The Impact of a Federal Government Shutdown on Applicant Screening Services; Federal Funding May Expire on September 30
A partial government shutdown would impact government database availability for applicant screening services.
U.S. government funding is scheduled to expire at 11:59 p.m. on September 30, 2023. While essential services will continue operating during a potential shutdown, numerous services will be affected. Various screening services commonly used by employers may be unavailable during this time.
A lapse in appropriations would take the E-Verify system and E-Verify support offline, preventing employers from creating new E-Verify cases or resolving tentative nonconfirmations (TNCs). Employers would not be expected to meet the usual E-Verify deadline until the government reauthorizes the program. All employers and employees remain subject to Form I-9 obligations and deadlines even if E-Verify is offline; virtual procedures are still permitted.
No action is necessary for clients utilizing any i9Success solution with our auto-E-Verify service; we will automatically create necessary E-Verify cases when E-Verify is back online. Clients not enrolled in i9Success' auto-E-Verify service must create cases manually after E-Verify resumes operations. For assistance with tracking, reports listing Forms I-9 created during the shutdown can be generated within the myBIG portal.
Otherwise, employers should track each Form I-9 completed while E-Verify is down and create cases once E-Verify is operational. While USCIS has not given any guidance on this particular potential shutdown, USCIS has historically extended the period in which employees may resolve TNCs by the number of days the federal government was closed. When prompted to provide a reason why the case was created more than three days after the employee began working, employers should select "other" and enter "federal government shutdown". Employers must not take any adverse action against an employee because of an E-Verify interim status case during a federal government shutdown.
We encourage our clients to archive all outage-related E-Verify communications and record all Forms I-9 completed during the outage. These best practices allow organizations to justify delayed submissions/case creation in the event of a state or federal E-Verify audit. Organizations that do this will have a documented trail of when the outage occurred, the duration, and all Forms I-9 created during that time.
Federal Court Searches and OIG Sanctions
Federal courts and Office of the Inspector General (OIG) sanctions inquiries will remain available. However, as both sources rely on federal funding, new information may not be updated or maintained during a shutdown. Data gaps are possible as staffing levels are lowered and personnel are unavailable for database upkeep.
Content-Based Social Security Verification (CBSV)
CBSV, which confirms the accuracy of an SSN holder's name, date of birth, and SSN against Social Security Administration (SSA) records, would be unavailable in the event of a government shutdown. Please note that a shutdown would not affect SSN traces pulling an individual's address history, aliases, or other pertinent information from one of the major credit bureaus.
This is an evolving situation that BIG is monitoring and will continue to inform our clients of updates as they become available.
Posted: September 25, 2023
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