Government Watch List Check Vs. Verified Watch List

Tammy Cohen, PHR, SHRM-CP
December 29 2016

 For years, employers have been searching through government watch list and federal debarment databases to verify that their applicants and employees are eligible to work for their companies. These databases can also tell a company if their new hire or current employee is a known terrorist, drug trafficker, high-profile offender, or other potential liability.

However, a new service has entered the market that provides even better due diligence and peace of mind for employers: Verified Watch List.

InfoMart is the first in the industry to offer such a service, although many companies are sure to follow. As the importance of accurate and comprehensive applicant and employee information increases, so, too, will the need for verified services. Performing an unverified and potentially harmful government watch list check will soon be a thing of the past.

The Inferiority of Current Government Watch List Searches

While many professional background screeners offer government watch list and federal debarment searches on employees and applicants, these searches have several shortcomings. Most of these databases are:

  • Name-Match Only – Many current databases hold only names and no other individual identifiers, such as date of birth (DOB) or Social Security Number (SSN).
  • Unverified – Because these databases are often populated with only names, records cannot be truly verified. You can’t be certain that your John Smith has a record, or if it’s someone else with the same name.
  • Unreliable or Inaccurate – As with many government databases, records may not be added or updated on a regular basis.

These deficiencies in a government watch list check mean that an employer cannot use the obtained information in an employment decision without possible legal repercussions, such as Title VII complaints, negligent hiring and retention cases, and more.

Why You Want Verified Watch List Searches

The inadequacies of current database searches inherently make your background screening program less reliable and can even attract legal consequences. Verified Watch List searches help you avoid negative consequences in several ways:

    • Reliable Sources – The Verified Watch List search examines records from sources such as the DEA, FBI, OFAC, OIG, and Interpol, among others, to provide the most comprehensive records search available.
    • Verified Records Match in More than Name-Only – If a potential record is found in any of the above databases, we will conduct a further search to verify the record and ensure record identification by both name and DOB or SSN.
    • FCRA Compliant – Unlike other government watch list and debarment searches, a Verified Watch List search meets Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) compliance requirements and can be used to determine employment eligibility.

Verified Watch List searches can assist your company in meeting due diligence requirements and creating a safer, more productive workplace. Find the right applicant to join your company with verified government watch list and debarment information that you can actually use in your hiring and retention decisions!

About Tammy Cohen

Tammy Cohen, an industry pioneer and expert in identity and employment screening, founded InfoMart 30 years ago. Deemed the “Queen of Screen,” she’s been a force behind industry-leading innovations. She was most recently the first-to-market with a fully compliant sanctions search, as well as a suite of identity services that modernizes talent onboarding. Tammy revolutionized the screening industry when she stepped into the field, developing the first client-facing application and a due diligence criminal search that has since become standard for all background screening companies. Cohen has received national awards and honors for her business and civic involvement, including Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Top 25 Women-Owned Firms in Atlanta, Enterprising Women Magazine’s Enterprising Women of the Year award, the YWCA of Northwest Georgia’s Kathryn Woods Racial Justice Award, and a commendation in the 152nd Congressional Record.

About InfoMart

InfoMart has been revolutionizing the global background and identity screening industry for 30 years, providing businesses the information they need to make informed hiring decisions. They develop innovative technology that modernizes talent onboarding, including a first-to-market biometric identity authentication application and a verified sanctions search. The WBENC-certified company is a founding member of the Professional Background Screening Association, and they have achieved PBSA accreditation in recognition of their consistent business practices and commitment to compliance with the FCRA. The company is dedicated to customer service, speed, and accuracy, and it has been recognized for its success, workplace culture, and corporate citizenship with over 45 industry awards. To Get the Whole Story on InfoMart, please visit, follow @InfoMartUSA, or call (770) 984-2727.

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