Report Summary

Title: Review of Alleged Delays in VA Contractor Background Investigations
Report Number: 12-00165-277
Issue Date: 9/30/2012
City/State:
VA Office: Office of Information and Technology (OIT)
Office of Operations, Security & Preparedness
Report Author: Office of Audits and Evaluations
Report Type: Audits, Reviews & Evaluations
Release Type: Unrestricted
Summary: We evaluated the merits of a VA OIG Hotline complaint alleging VA had a backlog of contractor background investigations; was inappropriately requiring completion of contractors’ background investigations before the contractors could begin work; and was not meeting its 20-day standard for starting investigations. We substantiated all three allegations. Despite process improvements and a recent reduction in pending cases, VA had a backlog of 3,000 contractor background investigations; inappropriately prohibited contractors from working on contracts; and was not meeting it 20-day standard for starting background investigations with the Office of Personnel Management.
Delays were due to ineffective VA management within VA’s Security and Investigative Center; staff misunderstanding VA’s personnel security requirements and investigative process; and the lack of a central system to monitor progress in addressing the backlog. We recommended VA implement improved policies and procedures and implement a central case management system to monitor contractor status and costs associated with the background investigation process.