Too much insecurity, too many security background inquiries
Although I’ve lived in the metro DC area for eight years, I haven’t ever heard of “The Examiner.” A writer by the name of Melanie Scarborough misses the mark in a new article titled “Too much insecurity, too many security background inquiries.” Her somewhat weakly presented point, is that many government workers that undergo a background investigation shouldn’t need one. Furthermore, she seems to believe that background investigations are a waste of taxpayer money, and that uncovered information shouldn’t necessarily reflect on the person being investigated. She states:
“If a criminal record is uncovered that’s irrelevant to the job, does that disqualify a candidate? It would be difficult to make the case that a drunk-driving conviction renders someone unqualified to sort mail.”
Not unqualified physically, but perhaps unqualified if the mail is going to government officials or employees. Remember the anthrax letter scares or recent times, or was that not worth considering? The fact is this: A background investigation is conducted to help judge a person’s character. Someone that thinks so little of themselves and the law by getting a DUI, may not be the best person to be working in a government office where some information in the office should be safeguarded. Another good quote:
“The assumption that people who’ve passed background checks should be considered trustworthy and those who haven’t should be considered suspect is demonstrably specious. Millions of people in the private sector keep secrets every day.”
Actually,Â a large majority of employers these days conduct background investigations on new employees. Granted, they aren’t at the same level of a Federal security clearance investigation. But, Ms. Scarborough is daydreaming if she thinks that a large portion of private sector workers aren’t checked out. There are literally thousands of companies and web-based services that perform background checks on potential hires. Its one of the fastest growing segments of human resources.
The writer’s main points seem to be that background checks are “invasive”, expensive, and often unnecessary. Invasive they are, but for good reason. If someone doesn’t want to be subject to a background investigation, then find a job elsewhere. The expense is one as a taxpayer I’m willing to shoulder. In today’s post 9-11 world, where security is tantamount, we can’t ever be complacent.