Patrick McFarland

  • OPM commits to stopping payments to dead people

    The Office of Personnel Management has created a task force to lead efforts to stop payments to retirees who have died. An inspector general report released Thursday revealed that OPM had paid $601 million in benefits to dead people since 2006.

  • OPM to hire CTO to handle USAJobs, retirement system

    The Office of Personnel Management faces a House subcommittee today to answer questions about its handling of the USAJobs relaunch.

  • Will sequestration, retirement wave derail OPM’s backlog goal

    The Office of Personnel Management has made steady progress chipping away at a longstanding backlog of retirement claims. But Oversight Committee lawmakers and other government watchdogs remain concerned that the absence of a long-term plan to overhaul the mostly paper-based process combined with across-the-board budget cuts and a lack of strong leadership within OPM could stall or derail the progress the agency has made.

  • IG: ‘Serious problems’ with OPM’s $2B revolving fund must be addressed

    The Office of Personnel Management’s inspector general says he needs $6 million to address “serious problems” with the agency’s $2 billion revolving fund. Patrick McFarland told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that his current budget isn’t nearly enough to root out waste, fraud and abuse across the revolving fund and other areas of OPM.

  • Contractor conducting background checks under investigation prior to NSA leak

    Patrick McFarland, the inspector general of the Office of Personnel Management, confirmed to a Senate subcommittee Thursday that his office has been investigating USIS, the government’s largest contractor for background-investigation services, since late 2011. He said at least 18 security clearance investigators have been convicted of falsifying investigations since 2007. McFarland said there may be “considerably more” fraud that hasn’t been uncovered due to “alarmingly insufficient oversight” of the security-clearance process.

  • Senators seek probe into how Navy shooter got clearance

    Key senators on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee are seeking answers into how the contractor employee responsible for the mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard that killed 12 people obtained his security clearance. In a Sept. 18 letter, Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.), requested the Office of Personnel Management’s inspector general look into what type of clearance the shooter, identified as 34-year-old Aaron Alexis, held as well as what federal agency conducted his background investigation.

  • OPM defends 2007 background check of Navy Yard shooter

    The same company that performed National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden’s background investigation also performed a check of Aaron Alexis, the IT contractor who shot and killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard Monday. The Office of Personnel Management said it believes Alexis’ background check was complete and that the Defense Department signed off on the results of the background check.

  • House votes to beef up OPM inspector general funding

    The House gave a boost to the Office of Personnel Management inspector general’s office Tuesday, voting to provide the agency’s auditors with access to new funding to conduct investigations. In a unanimous vote, the House approved the bipartisan OPM IG Act, introduced by Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) and co-sponsored by Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass). The Senate approved a nearly identical measure, introduced by Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), in October.

  • Congress eyeing legislative fix for security clearances

    President Barack Obama signed the OPM IG Act into law this week. The law provides the agency’s top watchdog with an additional source of funding to conduct audits and investigations of the security-clearance process.

  • OPM goes on offensive with 15-step cyber improvement plan

    The Office of Personnel Management will hire a special cyber advisor, accelerate the implementation of two-factor authentication and data encryption technologies.