Blog

 
     

New Bill Seeks to Make FBI Background Checks More Affordable for Youth Organizations

By Michael Klazema on 12/4/2014

When a sex offender or violent criminal slips through the cracks and is hired to a position working with children, we often blame the employer. We wonder if the company that hired these dangerous individuals did their due diligence in running background checks. And if they did run background checks, we wonder if those screenings were as thorough and in-depth as they could have been. In many cases, checks were run, but only on a local or statewide basis. If past offenses were committed outside of the state, they go undetected.

The question then becomes this: what is the solution to this problem? The logical answer is nationwide background checks. Employers who run their background screenings through the FBI criminal and sex offender databases have a much better chance of weeding out dangerous applicants before they are hired. The problem is that these types of FBI checks are not always affordable, especially for smaller organizations or for companies that subsist largely on volunteers.

Now, however, legislation is pending that could change all of that. The bill in question is called the Child Protections Improvement Act, and it would make FBI background checks more affordable ($25 or less, to be specific) for youth-serving organizations around the country. The bill would also seek to improve the accessibility of the FBI criminal database, create a system where youth organizations could run FBI and state checks at the same time, and make it possible for applicants to obtain background check reports about themselves and contest any inaccurate information.

All of this sounds remarkably positive for the youth-serving organizations that would be affected. It would provide a means to keep kids safer without forcing organizations to drain their bank accounts. Furthermore, the bill would provide a financial solution without forcing volunteers or employees to pay for their own checks, which is the policy that many organizations have adopted in order to finance FBI background checks. It goes without saying that such policies prevent certain people from ever pursuing employment or volunteer positions with these youth organizations.

Perhaps the biggest question mark about the Child Protections Improvement Act, though, is how it would solve the long turnaround time problem that already plagues FBI checks. Even now, with more expensive fees, it can take weeks for an FBI background check to clear. And since many job searchers don't have time to wait around for a month or two to see if they have been cleared for employment, organizations end up losing quality candidates.

The Child Protections Improvement Act says that is supposed to provide access to timely and inexpensive nationwide background checks, but it is unclear how the bill could possibly make good on the timely part of that promise.After all, if FBI checks are less expensive, then more organizations will use them.This would in turn bring about greater gridlock in the background check system, and would only add to the FBI's existing backlog. In other words, checks might be made cheaper by this legislation, but unless there is a plan to seriously overhaul the system, they would take longer as well.

Source: http://www.acacamps.org/publicpolicy/CPIA



Tag Cloud
Categories
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • June 20 Repeat background checks are becoming more common, with companies in India leading the charge. What does this trend look like, and how can employers embrace it now to stay ahead of the curve?
  • June 19

    Every federal job involves a background check of some kind. These background checks and how they are evaluated vary based on job, department, and security clearance level.


  • June 18

  • June 14 Ban the box laws aim to improve opportunities for employment. Could they have the opposite effect instead?
  • June 13 Jacobs Petroleum Products is a regional petroleum company that operates throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, and Maryland. Apart from their employees carrying much responsibility and have frequent contact with customers, the company’s hiring also tends to be segmented since individual store managers are responsible for hiring talent for their own stores. In this employment landscape, Jacobs Petroleum Products needed a reliable and effective way to screen its new hires for criminal infractions and other red flags.
  • June 12

    The University of Wisconsin System may tweak its hiring and reference check processes. The potential changes come after one of UW’s assistant deans was accused of sexual harassment.


  • June 07 Stories of abuse by coaches in youth sports leagues continue to crop up around the country, but rules and guidelines remain patchy and enforcement is often lacking. The struggle to implement an effective system continues nationwide.
  • June 07 Financial background checks, usually referred to as credit history checks, can be an effective way to find out if a candidate is fit to handle accounts, financial data, and other assets at your business.
  • June 06 The Society for Human Resource Management and the Charles Koch Institute recently commissioned a survey to find out how willing employers were to hire people with criminal records. The study indicates that managers, HR professionals, and employees themselves are becoming more comfortable with the idea of hiring and working with ex-offenders.
  • June 04 Are fingerprint background checks the gold standard for employee screening, or are they overhyped? We look at some of the myths and misconceptions surrounding these checks.