SCIS vs CSRA. Which is better?


#1

Does anyone have any knowledge of the two new companies? They are both recruiting heavily.


#2

CSRA is a first-rate government contractor whose work focuses on IT. They a big player in USG contracting and are based in Northern Virginia. They formed from the merger of two tech giants CSC and SRA Int'l. They are not a private equity firm but a publicly traded S&P 500 company. The company's website front page image is a silhouette of a person looking up with a backdrop of an astronomical photograph with the Milky Way in the center of the image. https://www.csra.com

SCIS is a company which is, according to them, "a leader in providing security services". They are the U.S. subsidiary of a foreign-owned (Swedish) parent company. The company's website front page image is a security guard holding a Mossberg tactical pump-action shotgun wearing a Securitas uniform. http://www.scisusa.com


#3

Even though they may be new to the OPM investigation contract, I think that CSC was already doing investigations before that, maybe for DHS.


#4

CSRA began receiving work from OPM earlier this year (Jan-Feb timeframe). Cases have very slowly trickled in and have mostly favored the T3 case type. Most cases are new or have fairly recent SD's, compared to another major vendor who was assigning cases with SD's as far back as 2015.

Although the issuance of new cases is a plus, there has been a drastic reduction in case assignments. The lack of work for our metro center has resulted in my SL tasking us out well-beyond our normal coverage area (upwards of 100 miles in both directions). It's almost as though we initially hired way too many Investigators during the surge and now do not have enough work to go around... certainly a point of concern as well.

CSRA has a policy which was unbeknownst to those of us lucky enough to be tasked outside our normal areas which requires you to obtain a rental car the morning of anticipated travel above 100 miles... Now we are taking more time away from production picking up a rental, completing expenses reports and losing our mileage reimbursement incentive. As of yet, we have no local long distance billing strings or a non-production string to use while obtaining the rental to off-set the amount of non-production time spent acquiring the vehicle or driving outside of our respected coverage areas.

I know it is understandable for there to be speed bumps along the way with a start-up program; CSRA has had their fair share. The lack of case assignments is certainly troublesome though. The only explanation my SL can give is that we must work these outside cases to prove that we can work cases in our regularly assigned areas.... clear as mud, right? Not exactly sure what working cases 100 miles from my home will prove to OPM. My assumption is that we must prove our worth to OPM before they will bulk assign us work.

Luckily, up until recently we could charge "Pending Case Assignments" on days we had no work. Now we must bill to "Training" and review job aides and the handbook... It appears for now we will continue to be "volun-told" to work well outside our normal coverage areas until OPM hopefully opens the tap on case assignments.

All in all, I would say that I am not impressed with CSRA thus far. I've even very strongly considered returning to my prior employer, despite taking a small reduction in pay. The lack of work is a concern. Although a localized issue, my SL is undoubtedly the worst supervisor I've ever worked for in my entire career in investigations and law enforcement. Widespread issues with our internal systems and a total lack of communication from the top down has certainly been demoralizing as well. Hope this helps.


#6

When your SSBI--or T5 I guess now--is adjudicated you'll know more. The first new hire training class is set for this month in Herndon so sounds like you'll be with a group starting after them.

On another note, was never interested in CSRA though I could see why they would be a potentially attractive option for experienced FI's. Heard bad things from before the merger from former employees and they've always seemed to be a pretty standard issue beltway contractor. Business model is no different from KGS/CACI (i.e., predetermined, unscientific metrics)


#7

I have been hearing some troubling things about CSRA. Lack of communication is the most disturbing in my opinion. None of the investigators I spoke with seem to know what is hapening with the company or the contract.
There seems to be a general feeling of just being left to fend for yourself.


#8

Trying to determine what OPM contractor is better (KGS, CACI, CSRA, and Securitas) is like someone trying to convince you that one dog poop tastes better than the next style of dog poop.


#9

CSRA seems to understand the field work and gives you 2-3 weeks for ACD's .. very impressed with them.. No pressuring at the moment and hope it stays that way. :slight_smile:


#10

Greetings, like steben357 I too am in the process of getting hired by the same organization, but the job offer and subsequent training has suddenly gone cold. Any insight on this?


#11

@datesnotrecalled Did you by chance hear how the first class went? I passed my background and was supposed to start at SCIS on 10/9, but now I’m not. The official line is something to do with closing out investigations prior to the close of fiscal year, but that makes no sense as the new fiscal year starts on 10/1. Sadly unless they make this happen soon I may need to look for another opportunity. I’d add that for all the emphasis they put on clear and effective communication they sure are leaving me (us?) in the dark…


#12

Has anyone actually attended BI training?


#13

Not for SCIS… so far we’ve established that they bumped the September class twice before putting it on hold. Several f us were supposed to start on 10/9, with the same outcome. So this begs the question, is SCIS losing the contract? Can they not get enough staff together for a class? Is this just a byproduct of the lack of an approved fed budget? I think it would be foolhardy to bank on working for this organization though…


#14

Scis is a great contractor. Pay might be 18 an hour but the health and welfare is 4 bucks on top of that do really your getting paid 23 and hour. Depending on your location you might be traveling more than 100 miles but they don’t want you going over an hour away from where you are. It is a waiting game to get in board really due to 1, your investigation and 2 when they come up with a start date. It is interesting work I enjoy it thus far even with technical difficulties working around but just wait. There is a hold up I think due to the fiscal year so hope things get moving for you all


#15

MD1222 do you work for SCIS? If so, when did you complete NIPT training? Have you heard any info about why the classes have been postponed?


#16

@Waiting55: @Former911 and @Md1222 have both been to SCIS NIT. I’m in the same boat as you, waiting with no info, which is causing domestic discord with my wife. I’m guessing they might be waiting on our training until after 10/1 when the new fiscal year starts.


#17

I’ve worked with the SCIS people before who were with USIS and some of the CSRA people, when they were with CACI. SCIS seems to be doing the same model they had with USIS. CSRA is trying new things, the issue with both of these companies is they are just starting up, don’t expect everything to be perfect. I imagine the next 6 months will make a difference. I chose to go to CSRA and I’m very happy. I haven’t had issues with workload and someone made a comment about needing to get a rental car for travel, but I found if you give an explanation for using personal vehicles they accept it. I had some rough start up time but now things are great. I have communication with the case reviewers and my manager, I get questions answered in a timely manner. I know this might not be the same experience for everyone based on who your manager ends up being but my time has been great and I’m looking to stay here, which is not a feeling I have had in a long time.


#18

Looks like scis new training starts back up in November. They don’t want no leaks in the pipes and want things full speed ahead for new groups ahead. They don’t no one having tech difficulties and issues when they come on board so that’s one reason for the delay. Just be patient.


#19

I hope you are right. Nov. Would b ok. Next year is tuff to handle. Need to get to work. I dont want to jump ship. I like SCIS and the way they are set up. Just dont like not knowing any info other that training on hold until further notice. I can deal with pretty much anything just let us know.

Still waiting.


#20

I hear you there. Looking at the calendar, if they’re going to do the class in November, they will need to give notice to us by this Friday, or the following Monday at the latest (so we could give two weeks notice to those who have current employers). The home training would have to start the last week of this month, and the Virginia training being held the first two weeks of November.fingers crossed

I’d say if they don’t give notice by the following Monday (at the latest) November is dead as a starting month. December is under tight scheduling constraints as well. I guess they could start us on the home training the last week of November, buuuuut…


#21

I just applied for a full-time BI position with SCIS so I would be interested in hearing when and if they get their new investigator training back up and running.

Also, if you get a chance it would be great to hear about how their hiring process went. How long did it take after applying for you to hear from them? How many interviews? Anything else to look out for would be great. Thanks and good luck!