Concerns have been raised over a Federal web based background check system that is offline as a result of a security flaw. Companies who rely on hundreds of government contractors need to meet agency agreements, these concerns have been voiced by an industry group. In a letter dated July 1st for the benefit of federal officials, the PSC (Professional Services Council) intimated their misgivings over the suspension of “e-QIP” background check system which is the OPM’s (Office of Personnel Management) system. The concerns were made 2 days prior following the breach.

The PSC chairman accepted the need for the suspension but remained very concerned over the disruption while the background check system was offline. The suspension impacts contractors and federal agencies alike. The Professional Services Council represents around 400 companies such as Microsoft, Unisys and IBM. The risk prevails of non performance due to numbers and quality processed for renewals and/or security.

The recipients of the letter were Katherine Archuleta (OPM Director) and deputy director (Beth Cobert) Office of Management & Budget. Federal officials continue to maintain that the flaws in the e-QIP background check system has no bearing on cyber breaches at the OPM.

The initial breach in early June saw around 4.2 million ID thefts of former and current federal employees. Chinese hackers have been blamed. However the second further breach is reputed to have have affected 18 million employees albeit a definite figure from the OPM has not been forthcoming.

The letter also queried a plan for temporary clearances as this may only apply to a handful of agencies. Requests for clarification over the possible impacts have been made to the administration. Also requested was clarification over how those affected by the second breach would be assisted. Credit monitoring has been made available to those affected by the first breach.

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