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  • #16
    Originally posted by kc12 View Post
    Back a few years ago when Clinton was in office most of the Federal investigators were let go. The story goes senior level officials had started interfering with the investigations so they let the feds go and hired private companies and contractors to complete the work. It was amazing how quickly the feds were hired by the private companies. They left work Thursday as a fed for a long weekend and came back to the same office Monday as an employee of a private company. A skeleton crew of federal investigators were kept on for various reasons, among them was having a neutral agency to investigate the private investigators. That is the rumor anyway.
    You know what they say about rumors ....

    The Clinton administration privatized a lot of things, including background investigations. USIS was created as a private company to conduct these investigations and federal agents were offered the opportunity to work with USIS as private employees of that company or be RIFd. USIS was predominantly made up of federal employees at the start and given the exclusive contract to conduct background investigations with no competition. The majority of agents left work one day as federal employees and returned the next day as private sector employees. This was all negotiated well in advance as a way to not axe thousands of federal employees while still accomplishing the administration's goal of privatizing to save tax dollars (that was the ultimate goal). It didn't take long for someone to figure out that maybe national security investigations shouldn't be conducted by a private company. OPM was back in business in 2005. (I'm not a big fan of rumors or spreading them, so I'd rather offer what I know.)

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    • #17
      Squirrel -

      Both OPM and their contract companies work very similar cases for the most part, though there are some sensitive/higher-level investigations that are handled strictly by OPM. OPM also does all overseas work.

      One of the big problems with a large federal staff is that as workload fluctuates, what do you do with them? They still have to be paid or you have to get rid of them through a RIF. By using contract companies, OPM remains flexible to the workload yet can still support the federal staff. If work in an area slows down then OPM can push all work to the federal staff to keep them working. It is up to the contract companies to reduce or increase staff according to the workload.

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