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Convened by National Conference on Volunteering and Service National Service Criminal History Checks Advanced 201 - 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 Advanced 201 - June 2012 Douglas Godesky, Senior Grants."— Presentation transcript:

1 Convened by National Conference on Volunteering and Service National Service Criminal History Checks Advanced 201 - June 2012 Douglas Godesky, Senior Grants Officer Kinza Ghaznavi, Grants Management Specialist

2 Scenario – Table of Contents 1.Incurred Costs 2.Ineligible to Serve 3.Initiating Checks 4.Accompaniment 5.Effective Dates 6.Break in Service – AmeriCorps 7.Break in Service – Staff 8.Staff Check 9.NSOPR Documentation 10.Partner Clearance Letters 11.Vendor Selection

3 Scenario 1- INCURRING COSTS True or False : National service criminal history check costs incurred prior to the award of a new grant from CNCS can never be charged to the grant. False. With advance written permission, any allowable cost may be permitted as a pre-award cost, including criminal history check costs.

4 Scenario 2 – Eligibility When asked about past convictions during the application process the candidate did not disclose any. A National Service Criminal History Check returned a DUI result. Is this applicant eligible to serve? Answer: No because anyone who makes a false statement in connection with a programs inquiry concerning the individuals criminal history 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. Who else is ineligible to serve? Anyone who refuses to undergo the Check may not 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.

5 Scenario 3 - INITIATING CHECKS A program conducted NSOPR checks on all its applicants prior to their big training and orientation in July. On the first day of orientation they have applicants give written consent to conduct the checks, and fingerprint all the applicants for their FBI and State checks. Is the program in compliance? Answer: Yes. The initiation of checks must be documented no later than start of service/work (which includes training and orientation if you are counting those hours). The program should develop policies and procedures that ensure documentation of the initiation is being consistently maintained for each individual.

6 Scenario 4 - ACCOMPANIMENT Now that the program has initiated checks they are waiting on the FBI and State results. For those individuals who do not have access to vulnerable populations, service has begun immediately. For all others, they have been performing supervision until they have the results. Is the program in compliance? Answer: No. Accompaniment is a higher standard than mere supervision. Accompaniment can be conducted by anyone cleared to have access to vulnerable populations, including guardians of the vulnerable individual, non CNCS funded staff who have access based on the nature of their profession – e.g. nurses, teachers. Until the final rule is in effect, accompaniment may cease when either the FBI OR State checks have cleared.

7 Scenario 5 – Effective Dates A county government agency has 5 employees working at the agencys headquarters office. The agency also employs 5 field staff, 3 of whom are assigned to the FGP program, while 2 are assigned to the SCP program. Everyone has worked for the organization since 2006. How many of these 10 covered individuals had to undergo two-part checks, and how many must undergo heightened three-part checks after the law changed effective April 11, 2011? Answer: None. two- or three-part checks are not required, but everyone needed an NSOPR check within 90 days of 11/23/07. This is because all of these employees were on-board when the 2007 regulations went into effect.

8 Scenario 6 - BREAK IN SERVICE (AmeriCorps) Twenty-five AmeriCorps members want to re-enroll for a second term. What controls the determination of whether or not the 25 second term members will or will not need a new Check? Answer: The Member Service Agreement (MSA) is the controlling document. The number of days elapsed from the end date of a members first MSA to the start date of the same members subsequent MSA determines whether or not there has been a break in service. Breaks over 30 days require a new check.

9 Scenario 7 - BREAK IN SERVICE (STAFF) A non-profit screens all new hire employees using the same standards that CNCS requires for a national service criminal history check. In 2012, an employee of that non-profit since 2005, who has been assigned to HUD-funded housing project duties was selected for an internal vacancy to work under the organizations Senior Corps Senior Companion program. Does the employee need to undergo a new Check? Answer: A new check is required. The employee was not a covered individual in 2005 through 2012, therefore his/her check is considered pre-existing, it pre-dates the application to work or serve in a national service program.

10 Scenario 8 – STAFF CHECK An office staff person becomes ill, exhausts his paid leave, and goes on unpaid leave under the organizations leave policies. After six months he returns to work in the office. What types of new Check components must this individual undergo? Answer: Office employee: none since he had no break in service or work, remaining employed until he returned to work supporting the same two programs. A field staff person becomes ill, has enough paid leave to stay out a year with pay, returns to work but is assigned to work in the FGP program when previously he had been working in the SCP program. What types of new Check components must this individual undergo? Answer: Field employee: Three-part Check due to a change in program even though the individual remained employed by the same organization.

11 Scenario 9 - NSOPR DOCUMENTATION A national service program grantee prints and then scans the NSOPR checks. The paper screen prints were printed without any dates on them and notes were not written on the paper regarding clearing the name matches that showed up against the photo ID of the applicants. The paper records were destroyed and the program now only has the PDF files. Is the program in compliance? Answer: No. To be in compliance the program needs to have a dated result of the NSOPR. If there are hits, then the results should be documented on the printout in a manner indicating that the hits were examined and cleared.

12 Scenario 10 - PARTNER CLEARANCE LETTERS A program receives a Check clearance letter from its partner, a state- licensed nursing home. The clearance letter is coded green for a cleared check and red for a failed check. The partner obtains its criminal history information as rap sheets from the State Police, and in that State, the State Police are the designated repository of criminal history information. Does this procedure meet the Corporations standards for a compliant Check record? Answer: Maybe. If the nursing home permits the program and Corporation access to the rap sheet records, then the check is compliant (for the State check component). If the nursing home does not permit access to the rap sheets, then an ASP is required to use this procedure since the nursing home is not a State criminal history check repository and its clearance letter is not an official result. To use the procedure where the result comes from a middleman who interprets the check data, the grantee must obtain approval for an ASP.

13 Scenario 11 - VENDOR SELECTION A program wants to use a vendor that describes its checks as better than using state repositories because it uses City and County level court records updated daily whereas state repositories are often updated less often. The vendor also ensures that it is in compliance with State and Federal laws such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act because it limits record disclosure to no more than 7 years. The vendor assures clients that it will send someone to check all court records for every county in a state where the candidate has lived, advising that these direct examinations of records are far superior to relying on statewide databases. Should the program engage the vendor to perform its Checks? Answer: The program should submit an ASP request describing how the vendor checks are substantially equivalent to the requirements of CNCS. In this case, the vendor is using an alternate source which must be analyzed by programs when submitting an ASP. CNCS requires that checks include all years of data present as far back as the repositories so the vendor check as presented would be rejected. You do not need an ASP to use a vendor obtaining and retaining results from CNCS designated sources.

14 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

15 Discussion and Questions Questions:

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