- VA Fails to Conduct Background Screens
- Want a Visa? Password required.
- Fingerprint Drug Tests Getting Closer to Reality
VA Fails to Conduct Background Screens
The Department of Veterans Affairs failed to do required background screens on more than 6,200 employees. According to the Office of Inspector General (OIG), over the course of 5 years, about 6% of the VA workforce was on the job without proper background checks. The unscreened employees included physicians, nurses, pharmacists and laboratory technicians. Last year, a report from USA Today found that the VA hired a neurosurgeon whose license had been revoked after a patient’s death and who was facing 15 malpractice complaints. They also hired a psychiatrist who was sanctioned for sexual misconduct. Even if the majority of checks were done correctly, it is impossible to confirm since 42% of personnel files are missing the required paperwork. A new background check system is supposed to be online at the VA by the end of 2018, or early next year.
Want a Visa? Password required.
The State Department wants to require all visa applicants to show the government who they are on social media. Under a new proposal, applicants for both immigrant and non-immigrant visas would be required to disclose all “identifiers” they have used on social media during the last 5 years. They will also have to turn over all phone numbers, email addresses and international travel history for the same time period. We are now in a 60-day window for public comments. When that is complete, the White House Office of Management and Budget will decide if the measure should be approved.
Fingerprint Drug Tests Getting Closer to Reality
Researchers at the University of Surry in the UK have developed a fingerprint drug test that can not only find tiny traces of drugs in fingerprints, but can also distinguish which traces show drug use and which were just picked up from the environment. In a recent test, it was found that about one in every ten people will have traces of either cocaine or heroin on their hands, even if they have never used drugs. Scientists have found cut-off levels that can show who actually used the drug. The test takes 5 minutes to collect the prints and just 10 more to generate the reports, and could offer some real advantages over more invasive tests. We will definitely be keeping an eye on this!