Blake Percival (USIS Whistleblower) - A Discussion

I am hoping that this link worked. I came across this podcast/youtube interview the other day and listened to it while driving. I figure nearly all of us in this blog have come from USIS, so it would be an interesting debate/discussion. For those who don’t know, Blake Percival is the whistleblower that exposed USIS’ “flushing” of cases. He has a book coming out and I was interested because, like most of us, I was there when all this happened and I was wondering if he was going to name names or expose any juicy details. Well, I don’t think that will be the case after listening to this video. The video is over an hour long, but you only really need to listen to the first 15 minutes or so to hear about the USIS part. The rest is just nonsense. I never knew Percival at USIS and don’t remember ever hearing or reading his name in any email, so I have no personal knowledge of him.

In this video, Percival claims that USIS dumped cases and the subjects were never “vetted.” This part really infuriated me. While USIS was very wrong in what they did…the cases that were “dumped” were fully completed cases with no issues reported. All field work was completed, there was just no reviewer to catch the rogue periods and misspelled words. I also want to add that of the 660,000 cases that USIS flushed, it was reported to congress that not one case was sent back by the agency for additional work. Percival claims that the Snowden case and Aaron Alexis cases were both likely dumped. He implies that no work was ever done on the cases and “proper” background investigations would have caught them. Yet, a Washington Post article about the Snowden background investigation showed that the investigation was completed appropriately given the rules at the time.

I could go on and on about this video…but I am wondering what everyone else thinks of the USIS flushing of cases and Blake Percival.

The juicy details are in the DOJ complaint. https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/1008869/justice-department-joins-suit-against-usis.pdf

This is my point…the truth is far from what Percival is claiming in that video. And in terms of juicy details, I wanted him to expose some of those jerks that ran the investigators into the ground while cashing their bonus checks!! Instead, he acts as though he is a national security expert on matters that he has no knowledge and no experience.

If the topic is whether or not USIS dumped cases in the way the were accused I believe the answer is no. In the old Handbook there was an area on reviewing and adjudication that said something about cases without issue do not need to be reviewed. Mostly old PPR. If someone out there remembers those details I’d love you to post. On bonus checks…yep, and Blake I think got a check as well because the government attached themselves to this case. For government and contractors the choice is simple. If you really care about National Security you would set limits on cases to the field. Or just set the same expectations for contractors AND government investigators. If not, the government is just as culpable. Quantity and Quality DO NOT go hand in hand.

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When I was first hired, we were told that not all cases were reviewed by OPM. I remember being told that if I wanted OPM to read the case, I had to code it appropriately. At some point, we moved to 100% review and I don’t know when that happened. I understand that it was a contractual requirement to review the cases and that is were USIS is wrong…but the implication that people weren’t “vetted” for their job is just wrong.

Yeah- Blake got paid…he claims to have gotten 20% of the 30 million recouped from USIS.

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As an aside. I worked for USIS on SPINs mainly in San Diego, CA from 2006 until the demise. I was on the way to interview a source when the call came to STOP ALL field work. I think this was in 2014. I am part of the law suit and USIS owes me about $2400 in field work competed that was waiting typing and transmission. I have not heard anything about the law suit in years. Has anyone heard any updates?

Is that the guy who said or heard that cases were flushed down the toilet like goldfish to get rid of them? Did I read that correctly years ago?

You are exactly right. I’ve noticed the same things in interviews, podcasts, etc., Percival doesn’t tell an accurate story. He should know better because he was there first hand and witnessed everything. He continues to beat the drum that the investigations weren’t completed when they were handed off to OPM. That is incorrect. We as Investigators completed the work…the investigations just weren’t reviewed for quality. And even if an investigation didn’t meet quality, OPM review (final review process before a case goes to adjudication) would have kicked it back as being deficient. Percival doesn’t explain what was going on exactly with the process and paints himself more as someone that saved national security.

Though Percival did the right thing by not agreeing to the continuing of the dumping of cases, his story lacks the transparency that paints it with much accuracy according to the actual court documents and charges alleged against USIS. At this point it’s all about selling a book and making the story appear he was instrumental in saving national security when national security was never harmed so long as OPM kicked back any cases that were dumped for quality deficiencies which they always did. That’s why they are the final review process before it goes to adjudication.

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Nobody’s buying your book Blake.

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