The House recently voted 260-145 to increase federal funding to states to further enhance their reporting to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Less than one week after the Isla Vista, California, shootings the House voted to increase funding by $19.5 million to support the states in their data collection and entry into the federal registry system. According to Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.), who helped sponsor the amendment, it was all for good reasons....
Federal Security Clearances
House Oversight Investigation On February 11, Rep. Darrell Issa's House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform published a staff report entitled, "Slipping Through the Cracks: How the D.C. Navy Yard Shooting Exposes Flaws in the Federal Security Clearance Process." In the report, the Committee reviews findings and recommendations from its investigation of the clearance review process conducted following the September 16, 2013, shooting by a security clearance holder at the Washington, D.C., Navy Yard. The Committee identifies five potential legislative improvements to the clearance review process:
- Continuous evaluation of the clearance holder;
- Incorporating Internet and social media sources into the review;
- Strengthening communication between adjudicators and investigators;
- Increasing mental health evaluations; and
- Increasing cooperation from state and local law enforcement.
Background Screening Trends to Watch
Ban the Box: According to the National Employment Law Project “American workers are treading water in the worst labor market since the Great Depression. To keep afloat, U.S. workers need strong policies and protections to support their ability to find work—their lifeline to economic and social stability. Yet an estimated 65 million U.S. adults who have criminal records often confront barriers that prevent even the most qualified from securing employment”. There is a growing national movement to remove the question "Have you ever been convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor?" from job applications – also known as “Ban the Box". The Ban-the-Box movement will continue to be a trend in 2014 as more states, municipalities, and private sector employers adopt this practice. The rationale for this is that screening out job...
How Much Do You Know About Your Vendors & Contractors
Construction fraud and unlicensed contractors can put you, your business, and your home in physical and financial danger. Under most state Statutes and local ordinances, contractors performing construction related work must be licensed. Also, most construction, electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing system work requires approval and permits from the local county Building Services. Typically, work that does not require a permit is typically cosmetic, such as: painting; installing or replacing floor coverings including carpet, vinyl, tile and wood; shelving; cabinet work and wallpapering. Although a permit is not necessary for painting and tile installation, a licensed contractor is required when you hire someone to perform this type of work. Unlicensed contractors are likely to also be uninsured. Consequently this puts...