CORI and Massachusetts
We anticipate final regulations in the next few days dealing with CORI records.
We will update the cite at that time. If you have current questions contact
Larry Henry at: firstname.lastname@example.org
NAPBS Accreditation: The Grandfathering issue
Answer: The La Brea Tar Pits.
Question: What do you have left after eating the La Brea Tar Peaches?
---Johnny Carson as “Carnac the Magnificent”
The Le Brea tar pits in Los Angeles contain fossils ranging from saber tooth cats to Mammoths to dire wolves. If you are typical of many Consumer Reporting Agencies and have been in business any length of time your files probably contain some fossilized contracts with clients—contracts that do not contain all the stipulations that are required to become accredited.
At the NAPBS accreditation meeting in Nashville, the question came up about these “fossilized contracts.” The question was “The accreditation standard requires that our contract with employers contain certain stipulations. If our existing contract does not contain a required stipulation, do we have to go back to several hundred clients and get them to sign a new agreement that does contain the missing stipulation or, can we just revise our contract to contain the stipulation and go forward?”
The answer was that you do NOT have to go back and get previous clients to sign new contracts—but you DO need to revise your current contract and use it going forward. Many CRAs have reviewed the accreditation standard for client agreements, looked at their client agreement, looked at their client list, pondered the process for having all these clients sign a new agreement—and taken a nap on accreditation. The flexibility of grandfathering some of these contracts should wake you up from your nap if this has been the problem.
But with that said, I’ll do some editorializing. If your contract is close, but missing a little something, I would make the change and begin using the new contract without going back. On the other hand, if you have a contract that is missing, say, an agreement by your client that they must have a permissible purpose or agreement to abide by the FCRA, I would make an effort to update old contracts.
The reason is that if there is an issue from a consumer, regulatory agency or even the client, a sub-standard agreement could ruin your P/L statement for the year.
The accreditation standard is not fluff. Werner Heisenberg, the famous German theoretical physicist who made foundational contributions to quantum mechanics (and a lot of other stuff I don’t understand) had a quote that is easier to understand: “An expert is someone who knows some of the worst mistakes that can be made in his subject and how to avoid them.”
The NAPBS accreditation standard is an expert blueprint for Consumer Reporting Agencies—the worst mistakes to avoid, the best practices to incorporate, and the requirement to document and internalize the program. And when you find yourself as the defendant (or potential defendant) in a lawsuit, or in the cross-hairs of a state or federal regulator’s “inquiry” those practices and documentation will matter.
And so if the prospect of retroactively getting signatures from hundreds or thousands of old clients is holding you back from accreditation, think again. But at the same time, understand that accreditation is not an intellectual exercise but a way to incorporate the best practices gleaned from the experience of your peers.
Note: This article was written by Derek Hinton,President of CRAzoom (www.crazoom.com) a company providing complete accreditation assistance to CRAs.
San Luis Obispo Superior Court
Per PRRN Member Judith Smith,
the Executive Director of the San Luis Obispo Superior Court - Ms. Susan
Matherly - has simply had enough. Ms. Matherly has had it with all the public
record search firms hired by employers to check criminal records of local
residents that apply for jobs. On March 14th she announced at a local Bar
Association luncheon that she was shutting down the public access terminal to
background screening firms. And on Monday March 19th she did it. The
IT staff removed the public access computer and put it in a locked
room to be accessible only by attorneys and their investigators.
To better understand Ms.
Matherly's logic, consider the following summarized statements she also made at
the March 14th luncheon, as reported by Ms. Smith:
- Public access information was never intended for background screeners.
Background screening companies just make people not get hired.
- Employers shouldn't be using background screening companies, but rather
should be using the DOJ/LiveScan [the FBI].
- There are penal codes stating that the type of research that background
screening researchers are doing is illegal. [But she refused to mention what
these laws are.]
- Background screening companies and researchers are not trained to know what
they are doing.
- There is no identifying information in the computer to know if a researcher
has indentified the correct person. [Note: The terminal does display a full name
and the DOB.]
At present according to
Judith Smith, Ms Matherly has instructed the Superior Court Clerks to do the
- Only attorneys and their investigators now have access to the locked room
where the public access computer with access to the public records now resides.
- Clerks are not allowed to provide dockets to anyone except to the defendant
or their attorney of record.
- Record searchers may only provide clerks with 10 names a day.
- Clerks may only provide very limited information (for
free) if there is only one recent case. Only data provided are the case #,
violation and disposition date, the charge and disposition for convictions. If a
charge was dismissed the clerk will not inform the requester. Also, no
information is provided on sentencing or parole violations. However, the
researcher can obtain this information for a $15.00 fee.
- If a subject name has more than one case, the clerks will only provide the
case numbers. The researchers then must order each file to review for a $15.00
fee per case.
For those interested:
Judith Smith can be reached
The presiding judge and Ms.
Matherly's supervisor is Judge Barry LaBarbera.
Ms. Matherly can be reached
Director, Superior Court
Obispo, CA 93408
Ability to Verify SS Number Changes as of June 2011
June 24th, 2011 was the last day the Social Security
Administration (SSA) assigned a Social Security Number (SSN) based on the
numeric order within a state's allocation of the first 5 digits. All unassigned
numbers within the numeric sequence have now been placed in a random pool.
Effective June 27, the assignment of a new SSN is much like a lottery; a random
number is drawn from the unassigned pool of 420 million numbers available for
For example, the Series of 048-15-xxxx was assigned to CT and was
used to issue new SSNs. Effective June 27, all of the possible unassigned
numbers within that Series have been assigned to the random pool. Therefore
someone in any state or an immigrant coming into the country could be assigned
an SSN in the 048-15 series this year or any year in the future. There are 755
Series groups that were in the process of being assigned as of June 2011. There
are over 75,000 groups have had all possible numbers within the group previously
For years employers, investigators and background screening
firms have used software with the assigned SSN groups and
corresponding state/date range to validate the state and year of issuance
an SSN. The fact that the SSA will no longer provide the ability to validate
newly issued numbers has upset quite a few businesses and employers. However,
these validations will still be useful, although they will diminish in value
over time. Most people entering the workforce were assigned an SSN well before
June 27, 2011. The primary people entering the workforce with a new randomly
assigned SSN will be immigrants.
The Social Security Administration will continue to provide
opportunities for direct name based SSN verification. Internet based
verification services include:
There are stipulations. For example, the cost for SBSV is $5,000
to sign-up and $5.00 per verification.
For questions about the
randomization process, email email@example.com or visit www.ssa.gov/employer/randomization.html.