boyers, Pa.

OPM said in fiscal 2005, it completed 1.4 million investigations and is on track to comply with the timeliness requirements for completing the field-work component of investigations, as contained in the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004.

The Information Technology Association of America estimates a security clearance backlog of some 300,000 applications.

In addition to Kroll and USIS, the winners were CACI International, Omniplex World Services and Systems Application & Technologies.

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

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