RD388 - Noncriminal Justice Background Checks - Process Improvement Study – October 2018

Executive Summary:

The Department processes almost 500,000 noncriminal justice background checks each year to provide a measure of safety and security for the citizens of the Commonwealth when determining who should be allowed positions of public trust or access to vulnerable populations such as children, the elderly, and the disabled. Because of the large volume of background checks, the lack of automation of the Department’s processes, and the complexity of the statutory scheme, it can take as long as three weeks to fill these requests. Often, this delay is intolerable for those with urgent needs. While the Department attempts to prioritize such exigencies, it is not possible to efficiently meet these demands in all cases.

This report examines the Department’s current procedures and the statutory scheme in detail before offering recommendations for improvements to better serve the needs of the Commonwealth. The proposed solutions involve simplification of the existing background check laws and full automation of the Department’s processes. The report concludes with a suggested path towards self-funding for this endeavor.