As father and son, they started their Norfolk concrete company more than 11 years ago. So Fred and Brett Becker use the Navy’s RapidGate program to get base credentials for all their employees.
“RapidGate does an initial background screen that says you are approved. You pick up the badge after the region does a second background screen,” Brett says
Employees go through two background checks to get on base.
According to an Investigator General report NewsChannel 3 obtained, Navy region Mid-Atlantic’s security office started doing those secondary checks after they realized how many felons were going undetected by RapidGate’s system.
According to the Investigator General, RapidGate doesn't check names against the FBI’s crime database or the terrorism database.
The report also says that 52 convicted felons had unescorted access to Navy installations due to lax screening measures.
So the contractors are paying RapidGate for security checks -- $4,000 per year in Becker’s case, and the Navy is still spending money having to recheck RapidGate’s work.
“It seems a duplication, unnecessary,” Fred says.
The Investigator General only checked 17 out of more than 30,000 businesses enrolled in RapidGate and they alone cost the Navy more than $1 million.
“If the Navy is using outsourcing security that is not providing better quality at a higher cost, we need to make a change,” says Senator Mark Warner.
Senator Warner is just one of the lawmakers outraged at the report.
The Inspector General is recommending that RapidGate needs to go and the Navy just do one complete security check and issue credentials on their own.
“We need to get a better answer from Navy,” Warner says.
Again, the failures of RapidGate had nothing to do with how Aaron Alexis got onto the Washington Navy Yard on Monday, because he had a different ID.
But the Chief of Naval Operations told Congressional leaders today that he will be working with the Investigator General to fix the broken system and make sure bases are safe.
Vendors express frustration at Navy’s RAPIDGate program
Inspector General: Navy base access program lets felons on base without proper background checks