ISPLA ALERT HR 4112 Security Related
- Legislation introduced by Congressman Thomas Marino (R-PA-10), if passed,
will allow DOJ Authorized Third Party Screeners to Conduct FBI Checks in
Instances Where States Do Not Provide for Such.
The National Association of Security Companies (NASCO), representing
contract private security companies, has endorsed H.R. 4112, the Private
Security Officer Screening Improvement Act (PSOSIA), introduced March 6 by
Representative Thomas Marino (R-PA-10).
In 2004, Congress passed the PSOEAA, the Private Security Officer Employment
Authorization Act, recognizing the need for employers of private security
officers to have access to an important criminal background check -- the FBI
criminal history record check. However, the PSOEAA required such checks to
be conducted by a state government agency, and unfortunately, too many
states still do not provide the checks for all security officers eligible to
be checked under the PSOEAA. This effectively means that tens if not
hundreds of thousands of security officers in the United States work without
a full FBI check of their criminal history.
The PSOSIA amends the Private Security Officer Employment Authorization Act
(PSOEAA) to allow Department of Justice authorized "screening entities" to
conduct FBI checks on private security officers, as provided for in the
PSOEAA, for authorized employers when such checks are not available from the
State of employment.
"The PSOSIA will dramatically increase availability of FBI criminal
background checks for all private security officers," said Jeff Flint,
Executive Director of NASCO, "and that will make the public safer. The
public wants to know that when they rely on a private security officer for
their safety as they do in so many venues, that officer has been subject to
a background check. It's that simple."
The PSOSIA would allow employers of security officers, to go through a
Department of Justice-authorized "screening entity" for an FBI check when
the state of employment does not provide the check. A "screener" is defined
as a third-party entity authorized by DOJ to access FBI criminal records and
provide background checks for employers. Third party entities are already
being used for congressionally authorized FBI background checks in fields
such as banking, nursing homes, financial securities, and others. Their use
should also be expanded to private security. ISPLA has been actively working
to gain similar access for other entities and for additional purposes.
"NASCO has always been at the forefront of increasing standards and
professionalism in private security," continued Flint. "The current gap in
the PSOEAA is a public safety and homeland security risk and it must be
ISPLA supports this legislation and applauds NASCO's work in lobbying for
this important legislation. We also urge Congress to act quickly to adopt
Bruce Hulme, ISPLA Director of Government Affairs - www.ISPLA.org
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