Small businesses are advised to conduct background screenings on potential employees to prevent overall risk to their companies' and consumers' security. However, government agencies are failing to provide a good example.
The U.S. Department of Justice failed to meet the required 60-day rule for processing background checks of new employees who would be privy to sensitive information and need "National Security" clearance. As a result, a report from the Justice Department's Office of Inspector General explained that the time to complete background checks has gone from 99 days to 190 days - an increase of 92 percent. Furthermore, this means that individuals without a completed background check may have access to sensitive information. "The tracking of data on the status of employee background investigations, clearance levels and reinvestigations was inconsistent and often incomplete," the report states. "The lack of information makes it difficult to ensure that only individuals with the appropriate clearance level have access to sensitive and classified information." Under the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, the agency is required to grant 90 percent of National Security Information clearances within 60 days.