House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Ed Royce blasted the Department of Homeland Security Thursday for awarding a $190 million contract to a company that conducted a background checks on National Security Agency contractor-turned-leaker Edward Snowden.
Royce, R-Calif., railed against the hiring of U.S. Investigations Services, LLC, to work with the department’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
“I am deeply troubled by reports that the Department of Homeland Security has awarded another contractto the same company charged with cutting corners in vetting people in sensitive security jobs and that checked-off Edward Snowden,” Royce said in a statement. “Snowden – now a houseguest of Russian intelligence – has done irreparable damage to the national security of the United States, endangering the lives of Americans around the world.”
Last October, the Justice Department accused USIS, the largest firm to conduct security clearance background checks, for not performing quality checks of potential government workers. USIS conducted checks on Snowden and Aaron Alexis, a contractor who killed 12 people in a shooting rampage last year at Washington’s Navy Yard.
Royce said “There is no good reason bureaucratic or otherwise – why the United States should continue to do business with a company with this kind of track record, especially contracting with a key immigration agency. I strongly urge the administration to reconsider this award in light of this company’s past performance.”