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Criminal Background Checks

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le Voyageur,


It's a safe bet to infer that since ChoicePoint is a for profit company that it will be use[d] in some manner to generate income and profit without consent. Why else bother to compile data if you don't plan to make a buck with it....


Yes, by performing background checks! How else might their databases be used? To generate lists of addresses? That cow's out of the barn! If they use the data collected to generate more narrowly targeted lists, for instance of people actually interested in camping gear, that can only be considered an improvement. Maybe then I'll stop getting so much spam for toner refills and cheap perscription drugs (two things I never buy). Heaven forbid that you get an ad for something you actually want!



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le Voyageur, You have earned an "A" on your homework. Isn't information wonderful? It is truly a shame so many people blindly bebeive and follow carots dangled in their faces as "truth". The information is there for everyone to see, and it is the truth. Not propaganda. All one needs to do is ask themselves if everything they are told is the truth? It does not take much time or effort to verify what is being said one way or the other.


We watch Fox news and see statements like, "if one does not support this war with Iraq, they are guilty of treason." Really? Well, I am still waiting for someone to explain the reasoning behind that statement. I am thinking that if the war last 4 years, my 14 year old may be going. For what? For oil? Pa-leeze! Why didn't anyone ask why the new President of Afghanistan used to sit on the board of directors for Unical? Everone remembers Unical right? They are the company that won the contract from Haliburton (who? Dick Cheney) to lay the pipeline from Iraq to India to sell oil to Who? North Korea and China. DOH! Hmmm, we got the pipeline back on track in Afghanistan, but Iraq wants a peice of the oil profit action. Why not? It's their oil. But there will be more profits for an american oil company if we just cut Iraq out of the equation and steal it. (I wonder who that might be that would come up with such a dasterdly plan?)


I'm getting off my soap box now. But I just want to challenge those who follow blindly to just ask questions. If asking questions to find out for your self means your guilty of treason, then ask your self why and try to explain that rational to yourself. You will come up empty for an explaination. And maybe, just maybe one may see a little more light at the end of the tunnel.


Yours in Service.



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We appear to be on the horns of a dilemma here. I don't think anyone would argue against criminal background checks for Scouters. Now, how to get it done?


If BSA had the in-house resources, I would ask why those people aren't busy rewriting the Fieldbook, for pete's sake! All kidding aside, you have two basic options; contract or go to the government. The government charges a fee if you're not a law enforcement agency; that's why there's a market for the contractors.


Putting aside the power-politics hyperbole in many of the links posted in this thread (Common Dreams calls itself "progressive"; is this a new euphemism for "liberal"?...see "media bias" thread), how to address the concerns over the contractor BSA seems to have chosen? If paying the FBI and local agencies for file checks is a better option, even if more expensive, how many of us will be willing to pay a registration surcharge in order to cover the cost? Why wouldn't BSA accept employer-ordered background checks, or defense security clearance background checks, as evidence of suitability?



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Well well, so now it starts! To all the users of this forum please read. I just got this in a private message from a user and you should all read it. It seems my comments have started a witch hunt.




Greetings. I follow the threads on Scouter.com with interest and I have been following all of your post with great interest. However, I just got an email from a council member in my home council that was a forward from the Scoutmaster of my old troop that makes the accusation that your posts are mine and about his troop. That angered me greatly and made me think that perhaps you are right. It seems paranoia is running rampant now a days. Since my company also charters our troop I am instructing our company attorney to seek liable actions against this SM. The damage he is doing is pretty much irrelevant, but when my views and ideas can be used against me, it is time to make a difference and put a stop to it... I knew there was a reason I never post here.


Name withheld for obvious reasons...


And so we walk together in scouting. But does this sound like scouting to you? Maybe we should re-think what scouting is all about.



(This message has been edited by ASM1)

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Whatever is going on with this guy & his SM sound more like a grudge war than Scouting. Once the attorneys get involved the trouble really starts!


I do agree with Rooster7 that stories like these are the exception & not the norm. The nut cases always come out loudest!


Ed Mori


Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10(This message has been edited by evmori)

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Conspiracies? Hitler youth? Twilight Zone? What a great way to avoid eBay! I for one am a little surprised that this is an issue. I was under the impression that the wording of the application I signed years ago allowed BSA or the chartering organization to do pretty much what they pleased for background checks. Was I wrong?


And for years I have been under the impression given me by our council that the checks were the responsibility of the chartering organization. Ours did this at least 4 years back as part of their own checks for their non-BSA youth volunteers. But they produced their own release document that pretty much allowed them to pry into EVERY aspect of our lives including finances, magazine subscriptions, medications, etc. I pointed this out and the fact that the words "confidential" and "privacy" weren't mentioned. They were apologetic and admitted they had 'borrowed' the wording from a local industry job application (glad I don't work for them).


A question, is BSA going to require this of Cub Scout den leaders too? How about merit badge counselors? Help me out here. This could be a huge continuing cost considering the turnover rates I have observed.


I'm with you Korea, let's devote resources to revising the scout literature or bringing BSA into the 20th century for their recordkeeping (the 21st is probably asking too much).

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Packsaddle, yes there was a generic release for the BSA to do a background check, but now the Adult Volunteer Application has the following written in bold red letters in on the front cover.


"By submitting this application you are authorizing a criminal background check of yourself. This check will be made from public record sources. You will have an opportunity to review and challenge any adverse information disclosed by the check."


I guess the emphases is that before the check could be performed and now it will be.


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From the National Council:

Criminal background checks to be part of new BSA leader registration process


Since Scouting's inception, we have made every effort to have the highest quality of volunteers as role models and mentors for youth. Our main priority is the safety of our youth members and participants, and we continually seek new ways to improve our youth protection procedures.


New information technologies have greatly improved the ability of nonprofit organizations to accurately and reliably conduct criminal history record checks on applicants based upon their Social Security number. This offers a practical way to limit the possibility of individuals with a history of criminal acts against children being granted positions in the Boy Scouts of America.


When used in conjunction with other youth protection strategies, criminal history record checks are valuable tools that discourage ineligible volunteers from seeking positions in the BSA and help to identify and screen out those who do apply.

Implementing a new system


BSA National President Roy S. Roberts has announced that, after in-depth study and testing, the National Council has contracted with ChoicePoint Volunteer Select* to conduct criminal background checks for adult volunteer leaders nationwide.

Effective April 1, 2003, local councils throughout the nation will implement this new system, or a similar system, for conducting criminal background checks on volunteers.


This process will supplement the current application process, including the reference checks and the ineligible volunteer screening process. The Internet-based process will be conducted for all new adult volunteers in the traditional programs. If a registration form is completed, a background check must be done.


A new adult volunteer application will be available in the fall of 2003. The application will now (1) clearly advise applicants that a criminal background screening will be conducted; (2) require written consent to conduct the background check; (3) certify permission to use resulting reports; and (4) require a Social Security number.


The new application includes the following statement:


"By submitting this application you are authorizing a criminal background check of yourself. This check will be made from public record sources. You will have an opportunity to review and challenge any adverse information disclosed by the check."


What does this mean to you?


The primary impact will be one of feeling more secure in knowing that anyone with a history of criminal conduct with a child will be far less likely to become a volunteer in your pack, troop, team, or crew, thereby making your children safer.


It also means that a new adult application cannot be processed without a Social Security number and consent to conduct the background check (the application can only be signed by the applicant). Current leaders should make sure the required information is included on all adult applications before submitting them to the council service center.

We believe that the critical importance of protecting our youth from abuse or violence will be recognized by alland that parents, leaders, and staff will take comfort and pride in the steps we are taking.


* ChoicePoint is a public company based in the Atlanta area. It evolved out of the background checking systems in Equifax, which has a long history in this field of information expertise and has many Fortune 500 companies as clients.



Frequently Asked Questions About Adult Screening



For the safety and protection of our youth members and participants

To insure the quality of our leadership

For the protection of the Boy Scouts of America



All NEW adult volunteers in BSAs traditional programs will require a criminal background check effective April 1, 2003

The criminal background checking process will supplement the current application process, reference checks, and ineligible volunteer checking process already in place.


Who will be checked?

New applicants for ANY volunteer position with the Boy Scouts of America will be checked Effective April 1, 2003, (this will include Merit Badge Counselors).


Will a Social Security number be required?

YES. One of the Checks the system makes is to ensure the applicant has a valid Social Security Number, which insures accurate identification.

If individuals decline to provide their Social Security number, they cannot register with the Boys Scouts of America.


Does a potential volunteer have to give permission for the background check?

Yes. The BSAs adult volunteer application includes authorization for conducting a criminal background check. The BSA Adult application has been changed to provide prominent notice to the applicant on the front page of the applications; be sure this page is still attached when giving the application to a prospective volunteer.



Have there been any changes in procedures?

YES. Any adult application, including those for change of position, adult transfers, and multiple registrations must complete the application in its entirety, securing all appropriate unit signatures, etc. Only the Council Copy will show the SS # the others will be blacked out so the council MUST now receive the Council Copy - be sure your Committee Chairman and Charter Representative/Institutional Head sign Council Copy.


How will people know if they have been disqualified from serving as a volunteer?

As in the past, the council will communicate notice of disqualification to potential volunteers.


Can the person being checked see the results?

Yes. Individuals will be given the opportunity to review any information found on their record. The Select system will generate and send a letter to individuals notifying them a record has been found and communicated to the council. Individuals will have the opportunity to view a copy of that information.


Will a persons name, address, and Social Security number be sent to any outside databases?



How can volunteer applicants be assured that no on will be given access to their personal information, especially their Social Security number?

As has always been the BSA policy, membership information is never sold, or offered to outside parties for use other than that directly approved for supporting BSA national and local council operations. Only the Council Copy will show the SS # the others are blacked out.


Is this screening process the only one to be used for potential volunteers?

NO. The criminal background checking process will supplement the current application process, reference checks and ineligible volunteer checking process already in place.


What happens if an application is not signed?

Applicants must personally sign the adult application giving informed consent to conduct a background check. If the required information is missing, the application will be returned to the unit for completion.


Can my unit continue to use up the older adult applications we have in our possession?

NO! Applications must be the most current version available so that the correct notification to the applicant, etc is present. This means that after April 1, 2003 only applications with the version along the front edge must say 28-501V -ADULT REGISTRATION APPLICATION -1.140MM1002 (or newer). If an older application is submitted by a unit after April 1, 2003 it will be returned to the unit along with the appropriate version of the adult application. It must be completely filled out including obtaining the signatures of the CC and CR/IH so it is in the best interest of the units and the council to submit the correct application the first time.


How can I quickly tell if I have the new application?

There is a box in red on the front of the new adult applications that states: By submitting this application you are authorizing a criminal background check of yourself. This check will be made from public record sources. You will have an opportunity to review and challenge any adverse information disclosed by the check.

The Social Security Number now says it is required, rather than optional as on previous versions of applications.

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And i always thought it was the right wing conspiracy theorists that thought the government was trying to track their movements and control their activities. It really is circular, aint it? The FAR left and the FAR right both think the revenuers are out to get 'em.


ASM - that is one WEIRD troop you describe.


PRAYING TO GEORGE BUSH???!!! Man, i'm a registered republican, from Texas and voted for his old man against Reagan in the primaries in '80 and I ain't THAT far gone!


Maybe you could volunteer to be the RT chaplain???

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Our DE has said that MB counsellors MUST fill out a new application every year....so that's how they will get criminal checks done for them...the rest of us will follow soon...new app every year...new background check to make sure you've kept your nose clean. Screw up and you're out. Glad to see that's where my FOS money will be going...and all this time I thought it was for camp improvements. I'm not saying that the checks are a bad idea...but the best protection is for Chartered Orgs to properly select leaders from among people who are known and respected...and to follow YP rules scrupulously. In our case, the CO doesn't even know who we are...we just get a signature on our recharter every year, and the rest of the time they show no interest.


ASM - your troop is bizarre...if it were me, I'd have the local news channel do an investigative report...those idiots deserve to be "outed" and the BSA embarrassed for allowing such shenanigans.

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