Federal Manager's Daily Report

The inspector general of the IRS has expressed “significant concerns about the quality and completeness” of background investigations for security clearances granted while OPM was using a former contractor.

The audit was conducted to assess the quality of background investigations at the IRS following allegations by the Justice Department of incomplete reviews over 2008-2012 government-wide. It said that in a sample of 76 employees who had background checks done during that period and who are still with the agency, documentation “was lacking to support the investigative work represented as completed” on all but one.

While policies of the time did not require documentation to be retained for certain types of investigative actions, investigative standards had not been met in at least two cases, and “IRS procedures did not contain a process to assess the quality or completeness of background investigations the OPM provided to it.”

A review of publicly available records for employees in the sample “generally did not identify unreported incidents or derogatory information associated with the OPM’s factors for consideration in determining suitability for federal employment or security clearance access,” it added.

It said the agency agreed with a recommendation to prioritize the reinvestigation of any employee whose most recent background check was performed during that period.