Background checks falling off to-do lists

By The Mandarin

Thursday December 3, 2015

Western Australia’s Auditor General Colin Murphy says agencies are forgetting to undertake employee identity verification and background checks.

After auditing 10 agencies in WA for their practices for checking new employees and monitoring existing employees, Murphy says improvement is needed.

“A key activity of any agency is the recruitment of employees — effective verification and screening processes provide greater assurance that agencies are recruiting the most appropriate and suitable person for the role,” Murphy says.

Checks should include verification employees are who they say they are, employment history, educational qualifications, right to work in Australia, and for certain positions their criminal background.

Agencies with specific requirements tended to do better, Murphy says, such as working with children or legal practising certificates.

“However, in other agencies we found many instances where the identity, qualifications and criminal backgrounds were not checked. Good practice would also be to periodically check an existing employee’s circumstances or status, which may change over time.”

The WA Office of the Auditor General’s full report, Verifying Employee Identity and Credentials, is available on its website.


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