Policy change to speed up state background checks
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The West Virginia State Police is making it easier for organizations that serve children, the elderly and disabled individuals to obtain the results of federal background checks of potential employees.
The agency has revised its policy to allow the state's background check contractor, MorphoTrust, to submit potential employees' fingerprints to the FBI. MorphoTrust would receive the results and provide them to the employer.
Previously, the employer had to obtain the fingerprints from MorphoTrust and submit them to the FBI with a signed released from the job seeker. The job seeker would receive the results and provide them to the employer.
"We're excited about it. It does exactly what we wanted it to do. It works well for our population, because there's not another process or mechanism,'' Mark Drennan, executive director of the West Virginia Behavioral Health Care Providers Association, told the Charleston Daily Mail.
Drennan said the old process was cumbersome and potentially dangerous because job seekers could tamper with the results.
"It'll cause better information that goes back to the individual entities that are making decisions about foster parents or volunteers and employees, and it will speed up the process,'' said Scott Boileau, executive director of the Alliance for Children, Inc. "I'm encouraged.''
Drennan and Boileau had been working with state lawmakers to draft a bill that would streamline the state's background check system. They say that legislation is no longer necessary.
Boileau and Drennan appeared before the Legislature's Select Committee on PEIA, Seniors and Long Term Care in January to discuss problems their organizations were having with the state background check system and with MorphoTrust.
Drennan said MorphoTrust didn't have enough locations in the state to accommodate all areas. This caused delays before some employers received the results of background checks for potential employees.
There also were billing problems. Some businesses were billed multiple times for the same background statements. Others received statements intended for other businesses.
MorphoTrust has been working to correct these problems.
"It doesn't matter to me how big or small the state is, we gave our word this thing would operate right,'' said Charles Carroll, MorphoTrust senior vice president. "We have big customers. I have New York, Texas, a number of very big states. We've never had any difficulties with them.''
The company has increased its locations in West Virginia from 12 to 17. Two more locations are planned in the next month or so.
Carroll said the company also wants to establish a card scanning center in West Virginia, which would provide a quicker turnaround time for state background checks when clients' fingerprints must be taken using the ink-and-paper method. Fingerprint cards are now shipped to Nashville, Tenn.