The Office of Personnel Management's investigations cost significantly more than those acquired by authorized agencies from commercial investigative services providers. OPM’s pricier products offer no advantages in coverage, timeliness or quality. OPM charges approximately $4100.00 for investigations for Top Secret clearance, while commercial providers charge as much as $1400.00 less. OPM performs over 100,000 such investigations each year, creating a potential price differential of as much as 140 Million Dollars in this one type of investigation alone. OPM has as much as 90% market share for government investigations, yet their pricing suggests they have not realized the economies of scale that should drive costs down instead of up. An alternative acquisition strategy would be to permit agencies to purchase directly from commercial providers on a Blanket Purchase Agreement, with products that meet the standards set by federal authorities. This is the kind of thing that GSA does routinely and very well.
Idea No. 7592