Government Background Check
A government background check is a thorough and detailed check of the antecedents of an American citizen wanting to take up a job in a Federal agency that will require him or her to access classified information. The Office of Personnel Management is or OPM is responsible for conducting these checks on behalf of different Federal agencies. Besides, the Department of Defense and the Federal Bureau of Investigation conduct their own searches. These searches are always very detailed and cover all possible information about an individual.
A government background check includes information on all residential addresses of a person, all assets, accounts, credit reports, present employment and past employments. This is done to ensure that the person is loyal to the United States. Such though checking has become very mandatory after the September 11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre. This is felt necessary to ensure the security of the nation and its people.
Such detailed searches require a lot of time. For this reason completing the search requires a lot of time. It may take anywhere between 30 and 180 days to conduct and complete a search. The process involves many steps. First the applicant is given a detailed questionnaire to fill. They have to provide a lot of information about themselves in that questionnaire and provide names and contact info of people who can be contacted for verifying the information. Next the agency conducting the search may interview family and friends as well as contacts mentioned in the questionnaire to verify al the information supplied in the questionnaire. As an important verifying step the fingerprint of the person is recorded. This fingerprint points to the exact previous records of the person previously collected by the government.
Because such important information has to be disclosed many object to such searches. But they are being considered very essential to ensure the security and safety of the nation. Even private company is using these searches more and more to ensure that their employees are trustworthy and of good character. This is because recently numerous companies have been seen reeling under the burden of negligent hiring lawsuits. Any criminal or harmful activity by an employee of a company makes the company liable as well for hiring such a person. For this reason companies find it very necessary to run such thorough searches on applicants.
Government Background checks can protect a Federal Agency from the risk of sensitive data being leaked out. If the agency hires people who have a clean past, this risk is minimized. This way the safety of the entire nation is taken care of. The past of a person cannot guarantee his actions in the future. But they are a good indicator of the person’s character. A person with a clean past and good credit records is more likely to be an efficient and trustworthy employee. So much is the concern for security these days that such checks are becoming very essential. It is true that these require the disclosure of a lot of personal data. But still it must be kept in mind that almost everyone has to go through these checks and they are vital if we consider the current security concerns.
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