Background Investigations

Current Background Investigation Service Providers


Last Fall the big news in the background investigation arena was the downfall of USIS and their investigators jumping ship to either CACI or KeyPoint Government Solutions. Since then very little ink has been spilled regarding how the transition went, whether CACI and KGS are doing a better job, or if the reforms and oversight instituted by OPM have cut down on the type of misconduct that caused USIS to abandon its investigations division.

Currently, from what I can gather from limited sources, there are only six companies providing investigative services for the Federal government. These are:

  • CACI (primarily works on OPM background investigations)
  • CSC (primarily works on the U.S. Immigration (ICE/CBP contract)
  • DynCorp International (believed to work on contracts for CIA and State Department, but not confirmed)
  • KeyPoint Government Solutions (primarily works on contracts for OPM and U.S. Immigration (ICE/CBP)
  • ManTech International Corporation (believed to work on contracts for TSA and EPA, but not confirmed)
  • Omniplex World Services (primarily works for U.S. Immigration (ICE/CBP but has smaller contracts across a wide spectrum of agencies as well as providing services for other government contractors)

I am sure there are a few other contractor background investigation service providers out there working under the radar for the Intelligence Community agencies. The ones listed above most assuredly work on other contracts, so for those that might have more information and would care to share, by all means do so, as one of the purposes of this site is to share information relevant to the industry.

Comment Archive

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    Having worked for USIS and now having worked for KeyPoint for the last 3 years, it’s hard to say that KeyPoint is “better.” In fact, they could now be considered as either the same as USIS or worse. The push for revenue and to close cases more quickly than ever before has taken hold over this company in the last year and a half. I’d point to Eric Hess becoming CEO, Scott Kobasick leaving his position as OPM program director, and the change in contract last year as the three factors which have led to this regrettable outcome. I now have cases assigned to me with items due just one week later. When you consider that I have other cases to work on, it’s impossible to maintain those ACD metrics. The quality metrics have changed as well. Where I could go a quarter with an RZ rate of just about 2%, I’m lucky if my RZ rates are that low in a week! A week! Something isn’t right and it’s honestly sad and insulting what Congress has allowed OPM to get away with with everything that has happened in this industry since Edward Snowden began talking. Shameful, really.

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    OMNIPLEX was trying to make a play for OPM late last year but that fizzled. They offered me a job with better pay than KGS but just kept stringing me along. I never heard back from them. KGS sent out feelers about 4 months ago to see if any investigators are interested in taking on DHS BI work if available. I haven’t heard anything more. I got an interview at OPM as a Fed. I would say 50+% of the interview dealt with production (source units and reports).

  3. Avatar

    Production and quality, it’s the OPM way!

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    I was just informed by my team leader at one of the contractors that I need to transmit 5 source units a day otherwise I will be fired. Funny I don’t remember learning that in OPM investigator training… I told her to put that in writing.

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    Is that literally five source units per day? Or can you transmit nothing for a few days then 20 source units? I only ask because I personally find it impossible to consistently be able to transmit that much, especially when working pieces of cases. You can only transmit once all your assigned work has been completed, and working multiple cases makes it really hard to guarantee five completes sources any given day. Also, to be more productive I like to have one full typing day per week.

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    I know its the average of 25 per week but all she keeps saying is 5 per day. I’m having issues hitting the 25 per week due to location and case type. I have not had one PR or PRI assigned to me during the past year. Every single case is riddled with issues that require extensive typing time. According to her it doesn’t matter. All she cares about is 5 source units a day. How many source units are able to get typed on the day you spend typing?

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    I can empathize. Section leads don’t care about the difficulty of the case type. I was written up in March for failing to meet production. I’m not sure it can be done in 40 hours with issue laden cases.

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    It’s getting to the point that the OPM IG should be/needs to be notified about all of this.

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    Thats why I told her to put it in writing. I can see getting disciplined for not meeting production along with other issues but if the only issue I have is not meeting production they are the ones with the issue. How are cases not assigned a difficulty level based on issues present? They are not all the same. I only work cases with 3-6 issue codes every time. Not to mention the administrative typing because the subject is an idiot and did not enter the correct information as well as the additional tier two coverage requirements. If they fire me for production they are getting sued, the IG is being notified, my representatives are getting being made aware, and our friend at the Washington post will have plenty of substance for his next article. All of this to work for a company that held partial responsibility for the Abu Ghraib incident.

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    “Production and quality, it’s the OPM way!” Good thing if we were talking about a factory making widgets. Not so much if we are talking about a process involving national security investigations with wildly different cases. Bureaucratic standardization of background investigations has only led to spending too much on half the cases and not enough on the other half.

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    Rumor has it, may not be the OPM way much longer.

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    Fed, if you’re suggesting that OPM is getting axed from the BI world, I hope people at KGS who were offered transfer opportunities to busier work locations that are not overstaffed hear that before making a logistically heinous decision to pack their lives and families up to move to a job that might not be around much longer.

  13. Avatar


    What are you referring to? What do you know?

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    Can’t really say, only rumor and management is putting the strong arm on it. I’m not anonymous enough on here.

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    @Fed Investigator

    Your last few comments seem to suggest either the work is being insourced to federal investigators or OPM is losing the background investigation gig. Perhaps the former because you posted a few days ago how OPM will be doing some hiring in October. I hold the possibllity for both to be true, as I used to work for another federal agency and I know nonsensical ideas are more common than not. But I appreciate the heads up to us contractors so we can start looking for other employment. Who knows what I’ can do? I have to scratch hedge fund manager off my list now that Trump said he plans to stop the tax-free joyride.

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    Gotta love throwing a sentence or two out there about rumors and then leaving us all hanging without going into any more detail. Any information would be helpful to us if OPM is insourcing everything and Keypoint and CACI become a thing of the past.

    My only hope is that OPM goes to direct federal contracting and creates a contracting model similar to the State Department.

    But knowing OPM…they’ll probably bring everything in house and federalize this BI function.

  17. Avatar

    The fed is taking back more work but it’s still less than half of the total. The rumors are more about who will be running the background game going forward, not that the game is going away. Sorry for all the innuendo but you know how it goes.

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    @Fed Investigator,

    What are the rumors as to who/which federal agency would be running the background work going forward?

    DOD I assume?

  19. Avatar

    As a fed investigator do you belong to a union and if so which one?

  20. Avatar

    Oooh, now my curiousity is peaked? I’ll assume by reading between the lines is that it would have to be DSS taking back the oversight. My questions are more logistics. Pure speculation so Fed Investigator doesn’t have to give up inside info. With all the OPM hiring, can we assume that the current FIS investigators would just lateral over? Would the pay scale be the same (I know a few people who have turned down the GS7/GS9 offerings due to the low pay although I think they’re nuts)? I have always been shocked that OPM SAC’s are only GS13’s. I’ve always thought the investigators pay should go to GS13 and management should be GS14+.