GIS fined for providing inaccurate employment background checks

Occurred: October 2015

The US Consumer Finance Protection Board (CFSB) ordered two of the country’s largest employment background screening report providers to pay USD 13 million in penalties and refunds for providing inaccurate information. 

According to the CFSB, General Information Services (GIS) and its subsidiary (BGC), which collectively generate and sell more than 10 million reports about job applicants every year, failed to employ reasonable procedures to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in reports provided to potential employers. 

In over 6,000 cases, the CFSB said, '(the firm) reported a criminal record that did not belong to the consumer, including, without limitation, those criminal records that (the firm) could not confirm belonged to the consumer based on personal identifiers…or reported inaccurate criminal record information about the consumer, including, without limitation, expunged records, dismissed charges, nolo prosequi records reported as convictions (the prosecutor declined to pursue the case), or records with incorrect disposition data.' 

GIS also failed to 'identify root causes of accuracy errors', failed to notice patterns of mistakes, and did not test the accuracy of non-disputed reports, the CFSB alleged.

The two companies were required to pay a USD 2.5 million civil penalty, overhaul their compliance procedures, retain an independent consultant, and develop a comprehensive audit programme.

Operator: General Information Services (GIS); (BGC)
Developer: General Information Services (GIS); (BGC)
Country: USA
Sector: Business/professional services
Purpose: Assess job applicant backgrounds
Technology: Database
Issue: Accuracy/reliability
Transparency: Governance

Page info
Type: Incident
Published: March 2022