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GSA Audit Reveals FAS Mobilized Contractor Workers Despite Lack of Security Clearance

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An ongoing audit being conducted by the Office of Audits under the Office of Inspector General at the General Services Administration has revealed that the Federal Acquisition Service failed to ensure that all employees working under a federal task order had received requisite security clearance prior to being mobilized.

Sonya Panzo, associate deputy assistant inspector general for auditing at the Acquisition and Information Technology Audit Office, said in a memo dated June 29 that the FAS provided several employees under the Transition Ordering Assistance task order access to sensitive government information and equipment, and paid them a total of more than $675,000 for services rendered, even though the Office of Personnel Management had not given them a favorable background investigation determination.

The Transition Ordering Assistance task order was designed to help federal employees shift to new information technology and communication infrastructure.

Panzo expressed concern that the FAS had relied exclusively on assurances from the task order contractor about their employees’ security clearances instead of verifying these claims independently.

Panzo recommended that, moving forward, the FAS “enhance management controls” to ensure that security protocols are adhered to, and FAS and client agencies are not exposed to unnecessary risk.

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