Tuesday, July 10, 2018

CBI Announces Updated Background Check Program

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is working to implement an updated program providing fingerprint-based criminal history background checks for employment and licensing purposes. Once implemented, the program will make it more convenient for applicants to obtain fingerprints by locating fingerprint services throughout the state. The new program will also increase efficiency and timeliness by transmitting fingerprints to law enforcement agencies electronically (instead of via a mailed hard copy). Processing time and rejections are also expected to decrease tremendously.

CBI is in the process of implementing the Colorado Applicant Background Services (CABS) program in response to Senate Bill 17-189, which allows “any third party approved by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to take an applicant’s fingerprints for the purpose of obtaining a fingerprint-based criminal history record check.”  The CBI recently awarded two contracts allowing third-party vendors to print and submit non-criminal applicant fingerprints for the State. These vendor services will be located throughout the State, making it easier for applicants to submit prints at a location nearby rather than driving long distances.

The CABS program will be supervised by the CBI, abiding by all National and State security guidelines. Once the CABS program is in place and fully functioning, applicants who must provide fingerprints for background checks will do so through the CABS program, rather than going to their local law enforcement agency for fingerprinting services. Applicants will visit the vendor’s enrollment website to enroll and schedule an appointment with that vendor.

The CBI encourages all organizations who currently maintain non-criminal accounts with the CBI to utilize the CABS program upon implementation this fall. The estimated roll-out date for the CABS program is September 24, 2018.  The CBI anticipates incorporating a grace period to allow for an efficient transition from the current process to the CABS program process. Agencies who manage civilian applicants today for their organization already have established Colorado Non-Criminal Justice accounts with the CBI. Each of those accounts will be included within the CABS program database matrix of accounts that will be imported into the vendors' secure enrollment website.

Physical fingerprint cards will not be accepted thirty days after the CABS program roll-out. Beginning July 1, 2021 the State will not accept non-Law Enforcement and non-CABS submissions.

This program will only change the venue in which fingerprints are currently processed and transmitted to the CBI. The CABS program will not impact the way the results of the background checks are currently administered.  All background check results will continue to be provided to the respective agency accounts via the CBI’s Secure Document Delivery System (SDDS) as they do today.

During Fiscal Year 2017, approximately 200,000 individuals were fingerprinted in the state of Colorado for non-criminal purposes, and this number increases annually as legislation continues to mandate background checks for professions and positions of trust.

If you have any questions regarding the CABS program, please contact CABS Program Administrator Peggy Moore at 303-239-4329 or via email at Peggy.Moore@state.co.us.

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