OPM to cut ties with security clearance contractor

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The federal Office of Personnel Management plans to end the government’s relationship with U.S. Investigations Services LLC, the security clearance contractor that suffered a major cyberattack last month leading to the compromise of personnel records belonging to more than 25,000 federal employees.

The Falls Church, Virginia-based company—one of the largest providers of background investigations for the federal government—made the announcement Tuesday on its website.

“OPM is declining to exercise its remaining options on USIS’ Background Investigation Fieldwork and Background Investigation Support Services contracts that expire on September 30, 2014,” the company said in a statement. “We are deeply disappointed with OPM’s decision, particularly given the excellent work our 3,000 employees have delivered on these contracts. While we disagree with the decision and are reviewing it, we intend to fulfill our obligations to ensure an orderly transition. The Company continues to provide high quality service to its many other valued government customers.”

The company claimed the early August cyberattack had “all the markings of a state-sponsored attack.” The Department of Homeland Security and OPM immediately issued stop work orders while federal authorities, including the FBI, investigated the intrusion.

Founded in 1996, the company was born out of the privatization of OPM’s investigative branch. As a result of that privatization effort, OPM awarded the company a contract to provide background investigation services for 95 federal agencies. Today, the company supports 100 agencies, according to its website. The company claims to have performed more than 2 million background investigations since 2011 and employs 2,300 field investigators across the country.

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Agencies, Cybersecurity, Departments, Office of Personnel Management (OPM), Tech, USIS
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