recommended reading

Bill would require FBI to fill in gaps in criminal records database

A bill introduced in the House would strengthen the accuracy of the FBI's criminal records database by requiring the U.S. Attorney General's Office to verify that crime data is up to date. Employers rely on the database to conduct background checks on potential hires.

The 2010 Fairness and Accuracy in Employment Background Checks Act would require the attorney general to find out from court offices, including those in state and local jurisdictions, the outcome of arrests whenever an employer requests a background check, and update that record in the National Crime Information Center database. In cases where the attorney general discovers an arrest was dismissed in court, he has 10 days to update the record before responding to the employer's request.

Employers often consult the NCIC database to conduct background checks on individuals applying for jobs in law enforcement, homeland security or organizations where they'd be working with vulnerable populations, such as children and the elderly. Typically only public sector entities can request FBI background checks, though certain private sector companies -- such as those supporting federal homeland security efforts -- can as well.

Bobby Scott, D-Va., chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security, introduced the bill on May 13 in response to a June 2006 report from the attorney general that showed nearly 50 percent of criminal records maintained in the NCIC database failed to note court decisions to dismiss arrests.

"In the current economy, neither employers nor workers can afford employment background records that are inaccurate or incomplete," Scott said in a statement e-mailed to Nextgov.

The legislation would give job applicants the opportunity to obtain a copy of records provided to a potential employer and challenge their accuracy and completeness. If the records are challenged, the attorney general would have 30 days to complete an investigation, make changes or deletions, and report those changes to the applicant and the employer.

"An incomplete and error-riddled criminal database cannot be the reason qualified workers don't earn a paycheck," Edward Wytkind, president of the AFL-CIO's transportation trades department, said in a statement. "This problem must get fixed. Workers and businesses -- as well as our economy -- suffer when qualified employees are kept off the job by uncorrected database errors."

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • Effective Ransomware Response

    This whitepaper provides an overview and understanding of ransomware and how to successfully combat it.

    Download
  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.