United States Investigations Services (USIS) is the private firm that vets individuals who are seeking government employment. According to court filings, the Justice Department has accused the firm of “bilking millions of dollars through improper background checks.” USIS is the firm who vetted Edward Snowden; they have had a contract with the U.S. government since 1996 vetting applicants for federal jobs.
The original claim was brought by Blake Percival in 2011 under the False Claims Act that allows people to collect reward money for whistleblowing on fraud against the government. Percival’s claim alleges USIS did not perform quality control on their investigations.
The DOJ submitted a filing late yesterday claiming that USIS did not conduct the background checks as properly agreed.
DOJ said that due to its fraudulent conduct, USIS received millions of dollars that it otherwise would not have received had the government been aware that the background investigations had not gone through the quality review process required by the contract.
The DOJ said that between March 2008 and September 2012, USIS filed at least 665,000 flawed background checks, which was about 40 percent of the total submissions.
“USIS management devised and executed a scheme to deliberately circumvent contractually required quality reviews of completed background investigations in order to increase the company’s revenues and profits,” DOJ said in its filing.
The DOJ claimed that USIS software known as “Blue Zone” allowed the the company to make “Review Complete” notations without conducting a mandated review process. The case is United States Of America ex rel. Blake Percival vs U.S. Investigations Services, Case No. 11-cv-527, U.S. District Court, Middle District of Alabama (Northern Division)