Justice Needs To Address the Problem of Two Personnel Investigations

Gao ID: GGD-82-56 July 8, 1982

GAO evaluated the practice of conducting two personnel investigations on all newly hired Bureau of Prisons employees.

Since all Bureau of Prisons employees are classified as occupying sensitive positions, new employees must undergo background investigations and obtain security clearances. However, since the Bureau does not consider the Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) full field investigations to be timely, it has obtained permission to conduct its own investigations. GAO found that these investigations often duplicate each other and that it may be possible to carry out the investigative process more efficiently. In addition, savings could be achieved if OPM discontinued the practice of visiting agencies that have requested full field investigations to obtain information about the individual. GAO believes that security clearances are probably not necessary for all Bureau employees and that a review is needed to ensure that the Bureau's positions are properly classified. Other matters that should be addressed are the need for Justice to streamline the investigative process for personnel who are occupying sensitive positions and the practice of OPM investigators' visiting the Bureau to obtain information on Bureau employees under investigation. GAO believes these visits should be discontinued.


Our recommendations from this work are listed below with a Contact for more information. Status will change from "In process" to "Open," "Closed - implemented," or "Closed - not implemented" based on our follow up work.

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