According to a Department of Defense Inspector General report on contractor access to Navy bases, an attempt to reduce access control costs put thousands of lives at risk.
A 45-page report claims serious security breaches could be taking place at Navy bases throughout the U.S. including our local bases.
The report focuses on the Navy Commercial Access Control System, the network that controls contractor access to Navy bases. The NCACS uses a company called Eid Passport to conduct background checks and issue contractor credentials through a product known as RapidGate.
But according to the DOD, Eid Passport is not doing enough to keep tabs on the contractors enrolled in their system.
The report claims contractors undergo only public records checks instead of a more thorough vetting process which is required. It also claims contractors receive unescorted access to Navy bases before background checks are completed.
According to the DOD, numerous contractor employees enrolled in RapidGate received interim installation access and credentials without having their identities vetted through the National Crime Information Center and the Terrorist Screening Database.
The DOD visited 10 navy bases throughout the country, two were in the Southeast region where they uncovered eight contractors were allowed access. Those contractors were also convicted felons.
The report goes on to say “in an attempt to reduce access control costs, CNIC (Commander, Navy Installations Command) did not follow Federal credentialing standards and DOD contractor vetting requirements and did not provide 7 of the 10 installations visited the appropriate resources and capabilities to conduct required contractor background checks.”
It is not clear if NAS JAX, Naval Station Mayport, or Kings Bay Naval Submarine base were among the bases visited by the DOD but all three use the same system in question.
A Navy spokesperson sent Action News this statement: "While the Navy does not discuss specific security measures that we employ, the safety of personnel on our installations, and the processes used to grant installation access, is a top priority of the Navy world-wide."
The final recommendation of the inspector general report is that Navy installations discontinue use of the RapidGate system and other systems that use publicly available databases to vet contractors.