OPM watchdog seeks a background search tool to help investigations

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The Office of Personnel Management’s Inspector General asked industry to offer insights about a potential online search and retrieval service to help with its investigations.

The Office of Personnel Management’s Office of Inspector General is looking for an online tool to facilitate searches for background information about the people and businesses it investigates, according to a request for information posted on Wednesday. 

Specifically, the OIG is looking for “an online investigative platform” that can “provide web-based online search and retrieval service that provides vital public and private information on individuals and businesses.” OIG noted that it needs this system to help pursue its final prosecution outcomes. As a result, OIG must be able to conduct investigative, medical sanctions and debarment research. 

OIG stated that this tool would be used to obtain information on a subject or witness before interaction. For example, OIG would look for concealed weapons permits, criminal actions, civil liens and judgments as well as bankruptcies. 

“Our experience finds that an investigative Service provides this and much more invaluable and consolidated information, whereby ensuring our staff is fully aware of any situation they may find themselves in,” the RFI said, explaining that knowledge can help maintain staff safety.

The specifications needed for such a tool are broken down into 17 general service requirements, 14 service requirements, six retrieval/result requirements and six requirements specific to healthcare providers and businesses. 

For example, services must have concurrent, multi-user sign-in and access for all active users—OIG plans to start with three users and add up to two users annually—as well as user training, analytical tools and visualizations, searches for individuals with personally identifying information, death records, work or employment search, similar sounding names search, email search, vehicle identification number search, business searches and specifications for retrievable data. Additionally, the product would require specific search criteria for healthcare providers on an individual and business basis, including identifying information like a national provider information, medical group affiliation, medical specialty, bankruptcies, as well as criminal and civil liens and judgments.

OIG noted that it expects to award a firm-fixed price contract for a base period of 12 months and with an additional four 12-month options. 

The request seeks industry comments to help the government determine if firms can satisfy its requirements. Responses are due by October 24.