By Thomas Ahearn, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) News Editor

According to a new report from the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO), the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) bureau has taken steps to improve the accuracy and efficiency of the E-Verify electronic employment eligibility verification system used to check if workers are legally eligible to work in the country.

The report – GAO-11-146 Employment Verification (December 2010) – found that USCIS had boosted the E-Verify system’s accuracy by expanding the number of databases consulted to determine the legal status of a new hire and by establishing new quality control procedures that included making employers double-check information for employees found unauthorized to work in the U.S. and allowing E-Verify to automatically correct clerical errors.

More improvements to the E-Verify system mean that more eligible workers are being approved immediately. E-Verify immediately confirmed nearly 97.5 percent of 8.2 million new hires entered into the system during fiscal year 2009, while another 0.3 percent successfully contested their “tentative nonconfirmation” status. In addition, GAO found that the USCIS had taken more precautions to protect the personal information of employees.

Despite these improvements, GAO cautioned that “E-Verify remains vulnerable to identity theft and employer fraud.” Nevertheless, E-Verify – a free, web-based system that compares employee information on the Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 against records in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Social Security Administration (SSA) databases – is currently being used by at least 243,000 employers that ran more than 16 million queries in fiscal 2010, according to USCIS.

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – a leading background check provider to employers accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) – is also a Designated E-Verify Employer Agent that can help employers virtually eliminate I-9 form errors, improve the accuracy of their reporting, protect jobs for authorized workers, and help maintain a legal workforce. For more information on ESR’s E-Verify Service, visit

Founded in 1996 in the San Francisco area, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) wrote the book on background checks with ‘The Safe Hiring Manual’ by ESR founder and President Lester Rosen and is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) . To learn more about Employment Screening Resources, visit or contact Jared Callahan, ESR Director of Client Relations, at 415.898.0044 or [email protected].