Privacy

CBP stops background checks to wait for PII upgrades

Customs and Border Protection stopped background checks on its prospective and current employees while some of its IT vendors update their systems to accommodate the agency's data privacy policies.

According to an article in the Weekly Standard, the agency filed a number of justifications in late September to change blanket purchase agreements (BPAs) with several IT systems providers that deliver the services. CBP said the companies had to upgrade their systems to accommodate recent policy changes regarding access to personally identifiable information.

The vendors are KeyPoint Government Solutions in Loveland, Colo.; Omniplex World Services Corp. and CSC Systems and Solutions, both headquartered in Chantilly, Va.; MSM Security Services in Greenbelt, Md.; and ADC Ltd. in Albuquerque, N.M.

The justifications asked the companies to adjust their BPAs to implement security updates for background investigations at a cost of $70,000 to $100,000 each.

The upgrades are necessary because of a "requirement for increased security standards for background investigation contractors accessing personally identifiable information," according to the CBP paperwork.

CBP did not return calls by FCW asking if the agency's background investigations were still suspended.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at mrockwell@fcw.com or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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