In a story demonstrating the importance of accreditation standards for private background screening firms, the Federal Times reports that the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) – which oversees background investigations for the government – is investigating a growing list of cases involving the alleged falsifying of security clearance background checks while a “consistent backlog” of similar cases awaits investigation. The complete story is available on the Federal Times website at

The Federal Times reports “at least 19 background investigators or researchers” have plead guilty to, or face sentencing for, falsifying background checks since 2008. OPM’s Inspector General Patrick McFarland told lawmakers he is working on nine similar cases and has a backlog of 36 cases awaiting investigation due to a lack of resources. According to the Federal Times, the government has spent more than $1.5 million to reopen falsified investigations to ensure applicants deservedly received clearances.

In a related story reported on ESR News, the private contractor that conducted a security clearance background check on Edward Snowden in 2011 that gave him access to classified documents from the National Security Agency (NSA) that he later leaked to the media is under investigation by the federal government for allegedly conducting inadequate background checks. OMG Inspector General McFarland told a Senate panel “there may be some problems” with Snowden’s background check.

Falsified background checks show the importance of accreditation standards for private screening firms. In 2010, the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) launched the Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP) to promote best practices, consumer protection, and legal compliance. The Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC) oversees the accreditation process to ensure screening firms that apply meet measurable standards of competence.

To become NAPBS accredited, background screening organizations must pass a rigorous onsite audit conducted by an independent auditing firm that examines policies and procedures related to six critical areas of screening: Consumer Protection, Legal Compliance, Client Education, Product Standards, Service Standards, and General Business Practices. A copy of the accreditation standards as well as a list of accredited screening firms is available on the NAPBS website at

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – ‘The Background Check Authority®’ – is a nationwide screening firm accredited by the NAPBS®. For more information about background checks, please visit or call Toll Free 888.999.4474.


About Employment Screening Resources® (ESR):

Founded by safe hiring expert Attorney Les Rosen in 1997, Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – ‘The Background Check Authority®’– provides accurate and actionable information that empowers employers to make informed hiring decisions for the benefit of their organizations, employees, and the public. CEO Rosen literally wrote the book on background checks with “The Safe Hiring Manual” and ESR is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), a distinction held by a small percent of screening firms. Employers choosing ESR know they have selected an agency meeting the highest industry standards. To learn more about ESR, visit or call toll free 888.999.4474.

About ESR News: 

The Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) News blog – ESR News – provides employment screening information for employers, recruiters, and jobseekers on a variety of topics including credit reports, criminal records, data privacy, discrimination, E-Verify, jobs reports, legal updates, negligent hiring, workplace violence, and use of search engines and social network sites for background checks. For more information about ESR News or to send comments or questions, please email ESR News Editor Thomas Ahearn at [email protected]. To subscribe to the ESR News Blog Feed, visit To subscribe to the complimentary ESRcheck Report monthly newsletter, please visit


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