Changes for Employers from the Amended MA DCJIS Regulations - A Creative Services, Inc. Compliance Corner Article

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Changes for Employers from the Amended MA DCJIS Regulations

11.03.17

Earlier this year, as published in CSI’s Client Alert on May 3, 2017, the Massachusetts Department of Criminal Justice Information Services (DCJIS) published amended agency regulations (803 CMR 2.00 et. seq.) effective April 27, 2017 to their website. Click here to visit the DCJIS website.

Recently, DCJIS published updated forms, policies and guides regarding the amended regulations. Below are changes and links to updated forms CSI’s clients using Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) should be aware of.

Employers Using Consumer Reporting Agencies for iCORI
Employers using a Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA) for iCORI should be advised of changes that may impact their iCORI processing including a new CRA CORI Acknowledgment Form as well as a salary statement required to request iCORI.

CRA CORI Acknowledgment Form
DCJIS has published new CORI Acknowledgement Forms including a revised CRA CORI Acknowledgement Form. Click here to access CSI’s CRA CORI Acknowledgement Form.

Salary Statement and Redaction
Under the amended iCORI regulations, employers utilizing a CRA must now provide to the CRA, a statement indicating whether the annual salary of the position for which the subject is being screened is either above or below $75,000. This salary figure aligns with the FCRA that allows exceptions to reporting restrictions that would otherwise be imposed for CRAs.

The obligation to provide an exact copy of the CORI report remains, however, certain information in accordance with the FCRA, may affect iCORI information CSI can report.
To comply with the salary statement requirement, CSI has added a salary statement to the amended CRA CORI Acknowledgement Form. A checkbox on this salary statement will indicate that the annual salary of the position for which the subject is screened is $75,000.00 or more. An unchecked box indicates the salary is under $75,000.00.
For those subjects with a salary under $75,000.00, records of arrest that do not result in a conviction or warrant that are seven or more years old will be redacted from the iCORI report. Remaining iCORI information will be provided in the format received from the iCORI system.

Employers should carefully consider the impact potential redaction may have on their screening program.

Changes Affecting All Employers Accessing iCORI
Below are highlights of the changes that affect all employers accessing iCORI information whether the employer utilizes a CRA for iCORI or not.

iCORI Agency Agreement
Requestors registering for access to iCORI after February 24, 2017 will be required to complete an iCORI Agency Agreement which will be signed by an individual with signatory authority for an iCORI requestor whereby the requestor agrees:

  1. To comply with the CORI laws and regulations;
  2. To maintain an up to date "need to know" list and provide all staff that request, review, or receive CORI with the CORI training materials;
  3. To only request the level of CORI access authorized under statute or by the DCJIS; and
  4. That requestors are liable for any violations of the CORI laws or regulations. Individual users of the requestor's account may also be liable for said violations.

According to DCJIS, more information regarding iCORI Agency Agreements will be provided at a later time.

Need to Know List
Each requestor shall maintain a "need to know" list of staff that have been authorized to request, receive, or review CORI. This list must be updated periodically, but not less than every six months, and shall be made available to the DCJIS upon request. A requestor may also provide the "need to know" list to a subject or subject's advocate upon request.

CORI Policy
CORI policies must be updated in accordance with the new amended regulations. DCJIS has published an updated Model CORI Policy. Click here to access the DCJIS Model CORI Policy.

Cloud Storage Guidelines
CORI information may now be stored in the cloud provided that a written agreement with the cloud storage provider contains minimum security requirements published by the DCJIS concerning cloud storage. DCJIS reserves the right to inspect cloud storage agreements. Click here to access DCJIS Cloud Services Contract Terms when iCORI Requestors are storing Criminal Justice Information (CJI) including CORI results in a cloud-based storage environment.

Summary
DCJIS published a guide to the updated DCJIS regulations. Click here to view the DCJIS NOTICE FOR iCORI REGISTERED USERS.
DCJIS has also published updated their FAQ and Training materials. This information is available at www.mass.gov/cjis.

CSI will continue to provide updates as they become available.

If you are currently conducting criminal background investigations either directly or through a CRA, CSI strongly recommends you review the amended regulations with your legal counsel. Please update those individuals within your organization that work with background checks involving criminal records, including iCORI, regarding the amended regulations.

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