Although the justification documents for the contracts state that the awards were "not the result of a lack of planning," the contracts' sole-source, no-bid nature was justified because "[t]ime and urgency did not allow for soliciting multiple sources." CBP halted all background investigations until security upgrades are completed:
The five upgrade contracts were awarded in Colorado, Virginia, Indiana, Maryland, and New Mexico. According to the documents, the need for the upgrade is the result of "a requirement for increased security standards for background investigation contractors accessing Personally Identifiable Information." No source is cited for the "requirement for increased security standards":
It is not clear if the CBP has resumed background checks yet. An email to the CBP requesting an answer to that question and clarification on other issues has been acknowledged by a CBP media representative but a response to the inquiries has not yet been forthcoming.
UPDATE: Although KeyPoint Government Solutions is the vendor shown in the screenshots above, KeyPoint is only one of five vendors involved in the upgrades. The other four are Omniplex World Services Corp., CSC Systems & Solutions LLC, MSM Security Services LLC, and ADC LTD NM.
Note: A version of this post first appeared at The Weekly Standard.