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Cummings Requests Deposition of USIS CEO

Sep 15, 2014
Press Release
Cummings Asks Issa to Issue Subpoena After CEO Refuses to Answer Questions, Company Has Major Cyber Security Breach

Washington, DC —Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent a letter to Chairman Darrell Issa requesting a subpoena to compel USIS CEO Sterling Phillips to appear before the Committee for a deposition based on troubling new revelations over the past several months.

Phillips testified before the Committee in February about a $1 billion civil suit brought by the Department of Justice alleging massive fraud by top USIS officials in their background check contracts with federal agencies.  In addition, the company experienced a major cyber security breach this summer that may have compromised the personal information of tens of thousands of government workers seeking security clearances.

Cummings listed three reasons for this request:

•    “Mr. Phillips has been refusing for more than six months to respond to written questions from this Committee—sent under your signature—regarding alleged fraud committed by top USIS officials, and he has refused to provide the identities of executives at two USIS parent companies to allow the Committee to determine whether those officials knew about or directed fraudulent activities against U.S. taxpayers.”

•    “Cyber security experts have now briefed Committee staff on details of a malicious cyber attack against USIS this summer, raising serious new concerns about whether USIS has been complying with the requirements of its government contracts to secure the personally identifiable information of individuals applying for security clearances.”

•    “USIS apparently has been able to continue obtaining new federal contracts by exploiting a weakness in the current contracting award process.”

“A company that was supposed to be helping to secure our nation stands accused of dumping incomplete background check investigations to increase corporate profits, and now the personal information of tens of thousands of government workers seeking security clearances appears to have been compromised,” Cummings wrote.  “Yet, USIS continues to obtain new contracts, and the CEO appears to believe he can ignore the Committee with impunity.”

In July, Cummings sent a bipartisan letter with Senator Tom Coburn to the Department of Homeland Security requesting information about the process used to award a new $190 million contract to USIS, despite the fact that the Justice Department filed its fraud suit six months earlier.

Click here to read a copy of the full letter.

113th Congress