Fedweek

The Postal Service does not always adhere to background screening requirements in determining the suitability of job applicants with either a criminal record or unfavorable results on their background checks, an IG report has said.

The report said that job applicants must complete an initial screening process that includes an interview, drug screening, and local criminal background check. A final suitability decision is made after a National Agency Check with Inquiries, or NACI, check. However, a review found “inconsistent practices among the districts related to making final suitability determinations and maintaining adequate justification documentation.”

Auditors sampled 200 employees among the nearly 5,300 hired in 2017 or 2018 after a criminal hit on their pre-screening background check and 201 of the nearly 6,300 hired after receiving an unfavorable NACI determination. Of the former group, 21 percent had no evidence of the required hiring approval certification and 4 percent had no evidence of the NACI investigation being conducted, and in total, 34 percent did not have a record of that investigation in their electronic official personnel files as required.

“These conditions occurred because the current hiring process lacks controls to validate compliance with approval certification, NACI investigations, and eOPF requirements. Additionally, for employees who receive unfavorable NACI results, there are inconsistent practices among the districts related to making final suitability determination and maintaining justification documentation because there is no formal policy or procedure promoting consistent behaviors or desired actions of management,” the report said.