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Government joins lawsuit against employee vetting company

Virginia residents may be interested in the story of a government contractor accused of failing to uphold its side of a significant annual contract. A recent filing by the U.S. Department of Justice alleges that the company failed to properly vet government employees.

Last month, the DOJ joined a previously-filed whistleblower lawsuit against US Investigations Services LLC, a company that performs background checks. USIS, the lawsuit alleges, failed to adequately perform investigations of over 665,000 government employees between 2008 and late 2012. While the complaint does not mention Edward Snowden, reports indicate that he was one of those reviewed by USIS.

In 2012, USIS received $295 million from the government, in exchange for its background reviews and credit checks of workers for security clearances. In January 2013, USIS named a new chief executive officer. Testifying at a congressional hearing, he stated that these allegations were inconsistent with the company's customer service record and reiterated that USIS had cooperated with the investigation from the start. As it is unlikely that the U.S. government will continue to work with USIS, it may seek to offer the work of vetting employees to a competitor or perform it internally.

When dealing with a business contract of any magnitude, care is needed to ensure that all parties are performing in accordance with its terms. Failure to perform as agreed could lead to a claim for breach of contract, with damages being sought by the aggrieved party. An attorney who has experience in business transactions may be able to help recover compensation for these losses caused by such a breach.

Source: Business Week, "Snowden Vetter Risks U.S. Contract Ban", Jonathan D. Salant and Kathleen Miller, February 11, 2014