News & Resources

Canadian city's background check process compromised

Aug 04, 2011 Matt Roesly

The police department of Fredericton - the capital city of the Canadian province of New Brunswick - was recently praised for informing the public of a flaw in its criminal history background screening process that prevented a database of pardoned sex offenders from being accessed, according to the Fredericton Daily Gleaner. The mistake was determined to have been caused by human error during a software upgrade and is thought to have affected approximately 25,000 background checks conducted by the police department between mid-2003 and the end of last year. According to a Public Safety Canada study cited by the news source, only a small percentage of pardoned sex offenders go on to commit further crimes. However, local organizations are still taking steps to re-screen their workers. "Because of this disclosure, we are rechecking our staff, as a formality only," Nancy McCoy, acting executive director of the Fredericton Boys and Girls Club, told the news source. Since 1970, the country's National Parole Board has issued more than 234,000 pardons, 2.6 percent of which were later revoked, according to the Public Safety Department's website.