U.S. Joins Lawsuit Against Firm That Vetted Snowden

by
Reuters
The U.S. Justice Department said on Wednesday it joined a lawsuit filed by a whistleblower against United States Investigations Services, the firm that vetted Edward Snowden who leaked documents about U.S. spying efforts.

The U.S. Justice Department said on Wednesday it joined a lawsuit filed by a whistleblower against United States Investigations Services, the firm that vetted Edward Snowden who leaked documents about U.S. spying efforts.

While the lawsuit is not about the firm's review of Snowden, it alleges that USIS failed to perform quality control reviews in connection with its background investigations.

The lawsuit adds to the pressure on the firm, which also cleared government contractor Aaron Alexis, who killed 12 people at the Navy Yard last month.

The firm has had a contract since 1996 to vet individuals seeking employment with federal agencies. Such background checks include investigative fieldwork on each application.

But since 2008, the firm used software to release investigations that were not yet complete in order to meet revenue targets, the government said.

The firm concealed the practice, known as "dumping," and improperly billed the federal Office of Personnel Management for the work, the DOJ said.

The lawsuit was filed by a former employee of the firm, Blake Percival, under the False Claims Act, which lets people collect rewards for blowing the whistle on fraud against the government.

A representative of the firm did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The news of the lawsuit came the day before a Senate hearing scheduled to examine government clearances and background checks.