Hillsboro's Eid Passport scrutinized in wake of Navy Yard tragedy

A Hillsboro-based security services provider is facing intense scrutiny following Monday's Navy Yard shooting in Washington, D.C., that left 13 dead, including the alleged shooter.

Eid Passport, through a Navy contract, provides security clearance services for contractors at the Navy Yard and other installations. Its procedures for performing background checks before allowing access to the Yard are the subject of reports in the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal, among other publications.

Both the Post and the Wall Street Journal make clear that alleged shooter Aaron Alexis, a contractor who was shot and killed by police at the scene, was not vetted by the Navy Commercial Access Control System (NCACS) developed by Eid Passport. In other words, Eid Passport did not provide Alexis' security clearance.

However, the ease with which Alexis gained access to the Navy Yard, despite a well-documented history of crime and mental illness, has opened up the entire contractor vetting process to scrutiny.

That intensified on Wednesday following the release of a Department of Defense Inspector General audit in the works prior to the Navy Yard shooting that cast a harsh light on Eid's vetting of contract workers. According to the report, 52 convicted felons were given clearance to Navy installations through NCACS.

"Eid Passport welcomes audits as they continue to drive the industry to improve identity management systems and processes," said Eid Passport CEO Steve Larson in a statement. "Eid Passport is working with the Navy and looks forward to working with the DoD to further refine and advance the world's best high-assurance identity management solution."

In its statement, Eid also reiterated that its system was not used to vet Alexis and added that the "NCACS program has served to protect our Navy bases for years and screened hundreds of thousands of individuals and identified tens of thousands of vendors, suppliers and service providers with felony criminal convictions."

Eid Passport ranked No. 22 on the Portland Business Journal's 2013 list of Oregon's fastest-growing private companies, with revenue growth of 193 percent between 2010 and 2012. Much of that coming from government contracts.

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