Arizona Introduces Digital Biometric Background Checks

Arizona’s Department of Public Safety has embraced digital biometrics with a new Electronic Fingerprint Application System (EFAS).

Arizona Introduces Digital Biometric Background ChecksIt’s available for background check processing for job applicants pursuing positions of public trusts such as teachers and childcare providers, as well as for those wishing to become foster parents. It’s an alternative to the traditional ink-and-paper fingerprint screening system, which remains in place but can take three to four weeks to complete a background check, whereas the EFAS can do the work in just a couple of days in cases in which applicants have no criminal history.

It could be a major administrative boon for the DPS, and much more convenient for citizens using the service. Speaking to media, DPS spokesperson Paul Garcia said that the agency sees a thousand applications per day, and asserted that “about 20 percent are returned to applicants because of errors.” The electronic system should help to catch those errors much more quickly, and will of course speed up the processing of applications in general.

The case of Arizona’s DPS is part of a larger trend that has seen government agencies increasingly looking to digital biometric background checks. Just this week, MorphoTrust won two major contracts involving biometric background checks for New York and West Virginia state agencies; and there is also the FBI’s Rap Back program, which offers similar services. Government administrators are seeing the advantages, and citizens using the services likely appreciate their efficiency as well.

Sources: Mohave Valley Daily News, Tucson News Now

March 3, 2016 – by ALex Perala