The IG’s office of the Commerce Department has issued a management alert saying that the Census Bureau has not adjudicated findings of background investigations indicating hundreds of current employees to be potential risks.
The agency has not adjudicated some 10,000 background investigations in all since 2014, it said, including some 2,000 with derogatory findings. Of those more than 700 of the individuals were deemed at the highest risk, and nearly 300 were employed by the Bureau in 2019.
More than a dozen with derogatory information in their background investigation had access to Bureau facilities and information systems for four or more years; some of these individuals have positions the Bureau has deemed “high-risk” or “critical,” including some working in information technology, it said.
“By failing to adjudicate background investigations with potentially serious suitability issues, the Bureau increases the risk to the public, as well as Bureau systems and facilities,” it said.
Because the findings came in the form of a management alert, the IG did not solicit a response but said that agency officials were briefed on the findings.