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(Washington Post)   If you own stock in USIS, the security background screening company responsible for performing Edward Snowden's background check, you might want to sorta think about selling all your stock. Like, now   (washingtonpost.com ) divider line
    More: Fail, background checks, Booz Allen Hamilton, corporate communications, Office of Personnel Management  
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2142 clicks; posted to Business » on 28 Jun 2013 at 10:54 AM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



31 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2013-06-28 10:27:27 AM  
Boy, I'm sure glad we privatized our national security.  I trust those corporations so much more than my own government which I actually have some small measure of control over.
 
2013-06-28 10:59:54 AM  
Because private industry can do everything cheaper and better than government, right?
 
2013-06-28 11:06:04 AM  
Because if they were thorough, their pre-crime unit would have detected what Snowden was planning on doing?

[ok-yeah-sure-thumbs-up.jpg]
 
2013-06-28 11:10:00 AM  
Is that anything like ISIS?
 
2013-06-28 11:13:09 AM  
i787.photobucket.com
 
2013-06-28 11:19:30 AM  
I must admit, I was really surprised to learn that contractors handle some of our nation's most sensitive secrets, and we even hire contractors to screen those contractors.  I should submit a bid for this sort of work. Make it the lowest to ensure I am selected.
 
2013-06-28 11:29:54 AM  
Didn't the screening company flag his background & Booze Allen hired him anyway?
 
2013-06-28 11:38:18 AM  
I'm sure Providence Equity Partners will just find a pension fund to loot to make up for any potential losses. No one's going to have to fire a servant over this.
 
2013-06-28 11:39:01 AM  

Pumpernickel bread: I must admit, I was really surprised to learn that contractors handle some of our nation's most sensitive secrets, and we even hire contractors to screen those contractors.  I should submit a bid for this sort of work. Make it the lowest to ensure I am selected.


Helps if you're chapter 8 too
 
2013-06-28 12:24:27 PM  
24.media.tumblr.com
 
2013-06-28 12:33:02 PM  

Mentat: Boy, I'm sure glad we privatized our national security.  I trust those corporations so much more than my own government which I actually have some small measure of control over.


Don't turn this into some anti-deregulation bullshiat.  This is solely because the government wants to obfuscate data, have things like deniability/limit your own liability, and because they don't want to add more people to the federal payroll(and retirement, and benefits, and everything else).  Because of their own laws that they created to fark with all of us, it's easier to do business with contractors than hire actual employees.
 
2013-06-28 12:50:39 PM  
Keep the stock, they aren't even being fired.

The alleged transgressions are so serious that a federal watchdog indicated he plans to recommend that the Office of Personnel Management, which oversees most background checks, end ties with USIS unless it can show it is performing responsibly, the people said.

They just have to show they are actually doing their job now.
 
2013-06-28 12:53:32 PM  
Oh what, are you going to get your background checks from ODIN now? The Organization for  douchebags in...wait, I had something for this..
 
2013-06-28 12:56:07 PM  
I remember having to get my TWIC card, which is like a military ID, but for people working at airports and port facilities.  The application process involves a background check where you of course have to hand over a ton of private information to buffoons clearly unable to find gainful employment elsewhere.   In a vacant strip mall no less.

It was unsettling to say the least.
 
2013-06-28 12:58:04 PM  
Can't I just sell today and invest in this new firm ISUS that does the same thing for the same people?
 
2013-06-28 01:49:02 PM  

furiousxgeorge: Keep the stock, they aren't even being fired.


My guide to stock investing:

Step 1 - Figure out what Jim Cramer recommends you do in a given situation

Step 2 - Do the opposite
 
2013-06-28 02:01:50 PM  

Pumpernickel bread: I must admit, I was really surprised to learn that contractors handle some of our nation's most sensitive secrets, and we even hire contractors to screen those contractors.  I should submit a bid for this sort of work. Make it the lowest to ensure I am selected.


As a contractor...this is the way it works.
Bureaucrats know the policy...contractors do the execution.

Because most 'crats don't keep up on their skillsets...they just keep getting higher in mgmt.
They cycle through contractors on a "as needed" basis...bringing in those who actually know how to work the product.
It also allows them to scale up/down as necessary, because 'crats are more difficult to move.  (old rules and such...)

Snowden just had a knack at what he did...and being the users contractors and depts are...kept him where and when they wanted.

Real problem is this...as a staffer moves through tasks and projects...or their responsibilities, workload, skills (and hats) increase...their privs & access grows.
But most forget to remove these same privs after things are done.

Due diligence is lacking by cyber security and admins, needing to disable/revoke privs after necessary.
God forbid if you should followup & followthru.
 
2013-06-28 02:07:22 PM  
This is absolutely no surprise.  The stupidest people in the world have been put into HR departments who do these checks.  They are lazy and generally low grade morons.  Every person involved in Snowden's employment should be brought up on charges and/or fired.

HR people are like dogs.  You point at something you want and they look at your finger.
 
2013-06-28 02:46:28 PM  
And when it's irrationally down it'll be a bargain stock because a security screening won't tell you that someone is going to wake up to crimes being committed and blow the whistle.

I mean, this is government, not the mafia. The mafia has higher standards.
 
2013-06-28 03:21:54 PM  

Pumpernickel bread: I must admit, I was really surprised to learn that contractors handle some of our nation's most sensitive secrets, and we even hire contractors to screen those contractors.  I should submit a bid for this sort of work. Make it the lowest to ensure I am selected.


There are 2 things driving the use of contractors in government.

1: Pay scales.

Government pay scales are really low for certain industries.  The Silicon Valley pay scale stops at $155K. PDF LINK.    Which is great, except that a good and lucky programmer can make that much his first year out of school in stock options, and only go up from there (And let's not get into the "Flip startup for several million every few years" thing).  So if you're trying to recruit very smart people from high-paying fields, and you can't pay them enough, you need to cheat.  So you hire a "consultant" for a couple hundred thousand a year, and get around the pay scale laws.  (I believe the first modern government contractors were actually professors on the atom bomb projects, but I don't have a cite)

2. "Must shrink government"

* Fire government workers
* Say "Huzzah, I shrunk government"
* Hire contractors to do their old jobs, because you fired critical people.  Pay the actual workers less and your buddies company way more.  Constituents are happy because you "shrunk government", your buddies who fund the campaign are happy because you made them more corruption money, and you're happy because you can afford more hookers and blow.
 
2013-06-28 03:21:57 PM  

Mentat: Boy, I'm sure glad we privatized our national security.  I trust those corporations so much more than my own government which I actually have some small measure of control over.


Yes, tell us how much control you have over the NSA, CIA, and FBI.
 
2013-06-28 03:24:32 PM  
and the contracting incumbency rules will require the re-hiring of all the same worker bees.  The circle of government contracting.
 
2013-06-28 03:42:00 PM  
Tried to Short Sell USIS, couldn't. Seems like they are not a public company. Oh well, there goes the chance for a few quick bucks.
 
2013-06-28 04:28:16 PM  
What I get from that article is that the government was just taking their word for what kind of job they were doing. The NSA, no less. Couldn't they just go to their vast database and see that the inspectors were spending all their time at Arby's, bowling, surfing porn sites, or whatever the hell they were really doing?
 
2013-06-28 04:31:08 PM  

Pumpernickel bread: I must admit, I was really surprised to learn that contractors handle some of our nation's most sensitive secrets, and we even hire contractors to screen those contractors.  I should submit a bid for this sort of work. Make it the lowest to ensure I am selected.


That surprised me too. In the decades in which I've held security clearances, not one review was ever handled by other than a government agency.
 
2013-06-28 04:32:29 PM  

Lexx: Didn't the screening company flag his background & Booze Allen hired him anyway?


I though I heard on a news story that as well. The check came back "don't hire him", and the HR officer did anyway.
 
2013-06-28 06:46:23 PM  

Pumpernickel bread: I must admit, I was really surprised to learn that contractors handle some of our nation's most sensitive secrets, and we even hire contractors to screen those contractors.  I should submit a bid for this sort of work. Make it the lowest to ensure I am selected.


Technically, most people working at a National Lab are "contractors" because the facilities are known as GOCOs (Government Owned, Contractor Operated).  This is entirely due to Congress not wanting a very large DOE and other agencies, so they get to call those employees "private" instead of public sector, even though they are, in effect, actually working for the government.
 
2013-06-29 09:44:08 AM  

bhcompy: Mentat: Boy, I'm sure glad we privatized our national security.  I trust those corporations so much more than my own government which I actually have some small measure of control over.

Don't turn this into some anti-deregulation bullshiat.  This is solely because the government wants to obfuscate data, have things like deniability/limit your own liability, and because they don't want to add more people to the federal payroll(and retirement, and benefits, and everything else).  Because of their own laws that they created to fark with all of us, it's easier to do business with contractors than hire actual employees.


The only thing you get out of contractors is the ability to get rid of them when you choose.  In the meantime, you're still paying for their benefits and salary (since they're making it through the consulting company) and then you're paying the consulting company for their overhead and profit.

If I get contracted out for $75/hr, you can bet that the consulting company is getting $100-$125 (at least!).  You're still paying for their desk, their laptop, their coffee and electricity.  You just get to RIF them at any time with no consequences.  If it's a skill you need for a short period of time, it can make sense to go this route, otherwise you're just overpaying.
 
2013-06-29 12:03:51 PM  
Cutting off USIS could present a major logistical quagmire for the nation's already-jammed security clearance process. The federal government relies heavily on contractors to approve workers for some of its most sensitive jobs in defense and intelligence. Falls Church-based USIS is the largest single private provider for government background checks.

Soooo, they're not going anywhere.
 
2013-06-29 02:55:16 PM  
As a govt contractor, I am getting a kick out of these replies.
 
2013-06-29 06:36:24 PM  

Hagbardr: Is that anything like ISIS?


That's how I read it at first. Maybe background checks are Brett's job.
 
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