OPM Revolving Fund:

Investigation Activities During Fiscal Years 1983 Through 1986

GGD-87-81: Published: Jun 26, 1987. Publicly Released: Jun 26, 1987.

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GAO reviewed the Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) revolving fund to finance federal employee background investigations.

GAO found that: (1) the backlog of uncompleted investigations grew significantly from fiscal year (FY) 1982 to FY 1984, but decreased in FY 1986; (2) OPM did not hire sufficient investigators to keep current with agency investigation requests; (3) uncertainties about the OPM budget and personnel ceilings caused delays in recruiting in the regions; and (4) although OPM has contracted with individuals and companies to increase its investigator staff, it was dissatisfied with the contractors' quality of work. GAO believes that OPM should not use fiscal constraints to justify its lack of investigative staff, since other agencies reimburse it for all of its costs through the revolving fund.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: OPM requested and received authorization from OMB to increase staff levels during FY 1990. Because of these staff increases, some decrease in backlogs has occurred. However, timeliness is still a significant problem. GAO is conducting a followup review to determine if additional OPM action is necessary, consequently, follow-up on this report is no longer required.

    Recommendation: The Director, OPM, should provide the investigative activity authority to hire and maintain an investigator staff at levels which would improve the timeliness of background investigations and reduce the backlog to a manageable level.

    Agency Affected: Office of Personnel Management


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