Trump administration seeks to expand criminal background checks for federal job seekers

ABA Journal | April 16, 2019

The Trump administration has proposed a rule that would require federal job applicants to divulge whether they’ve been through criminal diversion programs meant to avoid conviction. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management proposed the rule change in February to increase the background check requirements and is currently receiving public comment. While the administration believes the change will improve applicant accuracy, advocates worry it will punish applicants never convicted of a crime. Under the rule change, Question No. 9 on the Declaration for Federal Employment, Optional Form 306 would ask, among other criminal background questions, whether the applicant in the last seven years has “been subject to judge or court specified conditions requiring satisfactory completion before a criminal charge has been or will be dismissed.” While the name of the form indicates otherwise, it is not optional to fill out when going through the federal employment process. “What this rule does is it makes coming in contact with the criminal justice system something you have to report when you are applying to a federal job, which is very different than being convicted of a crime,” says Kim Ball, director of the Justice Programs Office at American University and previously at the Department of Justice.

Spotlight

When we talk about Information and Communications Technology (ICT), we increasingly talk about how ICT is supporting innovation, driving change and transforming the way we work. This is as true for the public sector as it is for the private sector. The Australian Government recognises that the community expects government services to be responsive to their needs and available where and when they want them. Key to realising this vision is the effective use of ICT by government, including the adoption of cloud services.

Spotlight

When we talk about Information and Communications Technology (ICT), we increasingly talk about how ICT is supporting innovation, driving change and transforming the way we work. This is as true for the public sector as it is for the private sector. The Australian Government recognises that the community expects government services to be responsive to their needs and available where and when they want them. Key to realising this vision is the effective use of ICT by government, including the adoption of cloud services.

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