No References Required for Law Enforcement Hires
Byline: Jerry Seper, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
No governmentwide requirements exist for the checking of references for job applicants as a part of the federal government's hiring process, including those who apply for law enforcement positions in the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Federal Bureau of Prisons and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, a report released Thursday says.
The Justice Department's office of inspector general, in a 109-page report, says law enforcement personnel at the five federal agencies accounted for more than 60 percent of the department's new hires in fiscal 2010 but Justice required reference checks only for attorney applicants.
The report says reference checking within the department was more commonly done for positions not involving law enforcement and for internal transfers, adding that a review found that ATF, DEA and the Marshals Service had no policies requiring reference checks for new criminal investigators, deputy U.S. marshals or correctional officers.
Instead, according to the report, law enforcement components used methods other than reference checking to assess skill and aptitude of applicants for law enforcement positions, such as background investigations; performance assessments of applicants during training at a federal law enforcement training center; polygraph examinations; logic, cognitive and behavior tests; panel interviews; medical examinations and drug and fitness tests.
While these methods may demonstrate the applicant's abilities and suitability for employment and eligibility for national security access, they do not replace a reference check, which provides valuable performance information directly from prior employers and others who have worked with the applicant, the report says. …