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  • FOI request for applicant testing records

    Law enforcement agencies are notoriously tight-lipped about their reasons for not hiring someone. Could an applicant make a Freedom of Information request for their own results?

  • #2
    Originally posted by orangebottle View Post
    Law enforcement agencies are notoriously tight-lipped about their reasons for not hiring someone. Could an applicant make a Freedom of Information request for their own results?
    How about some back story as to why you are doing this first OP?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Tommy_V View Post

      How about some back story as to why you are doing this first OP?
      I believe OP is already a working cop.

      Actually, as someone who did backgrounds, later over saw backgrounds and spent seven years in charge of hiring and firing, I agree with the OP.

      I believe applicants should be told why they were DQed. If the DQ was based on an error made in the background, they should have an opportunity to correct that error. If the DQ was valid, they should know what it was, so they can make corrections in their lifestyle that will allow them to become upstanding citizens in the future and try again if the error is not fatal. If the error is a fatal one, they should know so they can avoid wasting their time and that of other agencies by testing in the future.

      There is one exception to this. Employers, neighbors, relatives, etc., are promised anonymity when given the applicant's waiver as part of the investigation process. All information that might identify its source should be redacted before it is given to an applicant. If redaction removes the reason for DQ, then the applicant will be out of luck, but they can be told the general reason (lack of maturity, inability to follow simple written instructions, dishonesty, etc.)

      Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

      Comment


      • #4
        Are we talking State, Local, or Federal? On the Federal side information such as that usually gets redacted in its almost entirety, or you just get a generic response. You could file a request, but it isn't unreasonable to expect it would get "lost".

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by L-1 View Post

          I believe OP is already a working cop.

          Actually, as someone who did backgrounds, later over saw backgrounds and spent seven years in charge of hiring and firing, I agree with the OP.

          I believe applicants should be told why they were DQed. If the DQ was based on an error made in the background, they should have an opportunity to correct that error. If the DQ was valid, they should know what it was, so they can make corrections in their lifestyle that will allow them to become upstanding citizens in the future and try again if the error is not fatal. If the error is a fatal one, they should know so they can avoid wasting their time and that of other agencies by testing in the future.

          There is one exception to this. Employers, neighbors, relatives, etc., are promised anonymity when given the applicant's waiver as part of the investigation process. All information that might identify its source should be redacted before it is given to an applicant. If redaction removes the reason for DQ, then the applicant will be out of luck, but they can be told the general reason (lack of maturity, inability to follow simple written instructions, dishonesty, etc.)
          Federal backgrounds=All sources are given the Privacy Act, your name and information will be put into a typed report and the subject can request a copy. No anonymity! I’ve foia’d my bi for a job I did get. No redactions.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Tommy_V View Post

            How about some back story as to why you are doing this first OP?
            I'm not doing it; just curious.

            As L-1 surmised, I'm a working cop. Have been for over 20 years.

            Back in my applicant days (the most recent of which wasn't so long ago, as I've changed agencies a couple of times), I was frustrated when cops I knew at a department told me I'd be a perfect fit, but then I would get bounced early in the process and no one in the recruiting staff could/would tell me why. I persevered and eventually got the position I wanted, but it required multiple attempts and a bit of inside intel (nothing unethical or inappropriate) that I got from contacts I had within the department. Once I had a better idea of why I was not progressing in the process, I was able to adjust my approach. When I did, I flew through the process and got the job. And the role turned out to be the 'perfect fit' both I and the department were looking for.

            If I had been privvy to what was hanging me up early on, neither I nor the department would have wasted 18 months of time and effort in filling the position and more quickly helped with the department's understaffing problem.

            I'm not naive -- an applicant filing an FOI request for their application records probably isn't going to stand a great chance of being hired by that particular department. But if someone's continually applying unsuccessfully and honestly doesn't know what's stuffing them, maybe something like this would help provide insight many departments seem unwilling to give up otherwise.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by L-1 View Post

              I believe OP is already a working cop.

              Actually, as someone who did backgrounds, later over saw backgrounds and spent seven years in charge of hiring and firing, I agree with the OP.

              I believe applicants should be told why they were DQed. If the DQ was based on an error made in the background, they should have an opportunity to correct that error. If the DQ was valid, they should know what it was, so they can make corrections in their lifestyle that will allow them to become upstanding citizens in the future and try again if the error is not fatal. If the error is a fatal one, they should know so they can avoid wasting their time and that of other agencies by testing in the future.

              There is one exception to this. Employers, neighbors, relatives, etc., are promised anonymity when given the applicant's waiver as part of the investigation process. All information that might identify its source should be redacted before it is given to an applicant. If redaction removes the reason for DQ, then the applicant will be out of luck, but they can be told the general reason (lack of maturity, inability to follow simple written instructions, dishonesty, etc.)
              Most everyone who responded to a similar question posed in another post responded with something to the effect of "applicants are not told why to reduce litigation over 'unfair' hiring practices". I can see why that's a valid argument but to your point, there's plenty of good applicants that just miss the mark in one area or another and would greatly benefit themselves and the department who would otherwise hire them if they knew what to improve upon.

              My question is, wouldn't a simple legal proviso, like a waiver of litigation or something to that effect, be the happy medium? The agency agrees to release the reason(s) why the applicant was not hired but the applicant cant sue in response? I'm not a lawyer or very versed in how the field of litigation works so it may be a dumb question but I'm genuinely curious.
              "It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived."- George S. Patton Jr.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by COMoparfan392 View Post

                My question is, wouldn't a simple legal proviso, like a waiver of litigation or something to that effect, be the happy medium? The agency agrees to release the reason(s) why the applicant was not hired but the applicant cant sue in response? I'm not a lawyer or very versed in how the field of litigation works so it may be a dumb question but I'm genuinely curious.
                Because you can't mandate that someone waive a lawful right to discover that they may have been improperly harmed by a government agency.

                In most instances, an applicant can obtain all the disqualifying information in their package by filing an appeal from their background DQ with the civil service body that governs the hiring agency.

                This information should be provided to the applicant's attorney in discovery. At hearing, the hiring agency will have to present their case, justifying their disqualification and the basis for it. They will have to present documentation, witnesses, etc., show how the applicant met the criteria for DQ and establish the validity of the DQ criteria in relationship to the job being sought. Applicant's attorney can then challenge the evidence, witnesses, sufficiency of the DQ criteria, etc.


                Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

                Comment

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