Precaution and Continuity Measures for Coronavirus Outbreak Response

The purpose of this guide is to provide our customers with an overview of the preventive measures and business continuity planning has in place in response to the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.

Background and current situation has been actively tracking the impact of the coronavirus, COVID-19, since January. We are using our crisis management and core BCP management processes, supplemented with preventive measures, to address this evolving situation. We are constantly assessing potential impact to our business operations teams and our customers, while enhancing our existing plans to adjust and respond accordingly. We are committed to minimizing any impact to our customers from this ever-changing situation while prioritizing the well-being and safety of our employees.

As of today, our operations units are functioning at 100%, with no impact reported. In impacted countries like China, Italy, and South Korea, there may be some delays in some verifications based on the severity and spread of the coronavirus. We do not anticipate that this will cause any major disruptions for our operations, but may delay some individual requests.

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We are continuing to monitor our business and take proactive measures, when appropriate. We will share regular updates with you as the situation develops, and will make you aware of any potential impact to our fulfillment service levels or timelines.

We have a Crisis Management Policy in place that provides our response to temporary office closures (including notification, communication, employee pay, employee responsibilities, and opportunity to work remotely). This policy is supported by a business continuity plan (BCP).

Preventative measures is publishing regular internal communications that provide all employees with educational, preventive, and status information related to the coronavirus. Facilities are appropriately supplied with alcohol-based hand-rubs and/or wipes, and daily reports from processing facilities are published to determine overall processing site health, impacts, and decisioning on potential activation of site BCPs.

We have identified essential suppliers and service providers, and are engaged in ongoing discussions with them concerning the coronavirus situation. Our major service providers are giving us daily updates on sites that support our service delivery and, to date, none have been impacted. Like us, they have implemented proactive measures to safeguard their employees and mitigate the potential spread of the virus within their organizations. We are not basing our plans on any assumptions about the preparations of organizations other than ourselves and our vendors.

Our services necessarily depend on the availability of information from information sources such as government agencies, educational institutions, and prior employers. We anticipate that larger organizations will be as well prepared as we are. We anticipate that, despite robust preparation, some percentage of smaller organizations might have concentrations of infection that comprise a small number of individuals, but a high percent of the personnel with whom we work. In that instance, those organizations might be unable to respond to requests for background screening until personnel return to duty. Because this is fundamentally outside of our control, we can only track it, rather than prevent it. One of our foundational BCP tenets is the redundant vendor capability that we use during our ongoing operations, which should compensate for some of this.

Business continuity planning has a companywide BCP that focuses on the continuity of delivery of services to our customers across our network fulfillment/customer service sites. One of the foundational tenets and strengths of our normal operations, as well as our BCP, is that we have multiple points of redundancy for resources, process execution, automation, systems, and vendor support. Additionally, we continue to enhance our existing off-site capability (work at home) through investment in equipment and security enhancements. We have a crisis management response team that provides critical decision-making, coordination, and communications at the senior-most level of the company, should a major incident requiring BCP activation occur. The BCP plan is tested each year (typically in Q3 and Q4). Results are recorded and drive annual planning as well as continuous improvement into our overall BCP readiness posture. Based on actual environmental (weather and building) incidents, our BCP has been deployed with a 100% success rate.

As a supplement to our existing plan, we continue to address the COVID-19 situation through proactive activities with our employees and major vendors. These activities are primarily preventative in focus, with the objective of keeping processing sites clear of any wide-spread contagion.

Possible impact of an outbreak at an operating location

While the outbreak of COVID-19 in a particular region or city may result in a range of concerns amongst citizens, it may also affect the availability of critical systems and infrastructure due to the continued unavailability of skilled personnel to manage such systems and infrastructure. As such, for, we believe the below scenarios to be likely:

  • Low to high absenteeism in the Business Unit. Overtime, for the balance of employees at the site to make up for the shortfall in resources and applicable business continuity strategies (via. work-transfer to another location, relocation of employees (if feasible – a strategy used only by our vendors), work at home options, etc.) *

  • Low to high absenteeism in Enabling Units (support units such as Sales, Marketing, etc.). Discontinue all non-essential activities and focus only on carrying out essential activities that are needed for supporting the business, as well as any applicable business continuity strategies.

  • fulfillment and Customer Service center being inaccessible due to an outbreak in the area. Implement BCP site plan for that particular site.

  • fulfillment and Customer Service center being inaccessible due to an outbreak at multiple sites. Implement BCP site plan for impacted sites and continuously assess and explore options in the event any existing business continuity strategies are not capable of being implemented.

* Note: The current business continuity mechanism for customers who have multi-site operations, either within or with other vendors, is based on transfer of work to other sites and/or work at home options in the event a single site is impacted. For pandemic situations, to the greatest extent feasible, such additional workloads at the recovery location(s) will be managed through a combination of overtime, shift/leave optimization, and work from home. The existing business continuity plans and employee availability will be used for actioning this strategy.

Service Delivery Levels

Based on the services provided to our customers, our primary assumption is that we will be able retain our levels of service based on the geographic scope and severity of the pandemic. It is impossible to guarantee levels of service without understanding the scope and severity of the specific site(s) impacted by COVID-19. Based on location and severity, we will continuously balance workload across the network and minimize impact to all our customers. If it comes to a point where there is a major disruption and services levels are impacted, we will proactively communicate with our customers until the impact has been mitigated. We believe that our plans, under the currently stated levels and locations of contagion and in conjunction with pandemic-specific proactive actions, will ensure, to the greatest extent possible, delivery of services within reasonable service levels.

Communications to customers

We understand that our transparency of processing statuses related to the coronavirus and potential or ongoing customer impact is critical. As a normal course of business, we update customers upon any material impact(s) to their program and our ability to fulfill and deliver upon their program(s) according to our agreement on standard expected delivery times. We post alerts to our system, send mass customer communications, and share updates via customers’ assigned Account Managers. If impact is widespread and elongated in nature, we provide regular updates as is appropriate for the situation.
Our intention is to ensure we provide appropriate updates on our processing capabilities regarding the coronavirus. We want to ensure there is absolute clarity for our customers regarding any impact to our service based on this special case situation, as well as any other impact that may occur as normal course of business, such as court closures, government data site outages, etc.

Coronavirus Update
As the global escalation of the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues, I wanted to reach out and update you on the status of

There are currently no reported cases of the coronavirus within the organization at any of our offices, and all operations are continuing business as usual.

We are keeping our staff informed of all relevant updates and health advisories and are installing additional hand disinfection stations and reinforcing security procedures at our offices. We are closely monitoring all our sites and are prioritizing our Team Members’ safety, now and always.

We have contingency plans in place to maintain our operations should one of our offices need to close for the safety of our employees, to minimize any potential disruption in services. We have a diverse and largely distributed operational presence and are prepared for any fluctuations in employee attendance.

If you would like to learn more about the coronavirus, you can find the latest news and resources on the World Health Organization website. We will keep you informed of any updates regarding and our business. If you have any questions, please reach out to your Customer Service Team.

Thank you,