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  • After Background Investigation

    Hello all,

    I was curious how the process of Background Investigation to submitted packet works. I am currently in BI for a big department and was curious as to the specifics of the process.

    Does the background investigator make the big decision or does it get submitted to someone else to do so? If so, who are they generally?

    How much influence upon your outcome does the BI have?

    What types of things are entered into the packet from the investigator?

    Can non criminal oversights do damage? Example would be not remembering the EXACT date of a job, but putting what you remember to the best of your ability.

    I apologize for the onslaught of questions but I have grown to trust the good group of experienced officers/investigators here. Thanks in advance for anyone with insight.


  • #2
    It will vary from department to department. When I did backgrounds, the decision was mine, but it was subject to review and someone higher up could overrule me.

    Usually, agencies have specific criteria for disqualification that is spelled out in their civil service law. Your BI knows this criteria as well as his superiors. It's just a matter of who has authority to sign their name to the pass/fail paperwork. Nonetheless, the BI will not tell you, in case someone higher up has a differing interpretation.

    Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by L-1 View Post
      It will vary from department to department. When I did backgrounds, the decision was mine, but it was subject to review and someone higher up could overrule me.

      Usually, agencies have specific criteria for disqualification that is spelled out in their civil service law. Your BI knows this criteria as well as his superiors. It's just a matter of who has authority to sign their name to the pass/fail paperwork. Nonetheless, the BI will not tell you, in case someone higher up has a differing interpretation.
      Aah, I see. If I may ask, in your case, if you had a candidate who you felt wasn't a good fit and should be DQ'd, I assume you'd compile the evidence as to why?

      Purely out of curiosity, what were some of the factors you would come by that in your mind would spell a hard DQ?

      Comment


      • #4
        Decision depends on their process. I suspect that the BI has to justify ending one, just as they would to continue a background to be considered for employment. They have a lot of influence, as they will interpret what you say and do for the report.

        Kinds of things that are entered? Everything they can find about you will be added. Think of it as being on a month long interview, as long as your file is being reviewed.

        Oversights: You should be able to determine when you start or end a job, get a ticket or...? . If you still can't remember, figure it out by calling the company/court that you paid or worked for. Get all your data together and put it on the personal history statement and keep it up to date until you get hired somewhere.

        The way you capitalized EXACT leads me to believe that you have run into issues before regarding your data..... Lots of applicants, go the extra mile to have complete forms and it will help you get through it.
        I don't check to see if the glass is half full, I make sure its not dirty.

        Comment


        • #5
          In most agencies ...................it is different from other agencies BUT usually the Background Investigator is pretty low down on the process for a reason. They are to collect information & be somewhat unbiased in reporting that information for higher ranked administrators to use for a decision

          Lots of places they will allow the BI to make a recommendation , but that doesn't always mean the boss will follow that recommendation .
          Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

          My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by C Tucker View Post
            Decision depends on their process. I suspect that the BI has to justify ending one, just as they would to continue a background to be considered for employment. They have a lot of influence, as they will interpret what you say and do for the report.

            Kinds of things that are entered? Everything they can find about you will be added. Think of it as being on a month long interview, as long as your file is being reviewed.

            Oversights: You should be able to determine when you start or end a job, get a ticket or...? . If you still can't remember, figure it out by calling the company/court that you paid or worked for. Get all your data together and put it on the personal history statement and keep it up to date until you get hired somewhere.

            The way you capitalized EXACT leads me to believe that you have run into issues before regarding your data..... Lots of applicants, go the extra mile to have complete forms and it will help you get through it.
            You mentioned how have to be able to justify ending an investigation, does that usually occur if they find something they dislike or just because they've reached a conclusion to the natural process?

            also about my dates, you are correct, my after high school job has no record of my employment, and when i contacted them, they said they have no records of employment beyond 20xx, so to the best of my ability i wrote what i remembered based on the layout of other jobs. i informed my BI.

            also thank for the info Iowa! I appreciate the information. Im not worried about them uncovering some dark secret, moreso just curious as to the process.
            Last edited by opposingforce; 04-03-2017, 08:47 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by opposingforce View Post

              Aah, I see. If I may ask, in your case, if you had a candidate who you felt wasn't a good fit and should be DQ'd, I assume you'd compile the evidence as to why?

              Purely out of curiosity, what were some of the factors you would come by that in your mind would spell a hard DQ?
              It was not based on my opinion that they weren't a "good fit." Instead, it occurred when the background investigation developed evidence that they met the legal criteria for disqualification.

              State law establishes a long laundry list of disqualification criteria in my agency. To name a few, it includes: Lacks any of the requirements established by the board for the examination or position for which he or she applies; Is physically or mentally so disabled as to be rendered unfit to perform the duties of the position to which he or she seeks appointment; Is addicted to the use of intoxicating beverages to excess; Is addicted to the use of controlled substances; Has been convicted of a felony, or convicted of a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude; Has been guilty of infamous or notoriously disgraceful conduct; Has been dismissed from any position for any cause which would be a cause for dismissal from the state service; Has resigned from any position not in good standing or in order to avoid dismissal; Has intentionally attempted to practice any deception or fraud in his or her application, in his or her examination, or in securing his or her eligibility; Has failed to reply within a reasonable time, as specified by the board, to communications concerning his or her availability for employment; Is, in accordance with board rule, found to be unsuited or not qualified for employment; Has engaged in unlawful reprisal or retaliation.

              In addition, civil service rules state that one of the minimum requirements for the position is for all applicants to possess the general qualifications of integrity, honesty, sobriety, dependability, industry, thoroughness, accuracy, good judgment, initiative, resourcefulness, courtesy, ability to work cooperatively with others, willingness and ability to assume the responsibilities and to conform to the conditions of work characteristic of the employment, and a state of health, consistent with the ability to perform the assigned duties of the class. Where the position requires the driving of an automobile, the employee must have a valid state driver's license, a good driving record and is expected to drive the car safely. The foregoing general qualifications shall be deemed to be a part of the personal characteristics of the minimum qualifications of each class specification and need not be specifically set forth therein.

              Any conduct in an applicant's personal history demonstrating they lack one or more of those general characteristics can be grounds for disqualification.

              There are too many variables to give you a hard and fast answer regarding what gets someone DQed and what doesn't, but I will offer this.

              1. If you make a couple mistakes on your PHQ and the circumstances in your personal history are such that you legitimate didn't know how to answer the question, or the answers could have gone either way, then no harm - no foul. It will get cleared up in the initial or discrepancy interview with your BI.

              2. If it's clear you lied, withheld or prevaricated, you will get DQed for dishonesty.

              3. If it appears you simply lacked the capacity to understand what multiple PHQ questions were asking, or weren't bright enough to know where to find the information being sought, or were just too lazy to get that information, you will be DQed as lacking the traits of dependability, industry, thoroughness, accuracy, and good judgment.

              I once DQed an applicant because his PHQ was filled with unintentional and harmless errors. For example, when he became a US Citizen he changed his name, but when asked if he ever went by another name he said no. There were no arrests or derogatory information under the other name, but there were so many similar errors in his PHQ that it demonstrated a lack of attention to detail and an inability to read, comprehend and follow simple written procedures. He was DQed as lacking the general qualifications of thoroughness, accuracy and good judgement. He hired an attorney, and appealed his DQ but did not prevail.
              Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by opposingforce View Post

                You mentioned how have to be able to justify ending an investigation, does that usually occur if they find something they dislike or just because they've reached a conclusion to the natural process?

                also about my dates, you are correct, my after high school job has no record of my employment, and when i contacted them, they said they have no records of employment beyond 20xx, so to the best of my ability i wrote what i remembered based on the layout of other jobs. i informed my BI.

                also thank for the info Iowa! I appreciate the information. Im not worried about them uncovering some dark secret, moreso just curious as to the process.
                In the case were they don't have records, then do your best to establish a date and stick with it. I am a big proponent of a "master PHS" when applying for agencies. keep all the information in one place and only draw from that source. a few hours of homework up front will save you tons of times when applying later. Normally when it is several years ago, a month and year for a start date is all that is needed.
                I don't check to see if the glass is half full, I make sure its not dirty.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Really difficult to add to what my colleagues have offered. When I did Backgrounds, I did them as a "collateral duty". That is, in addition to my normal duties as a line supervisor. My job was to gather facts as they applied to a given applicant. The guidelines which were (are) in use on my Agency mirror very closely what L-1 has offered you in his excellent posts.

                  When my investigation was complete, I turned it in to my immediate superior who reviewed it, and in turn forwarded it to the Division Chief. This official made the recommendation to the Appointing Authority (Colonel, Director of Public Safety) who made the ultimate decision. I personally know of no instance where he over ruled the recommendation of the Division Chief.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Your responses are fascinating. I can see what being an investigator can be an interesting assignment/job. Thank you PhilipCal, C Tucker, Iowa #1603 and L-1. L-1, I must say your post is a truly valuable document for me. I will print it out and do my best to go by it. Will also be sure to update you guys on the goings-on of the investigation...
                    Last edited by opposingforce; 04-04-2017, 06:59 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by opposingforce View Post

                      Also, anytime I wish to update something to add or alter to my PHS (due to updating transcripts ect or gaining more accurate information on certain specifics) he requests I send the information through email, is that common practice? So i never actually get an opportunity to physically look at my phs and make said alterations.
                      So did you do the PHS via computer from a site controlled by the agency?

                      If you built the PHS from forms and then sent it in.....you would have the original (if you made a copy ------HINT HINT HIN )which you could update
                      Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

                      My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Iowa #1603 View Post

                        So did you do the PHS via computer from a site controlled by the agency?

                        If you built the PHS from forms and then sent it in.....you would have the original (if you made a copy ------HINT HINT HIN )which you could update
                        Thank you for the sound advice!
                        Last edited by opposingforce; 04-04-2017, 06:35 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by opposingforce View Post
                          Hello all,

                          I was curious how the process of Background Investigation to submitted packet works. I am currently in BI for a big department and was curious as to the specifics of the process.

                          Does the background investigator make the big decision or does it get submitted to someone else to do so? If so, who are they generally?

                          How much influence upon your outcome does the BI have?

                          What types of things are entered into the packet from the investigator?

                          Can non criminal oversights do damage? Example would be not remembering the EXACT date of a job, but putting what you remember to the best of your ability.

                          I apologize for the onslaught of questions but I have grown to trust the good group of experienced officers/investigators here. Thanks in advance for anyone with insight.
                          When I got hired, I met with my BI two or three times during the process. At the very end, I met with him a final time to go over any loose ends or questions that he had. He then wrote a one or two page synopsis of my background and his opinion/recommendation of me as a candidate and put it on top of all of my files, including the PHS.

                          I had some oversights myself that had to do with specific beginning/end dates at previous jobs...it came out and I explained...it wasn't a big deal.

                          After I took the polygraph and completed the psych, those results were also placed in the folder.

                          Everything was then handed over to the personnel Lieutenant. A week later went in for a 2-3 hour interview with him and we reviewed everything in my background together. I left his office and headed home. An hour later, I got a phone call from my BI telling me I had been hired.

                          In my opinion, my BI had the biggest influence over the decision for my department to hire me.

                          Comment

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