DFAS employees fired after security review

Monday - 7/5/2010, 7:55am EDT

By Suzanne Kubota
Senior Internet Editor
FederalNewsRadio.com

If you can't pay your bills, you can't keep your job.

That's what it has come down to for 39 employees at the Defense Finance and Accounting Service. The employees have been terminated or indefinitely suspended after they were found "ineligible" to meet security requirements of the job.

The decision was based on information from background checks conducted to ensure the employees were able to meet the security criteria of their positions.

In 2005, all DFAS positions were classified, at a minimum, as "non-critical sensitive" due to employees' access to sensitive information such as civilian, military and retiree pay data; Social Security numbers; and banking information. American Forces Press Service reports the new classification called for a background check of agency employees, explained Terri McKay, DFAS director.

In April, the firing of 20 of more than 60 employees was put hold, according to the Federal Times, after their job classifications were challenged.

The background checks included financial delinquencies, bankruptcies, liens, tax liens and the like.

Attorney Debra Roth explained to Federal News Radio in April "it would be unusual for a federal employee who handles money, like anybody in the Social Security Administration who deals with people's accounts or Medicare or, where they were, at DFAS, with money - it would be unusual to relieve those employees over a review of their financial record."

The majority of DFAS employees cleared the background check without an issue, McKay told American Forces Press Service. But for the 39 employees, the background checks for most revealed a long-term "pattern" of financial mishandling coupled with personal misconduct, she added. Only a few had solely financial issues.

For more on how your finances can affect your federal job from Debra Roth, click here.

(Copyright 2010 by FederalNewsRadio.com. All Rights Reserved.)