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The Justice Department is accusing the company that ran the background checks on intelligence contractor Edward Snowden of faking hundreds of thousands of background checks run on intelligence workers.  All of these background checks allegedly took place between 2008 and 2012.

In the lawsuit, the DOJ claims that the background check company “devised and executed a scheme to deliberately circumvent contractually required quality reviews of completed background investigations in order to increase the company’s revenues and profits”.1   In this instance, they are claiming that the quality review process was sidestepped, with background checks being sent back to the clients without ever being reviewed.  This is seen as a way of boosting profits by simply rushing the background checks through to increase the volume able to be produced.

Obviously, the two most notable individuals screened by this company in or around the timeframe noted in the lawsuit are Edward Snowden, and Aaron Alexis, the individual who shot and killed a dozen people at the Washington Navy yard in 2013.  While it is not specifically noted in the case that either of these individuals were a result of what the DOJ is alleging, they are the most visible of all the possible 665,000 background checks that were not properly executed that we are aware of to date.

A background check can present a prospective employer with evidence of a pattern of negative behavior.  In other instances, there may be nothing in an applicant’s past that might inform what that individual might do in the future.  Regardless of the information contained within the report, the process of quality review and flagging legally reportable negative items for clients is one of the most important parts of the background check process.  Companies look to their provider to present background checks that are accurate and timely, and there should never be a question about the validity of the information provided if it has been done correctly.

While there are those background check companies that continue to cut corners, PeopleG2 takes things such as the quality review process seriously and ensures every employment screening, whether for a large contract or a small company, is returned using the same process for every report.