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Convened by National Conference on Volunteering and Service National Service Criminal History Checks Basics 101 – June 2012 Douglas Godesky, Senior Grants.

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Presentation on theme: "Convened by National Conference on Volunteering and Service National Service Criminal History Checks Basics 101 – June 2012 Douglas Godesky, Senior Grants."— Presentation transcript:

1 Convened by National Conference on Volunteering and Service National Service Criminal History Checks Basics 101 – June 2012 Douglas Godesky, Senior Grants Officer Kinza Ghaznavi, Grants Management Specialist

2 Individual in a Covered Position An Individual who receives a salary, stipend, living allowance, or a national service education award. An individual in a covered position may be paid wholly from federal share, wholly from matching dollars, or from a mixture of federal and non-federal funds. The source of the funds has no impact on the status of a position as covered or not covered.

3 Individual in a Covered Position Testing to determine coverage: Positions (e.g., program coordinator; host site supervisor, etc.) listed on your funded grant budget under Federal, State, and/or Grantee Share (matching) Positions for which the salary, stipend or similar are included on the expenditure report (FFR) as Federal, State and/or Grantee Share (matching) For grants without budgets (Fixed amount) individuals serving or working in positions under the grant are covered If someone is paid through the program, either by the grantee or by a partner organization, to perform program activities and the value of that persons compensation is on the grant budget or the value is included in reported expenditures, then that person is an individual in a covered position. Pay attention to: Changes you make after the budget is approved Expenditures you might include to meet an unanticipated shortage of matching share contribution

4 Ineligible to Serve/Work Anyone who refuses to undergo the Check may not serve. Anyone who makes a false statement in connection with a programs inquiry concerning the individuals criminal history is ineligible to serve. Anyone listed, or required to be listed, on a sex offender registry is ineligible to serve. Anyone convicted of murder as defined and described in 18 U.S.C. § 1111 is ineligible to serve. Programs should develop criminal history check policies that are fair to the individual, protect the populations they serve, and guard their organizations against liability.

5 Vulnerable Population children age 17 and younger persons age 60 and older individuals with disabilities

6 Recurring Access the ability on more than one occasion to approach, observe, or communicate with, an individual, through physical proximity or other means, including but not limited to, electronic or telephonic communication. (45 CFR 2510.20)

7 National Sex Offender Public Registry Statewide criminal history registry/registries FBI nationwide Criminal History Record Information (CHRI) CHRI may be self-obtained or adjudicated result from authorized recipient, e.g., state repository Obtaining FBI check does not substitute for the required one or two statewide repository checks NO RECURRING ACCESS – Basic 2 Part Check RECURRING ACCESS – Heightened 3 Part Check

8 Federal Compliance Requirements NSOPR check completed before service/work begins Criminal history check(s) initiated no later than the start of service/work Verify identity with government photo identification Obtain written authorization prior to initiating checks Document understanding that selection is subject to the checks Determine where the checks must be obtained from Pay for the checks Provide opportunity for review of findings Keep information confidential Accompaniment while checks are pending when in contact with vulnerable populations Maintain the results of the checks Document that you verified identity and conducted the checks Document that you considered the results of the checks

9 Criminal History Checks – Timing Perform and document nationwide NSOPR check prior to start of service/work. Covered individuals cannot serve or work before the program completes the nationwide NSOPR. There is no allowance or exception to the nationwide NSOPR check and having a cleared individual accompany the individual has no bearing on the requirement to conduct the check prior to service. Any hours the individual serves before they are documented as clearing a nationwide NSOPR check cannot be counted towards service. Initiate State and FBI checks no later than the start of service/work. Members can start service while State/FBI checks are pending. But they cannot have access to vulnerable populations unless they are accompanied at all times by someone who has been cleared for access.

10 Documentation You Must Create and Retain Maintain the results of the checks Document that you verified the individuals identity and conducted the checks Document that you considered the results of the checks Results of nationwide NSOPR checks are dated screen prints of the results of the nationwide NSOPR search. That result should be annotated to document who confirmed that any hits are not the same persons as the candidate you are checking. Results of the criminal information records are the actual criminal history rap sheets, or an adjudicated result from the official state repository or an FBI authorized recipient. To retain anything else in lieu of the actual results, such as a clearance letter from a school, requires approval of an alternate search procedure.

11 Episodic Access (Proposed Rule**) access that is not a regular, scheduled, and anticipated component of an individuals position description. For covered individuals with episodic access to a vulnerable population the program is not required to conduct the heightened check on the individual. Mitigate risk by: Label position descriptions as having access or not having access to vulnerable populations Inform employees/participants of their determinations Periodically review determinations **Disclaimer: Because the proposed rule is not yet final, the content of the final rule may be different than the proposed rule as a part of the regulatory process.

12 Alternate Search Procedure (ASP) If the answer is yes to all of the following … Are the correct required sources used? (NSOPR, States, and FBI) Are the checks performed on the required timeline? Is there access to check results for oversight & monitoring? Are the results coming from the primary source for a state? (a school or partner declaration is not an official check result, requires an ASP) Are all requirements found in regulations followed? … then the checks are compliant and there is no need for an ASP … does not matter if performed by primary grantee or partner … if one or more no answers, then an ASP is needed

13 Alternate Search Procedure Pay attention to: Defining exactly what variance you are seeking Offering an alternative that is substantially equivalent Providing evidence to support equivalency claims Providing technical details when systems are involved Perform accompaniment for those with recurring access to vulnerable populations while ASP decision is pending

14 Enrollment (Reinforcement of definition) Enrollment is the date when a individual in a covered position begins employment or starts service under a national service program. For example: – Member service contract start date – New employee on-board start work date Enrollment is not the date that a program enters a member name into the AmeriCorps Portal. No later than the enrollment date, the National sex offender registry check must be completed, and State and FBI checks must have been initiated!

15 FBI Channelers (New resource) The FBI offers two methods for an individual to request their FBI Identification Record or proof that a record does not exist. – Option 1: Individuals may submit their request directly to the FBI.directly to the FBI – Option 2: Individuals may submit their request to an FBI- approved Channeler, which is a private business that has contracted with the FBI receive the fingerprint submission and relevant data, collect the associated fee(s), electronically forward the fingerprint submission with the necessary information to the FBI CJIS Division for a national criminal history record check, and receive the electronic record check result for dissemination to the individual.FBI- approved Channeler Go to:

16 Gap Period A covered individual hired by, or enrolled in, a program on, or after, April 21, 2011, who then departed the program before the effective date of the regulation (TBD), is not subject to the special rule for recurring access to vulnerable populations. Accompaniment may cease when either State checks or an FBI check clears a covered individual as eligible to serve, until new final regulations are in effect. Once the final regulations are in effect, accompaniment will be required until all components of a 3-part check are completed. Accompaniment can only be performed by someone who has been cleared for access to the vulnerable population.

17 Common Compliance Findings (What not to do…) Programs allowed individuals in covered positions to start service or work before the program performs the nationwide NSOPR. Programs allowed individuals in covered positions unaccompanied access to vulnerable populations before the criminal history information results from state repository or FBI checks were completed State and FBI checks are being initiated after the individuals start service or work.

18 Consequences If program fails to comply with the requirements, the Corporation may disallow the service hours and apply the same policies in these cases as we apply to improperly certified education awards and ineligible stipends, salaries or living allowances. If the problem is widespread or the program was negligent, the program may be required to pay the Corporation for the full amount of any associated grant-funded program costs (e.g., stipends, salaries, living allowance) and the National Service Trust for any earned education award. If the program was not negligent or the problem was an isolated lapse, the program may be required to pay only the portion of the stipend, salary or living allowance and education award earned before the NSOPR results were established and other checks were initiated.

19 Tools and Resources Resource Center – Regulations – FAQs and Alerts – Instructions on how to request an ASP – Fact Sheets, e.g., FBI checks ASP submission and status questions: – – Kim Hammonds, Office of Grants Management,, or 202.606.6968

20 Discussion and Questions Questions:

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