WASHINGTON- Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which has jurisdiction over the District of Columbia, introduced legislation to require criminal background checks for certain high-ranking District government employees and establish the same standards the federal government uses when it hires for all prospective District government employees.
“This bill will help prevent past failures by ensuring that District of Columbia leaders are held accountable for conducting and reviewing the results of background checks when making hiring decisions,” Issa said. “Unless or until District leaders stop apologizing for outrageous abuses in government and adopt measures to address these problems, congressional action is the only way to implement needed standards as a bulwark against cronyism.”
• This legislation lists certain criteria that the District hiring authority must take into account to determine the suitability for any applicant for employment in the District government.
• These standards are consistent with employment suitability standards for federal government employment.
• These criteria include: misconduct or negligence in employment; criminal or dishonest conduct; substance abuse without evidence of rehabilitation; and knowing and willful engagement in acts or activities to overthrow the United States Government by force.
• The legislation also requires criminal background checks for those individuals appointed to the Excepted Service within the DC government. Excepted Service employees include those individuals appointed to positions such as the City Administrator, the Director of Campaign Finance, District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics, and employees on the Mayor’s personal staff.
• The background check is consistent with those currently being conducted for District employees who work with children.
The legislation is scheduled to be marked-up by the Oversight Committee on Thursday.