Jump to content
Jameson76

BSA’s new Background Check Authorization Form

Recommended Posts

There is another hurdle (beyond the impending fee increase) tagged for recharter this year.
 
Another update from National BSA is that all registered adult leaders must review the Background Check Disclosure and complete the BSA’s new Background Check Authorization. These authorization forms must be submitted with each unit’s recharter this December. No recharters will be able to be processed without this signed form from all registered adult leaders that are being renewed for the 2020 calendar year.
 
Input is that units do not have access to the form right now.  Hopefully they will be available soon. Each registered leader is expected to receive the form directly.  Wonder how that will work.  Possibly the councils will have copies of the form available before and during the recharter process. The form will be required to recharter any adult. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Um if they already have my application from a couple years current, why the need to do it again?   My social security # hasn't changed and I make sure my council has the most current info on me address wise.    Sounds like something for another data breach to happen.   I know council runs background checks on volunteers.  They disqualified our assistant cubmaster a couple years ago due to a domestic violence arrest and they told him he was on the banned list...:(

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seems reasonable to me.  Yeah - it's a pain to deal with paperwork, but a form to make it explicit that the BSA is doing a background check seems OK to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

Seems reasonable to me.  Yeah - it's a pain to deal with paperwork, but a form to make it explicit that the BSA is doing a background check seems OK to me.

That viewpoint might actually make sense .... *IF* BSA had not ALREADY done background checks on each and every scouter and *IF* you did not already sign an explicit statement allowing them to do so when you submitted your "Adult Application."  

But they did...and you did...

That makes this move redundant, unproductive, and burdensome on volunteers. It's therefore totally fair game for criticism.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We just received the forms. Looks easy enough and I am sure this will help make rechartering even less chaotic 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, mrkstvns said:

That viewpoint might actually make sense .... *IF* BSA had not ALREADY done background checks on each and every scouter and *IF* you did not already sign an explicit statement allowing them to do so when you submitted your "Adult Application."  

But they did...and you did...

That makes this move redundant, unproductive, and burdensome on volunteers. It's therefore totally fair game for criticism.  

While I get your point, I don't quite agree.  The BSA is going to learn to improve their process.  Other organizations have a more explicit background check authorization.  So, the BSA lawyers decided that they needed one too.  So, what's the big deal if we all have to collect a new form at recharter?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, ParkMan said:

While I get your point, I don't quite agree.  The BSA is going to learn to improve their process.  Other organizations have a more explicit background check authorization.  So, the BSA lawyers decided that they needed one too.  So, what's the big deal if we all have to collect a new form at recharter?

part of the big deal is the authorization is open ended as long as you are a volunteer, and, it gives the BSA permission to share any info they gather.  Sam Houston has a link to the form at http://www.samhoustonbsa.org/national-recharter-update-2019-09-19.  If I sign this form in December, then leave the BSA, the odds that they'll quit running background checks on me and destroy the information they gather on me are largely indistinguishable from zero.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, walk in the woods said:

part of the big deal is the authorization is open ended as long as you are a volunteer, and, it gives the BSA permission to share any info they gather.  Sam Houston has a link to the form at http://www.samhoustonbsa.org/national-recharter-update-2019-09-19.  If I sign this form in December, then leave the BSA, the odds that they'll quit running background checks on me and destroy the information they gather on me are largely indistinguishable from zero.

As with any language - there's always room for it to be used in a way that you'd not want.  I see that the exact language is:

Quote

A consumer report is a background check in which information (which may include, but is not limited to, criminal background, driving background, character, general reputation, personal characteristics, and mode of living) about you is gathered and communicated by a consumer reporting agency (“CRA”) to Boy Scouts of America and/or its subsidiaries, affiliates, other related entities, successors, and/or assigns (the “Company”).

Company may obtain a consumer report on you to be used for employment purposes (in your case, this means for the purpose of evaluating you as a new or existing volunteer).

The BSA legally has a pretty weird structure.  Philmont is held in a trust.  Councils are separate legal entities.  Units are not legally connected to the BSA except through an agreement to leverage the program of the BSA in their activities.

I'm prepared to give the BSA some latitude here.  Yet, I would agree.  There could certainly be better language and a clear statement that the information will only be used for the purposes of evaluating your status as a volunteer in Scouting.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, walk in the woods said:

part of the big deal is the authorization is open ended as long as you are a volunteer, and, it gives the BSA permission to share any info they gather.  Sam Houston has a link to the form at http://www.samhoustonbsa.org/national-recharter-update-2019-09-19.  If I sign this form in December, then leave the BSA, the odds that they'll quit running background checks on me and destroy the information they gather on me are largely indistinguishable from zero.

It looks to me that the form only provides authorization while you are still a member.  I wouldn't expect them to purge files because you left since you might come back.  They have to be able to share the info because Councils and Units aren't legally "The BSA" as far as this form is concerned.  

 

10 minutes ago, Eagle1993 said:

Uh oh....  😬

This is pretty standard language.  I don't know that it is expected. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A couple years ago I had a conversation with one of our senior pros about a related issue.  Our diocese requires that we get a new background check every five years.  I asked if scouts ever reran background checks and he said no.  I've been registered as a scout for just about two decades, I've had a number of positions within our pack and Troop.  I forgot to ask whether they do a new check each time I've filled out an app for a new position, but I know there are scouters in our unit who haven't changed positions and filled out new applications for 20 years at least.  We have no idea for sure what a background check might reveal for folks like them.

This is a pain in the neck, but really just that, like chasing people to redo their YPT.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, T2Eagle said:

A couple years ago I had a conversation with one of our senior pros about a related issue.  I asked if scouts ever reran background checks and he said no. 

My gut tells me that either has or is about to change. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Got this from my Council (Council Ten) today as an update....

 

UPDATED Information about Criminal Background Checks

 

We have received some UPDATED information from the National Council regarding the recently announced Criminal Background Checks and the disclosure forms that must be turned in by ALL registered leaders. Some of this information has changed from what was shared on Monday, so be sure to read all of it. Please share as needed with other leaders you know.

 


Criminal Background Check FAQ
UPDATED 10-8-19

Please note this information cannot be distributed with the original message or in any message with the disclosure forms due to laws specific to the transmission of these documents. 

 

Is the BSA doing credit checks on volunteers? 
No. The BSA will only use these signed authorization forms for approval to obtain a criminal background check. State and federal laws regulating background checks and consumer credit checks require that both items be mentioned on the form since a full background check includes both parts. Again, the BSA is only using this form for authorization to obtain a criminal background check.

 

Why is this being done now? 
Starting in 2020, rechecks will be performed every five years, but it will take several years to recheck all leaders. Unfortunately, technical limitations and changes in the law over the last five years prevent us from using existing authorizations from older applications. As such, new disclosure had to be sent and new signed authorization forms obtained. Rechartering provides the best window to collect and verify they have been received before the council processes the recharter application.

 

What about volunteers that are not registered with units?
All currently registered adults and employees who have not had a criminal background check in the last five years will be rechecked. Council registrars will individually track district and council registered employees and leaders. (That should also include merit badge counselors).

 

What about those who did not get the forms by e-mail?
The forms should be printed and passed out at roundtables or other meetings. It is important that each volunteer receives both the disclosure form as well as the authorization form. However, only the authorization must be turned in with the charter renewal form for units. District and council volunteers should submit the authorization to the council service center unless the council issues other instructions.

 

What about those with multiple registrations? 
Only one authorization form per person needs to be collected and retained by the council.

 

What happens if a unit leader does not provide an authorization? 
Leaders who do not provide new authorization will not be able to renew their registration. Council registrars should be instructed not to renew any adult without first confirming that a new signed authorization form is on file at the council service center.

 

Why can’t the volunteer just reply to the original e-mail and attach their signed authorization form?
The best way for us to ensure compliance is to require that the council registrar verify that a signed authorization form is physically in hand before processing a unit’s recharter. This removes much of the potential error and associated penalties that could result from other methods. We recommend that the registrar retains background check authorizations forms in a separate straight alphabetical file separate from your current background authorization file. This will facilitate the process of ensuring that a current form is on file at the council service center before posting their registration. 

 

Can the council accept a faxed copy or scanned copy sent via email of the signed authorization? 
Yes, so long as it is legible and is sent by the individual who signed it. It must be printed and saved the same as an original.

 

Can the council accept an electronic signature? 
Digital signatures from third-party providers are acceptable. They must be printed and stored the same as the original. E-mail confirmations, permissions or typed names on the form are not acceptable substitutes for wet signatures.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like they might by syncing up with your state's laws. Five years ago, we in PA had to turn in clearances from the state. Those clearances now need to be renewed.

It's a nasty business considering that I always keep forgetting the password for the system.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×