GSA Contrators Given Access to Information Systems without Background Checks

I realize that our government is so large that often things slip through the cracks, but how can it happen that the General Services Administration let contract workers have access to their information systems without being subjected to a background check?

IG: GSA contractors get system access before background checks

This excerpt from the article says it all: In its audit, the IG said current safeguards do not guarantee that officials will complete investigations before granting access to agencies’ information systems. Even security measures mandated by Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12, which requires credentials for all federal employees and government contractors after they have undergone a background check, does not offer that protection.

In this day and age, information systems are a treasure trove to those with nefarious motives. How can our government not recognize that and take our security more seriously? Shouldn’t there be some accountability here?

19th Annual Retail Theft Survey

Hayes International just completed its 19th Annual Retail Theft Survey and I found the results to be very interesting. See in particular some bullet points related to employee theft. Remaining highlights of the study can be viewed by clicking the hyperlink above.

Employee Theft
• In 2006, survey participants apprehended 66,507 dishonest employees, an increase of 6.57 percent over 2005’s apprehensions.
• Dollars recovered from dishonest employee apprehensions totaled over $56.6 million in 2006, a substantial increase of 16.44 percent over 2005’s recovery dollars ($48.6 million).
• One out of every 27.9 employees was apprehended for theft from their employer in 2006. (Based on comparison data of over 1.85 million employees.)
• The average dishonest employee case value in 2006 was $851.44, a 9.26 percent increase over 2005 ($779.27).

It Must Have Been the Blog: University of Kansas Considers Background Checks

Beware colleges and universities. If you end up getting called out in this blog for failure to protect your school, it is only a matter of time until you change your tune. Last month we highlighted an incident at Colorado University where a school employer with a criminal past stabbed a student. No background check was conducted. This blogger was the first to tell you about it (maybe not) and the school quickly announced that their non-screening days were over.

So it was no surprise to me when the University of Kansas said that they will reconsider their policies on conducting employee background checks after we called them out earlier this week. (Please feel free to clap for me while I am patting myself on the back).

Seriously, it is a wonder to me that in this day and age any organization, corporation or academic institution needs to be convinced that employment background checks are a good idea. Not conducting them is simply mismanagement and neglect of the organization itself, its employees and the people they serve. It does seem that the last bastion of those putting their heads in the sand are our nation’s universities and it is time for change.

University of Kansas Reveals Background Check Policy: There Is None

Many universities thrive on their time honored traditions and pride themselves on staying true to the pillars of their foundations. One such foundation that is beginning to crack at schools across the country is the tradition of not thoroughly screening university employees for past criminal convictions.

One place that is clinging to the past is the University of Kansas, where they freely admit that their background check consists of a Sex Offender Search and asking the applicant of they have been convicted of a crime.

I’ll let the article speak for itself. Anyone think this is a tradition worth saving?

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