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HUMAN RESOURCES MEMORANDUM 7-05
|TO:||Donald Williams, HR Director, Health & Human Services
Sue Bell, Acting HR Director, Labor
Patricia Beaudoin, HR Director, Administrative & Financial Services
|SUBJECT:||Pilot Implementation of Personnel Security Protocols - June 1, 2005 through August 31, 2005|
Human Resource Memorandum 7-05 is intended to implement a three-month pilot of the proposed human resource related component of agency information security policies. The pilot will be conducted at the Department of Health and Human Services; the Department of Labor; and the Maine Revenue Service, Department of Administrative and Financial Services. Upon completion of the pilot, a final human resource component will be developed that may be adopted by agencies to fulfill the human resource related component of agency information security policies.
The procedures provided in this policy are intended to ensure public confidence, security, and that the State Government workforce is appropriately qualified and credentialed. These recommendations are an integral component of an information security initiative developed by the Office of the Chief Information Officer. It is anticipated that each agency will, in the near future, develop agency-specific information security protocols that are consistent with the State of Maine Information Technology Security Policy.1
This memorandum was developed by a team of human resource professionals from the Bureau of Human Resources, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, the Maine Department of Labor, and the Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services. This team will periodically convene to address emerging personnel security issues and concerns to ensure that the personnel security remains a viable component of the State’s overall information security effort. Following completion of the pilot, the final personnel security policy will be issued as a Civil Service Bulletin.
1The State of Maine Information Technology Security Policy “. . . provides a uniform set of information technology security policies, standards and general guidelines for every State Department, Agency, Board, Bureau, Commission, and Authority which are required to comply with Maine Revised Statute Annotated (MSRA) Title 5, Chapter 158, § 1871 - 1896. All Maine State Government entities, unless specifically exempted, are required to abide by the policies hereby established. All users (employees, contractors, vendors, and other parties) are expected to understand and abide by them.”
SECTION 1.1 SECURITY IN JOB DEFINITION AND RESOURCING
1.1.1 SECURITY IN JOB RESPONSIBILITIES
1.1.1.a Classification specifications will include:
- General statement concerning employee responsibility for security
- Supervisory classifications will include a statement concerning ISO responsibilities
1.1.1.b Job postings will include:
1.1.1.c State of Maine application(s) for employment will include affirmations developed by the Bureau of Human Resources.
- A statement that information provided during the application and selection process will be verified
- That the application is true, correct, and complete to the best of the applicant’s knowledge
- That the applicant may have to submit information not specifically requested on the application form
- That BHR or the employing agency may verify any information provided in the application process
- That BHR or the employing agency may conduct reference checks
- That BHR or the employing agency may conduct a credit check when appropriate for a position where a credit check is authorized
- That BHR or the employing agency may release information to authorized agents, officers, and/or employees of the State of Maine which may include, but not be limited to information concerning past work, present work, attendance, evaluations, educational records (including transcripts), military service, criminal records, and any other personal record deemed necessary to verify the information provided by the applicant
- Affirmation that supplying erroneous information or omitting pertinent information as part of the application process would be sufficient cause for discharge
1.1.2 PERSONNEL SCREENING AND POLICY
Verification of information pertaining to applicants and new employees is a responsibility that is shared by the Bureau of Human Resources and appointing authorities. BHR is responsible to ensure that applications are complete, with the appropriate verifications left to agency interview/selection panels and the agency HR division.
All selections should be considered conditional until all prescribed verifications for a particular position are completed . All verifications must be completed prior to the end of the probationary period.
1.1.2.a Employment Application
- For competitive positions completeness verified by Bureau of Human Resources.
- Application returned to applicant if incomplete.
- For direct hire positions completeness verified by agency human resource representative.
1.1.2.b Employment References
- Gathered by interview/selection panel chair or member or other appropriate agency staff designated by the interview/selection panel chair.
- At least one work-related reference, preferably from the last previous and/or the most job-related employer. Additional work-related references are encouraged. In addition to ascertaining that the person was, in fact, employed with the organization in question, reference check should include:
- At a minimum, a business reference should include the position held, whether full-time or part-time, dates of employment and eligibility for rehire.
- To the extent a former employer is willing to provide additional information, reference questions should be directly associated with the Core Competencies, Knowledge and Skills, Terms and Conditions and, for applicable supervisory positions, Manager found in the State of Maine Performance Management Form (PER 119 3/97 or its successor).
- In the absence of a work-related reference, a personal reference may be included.
1.1.2.d Academic Qualifications
- Completeness verified by interview/selection panel chair or member for completeness.
- Special attention should be given to account for significant gaps in employment history.
- Verify graduation, degree conferred, and major/minor fields of study directly with academic institution.
- Verify that educational institution is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency that the United States Secretary of Education has determined to be a reliable authority as to the quality of education or training provided by the institution of higher education and the higher education programs they accredit. [List published by the U.S. Secretary of Education may be found at the ED.gov website.]
- A copy of a degree should be retained in the personnel file only after the interview/selection panel chair (or member) and/or appropriate agency HR representative has viewed the original document. The person verifying authenticity of copy and accreditation must indicate original viewed and accreditation verified, sign and date copy for employee personnel file.*
* The term “personnel file” is not specifically defined in Civil Service Law or Civil Service Rules. The CS Law, 5 MRSA, §7071 defines what records the Director, BHR is required to maintain. These requirements are further defined in CS Rules, Chapter 14. It is these records that constitute the “personnel file” within the state service. The official “personnel file” is maintained at the Bureau of Human Resources. Agency personnel files are considered an extension of the official personnel file, subject to the provisions of the 5 MRSA, § 7070 and §7071.
1.1.2.f Background Checks
- Verify possession of license/certification required by the classification to which the employee has applied or which has been used to establish qualification for the classification to be employed.
- A copy of a license should be retained in the personnel file only after interview/selection panel chair (or member) and/or appropriate agency HR representative has viewed the original document. The person verifying authenticity of copy must indicate original viewed, sign and date copy for employee personnel file.
- Verify authenticity of license/certification directly with the granting authority, such as a licensing board.
- An agency may choose to ascertain if a candidate has had any adverse licensing board actions with respect a professional license. In that event, the agency may consult the website maintained by the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation, which provides much of this information. If the candidate is an attorney, the information may be accessed through the Board of Overseers of the Bar.
- A criminal background check may be conducted, and is encouraged, for all employees. A candidate’s criminal record may legitimately be considered as a factor in the selection process.
- State agencies should consult the Department of Public Safety for access to the site that will provide conviction and adjudication information for adult and juvenile crimes committed within the State of Maine. [The feasibility of conducting national background checks (e.g. FBI) is currently being explored.]
- In the event that a prospective employee self identifies a criminal conviction, or a criminal conviction is subsequently determined by way of the criminal records check, agencies should refer to POLICY GUIDELINE CONCERNING APPLICANTS WITH CRIMINAL CONVICTIONS which is attached to this policy.
- A driving record check may be conducted in cases where the employee will be required to spend a significant amount of time driving a state-owned or privately-owned vehicle on state business and/or in cases when a state employee is customarily required to transport clients, patients, inmates, or civilians. In positions where the operation of a motor vehicle is a regular component, a candidate’s driving record may legitimately be considered as a factor in the selection process.
- In the event that a prospective employee self identifies a negative driving record, or a negative driving record is subsequently determined by way of the driving records check, agencies should consider the driving record in a manner similar to that provided in POLICY GUIDELINE CONCERNING APPLICANTS WITH CRIMINAL CONVICTIONS. That is, there must be a nexus between the driving record and the job.
- Employees using a vehicle owned by the State of Maine are required to adhere to the VEHICLE USE AGREEMENT provided by Risk Management.
- A credit check may be conducted in cases where a legitimate nexus exists between an employee’s credit history and his or her job functions.
- Credit checks should only be instituted for positions where there is a clear and direct correlation between credit history and job duties.
- The collection and proper use of credit information is subject to a myriad of state and federal laws. If an agency contemplates instituting credit checks, the agency should receive specific direction from the Department of the Attorney General.
1.1.2.g Verification of Identity
- Immediately prior to employment interview, interview/selection panel chair or member must verify the identity of the person being interviewed. Verification may be by means of a picture identification such as a passport, driver’s license, etc. [Note: Verification of identity and eligibility for employment in the United States will again be verified by an agency human resource representative by way of the I-9 when completing new-hire paperwork.]
1.1.2.h Information to Applicant Prior to Employment Interview
- Interview/selection panel chair or member or an agency HR representative should advise each applicant, in writing, what will be required at the time of the initial employment interview. These items include, but are not limited to, verification of identity, a current resume/vitae, or other information that the agency deems appropriate for the employment interview.
- A model pre-interview letter is attached for reference.
1.1.2.i Written Job Offer
- Must include statement that the job offer is conditional based upon verification of information provided to the State and, if required for the position, a criminal background, driver’s license, and/or credit check.
- Advise candidate what “New Hire” information will be required including, but not limited to, identification materials for the Form I-9, original academic degrees, licenses, certifications, or other work-related credentials.
- The agency HR Division should develop a verification checklist to be included with the “New Hire” paperwork.
- The agency HR Division will ensure that the verification checklist has been completed prior to authorizing permanent status.
1.1.3 CONFIDENTIALITY AGREEMENTS
Confidentiality agreements are intended to ensure that information designated confidential by law or rule is not improperly released to unauthorized persons. Confidentiality agreements inform an employee of his or her responsibilities with respect to the confidentiality of information and the potential consequences of the improper release of records.
Although maintaining the confidentiality of information remains an important responsibility of each State employee, the guiding principles articulated in 1 MRSA, Chapter 13, with respect to public access to public records should always be considered in the conduct of State business.
1.1.3.a In the event that an employee is unsure as to whether information should be released, supervisory and or legal guidance should be obtained prior to the release of the information requested.
1.1.3.b Prior to starting work, every employee of the State of Maine, regardless of employee status, is required to read, agree to, and sign a confidentiality agreement provided by the Bureau of Human Resources. This agreement will be included in the employee’s personnel file.
1.1.3.c Individual agencies may have additional confidentiality agreements that are specific to the agency, bureau, division, or other appropriate mission. Such additional confidentiality agreements will also be included in the employee’s personnel file.
1.1.3.d In the event that an employee changes work location, whether on a temporary or permanent basis, an HR representative must ensure that an appropriate agency confidentiality agreement is agreed to and signed by the employee.
1.1.4 TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT
6.1.4.a Individual employees are responsible for information security within the purview of their employment.
6.1.4.b Maine law provides that under some circumstances, Executive Branch employees who leave state service may be disqualified from participation in certain matters. Employees should refer to 5 MRSA, §18 for guidance in this regard.
Section 1.2 USER TRAINING
1.2.1 INFORMATION SECURITY EDUCATION AND TRAINING
Information security responsibilities and protocols will be incorporated into new employee and management training.
1.2.1.a Information security included in mandatory New Employee Orientation (NEO)
- Whether statewide program or agency-specific program
- Security segment included in NEO handbook
1.2.1.b Information security included in mandatory Managing in State Government (MSG) training
- Whether statewide program or agency-specific program
- Security segment included in MSG handbook
.2.1.c Information security overview included in on-line BHR Policy and Procedures Manual
S/ Frank A. Johnson
Frank A. Johnson, Acting Director
Bureau of Human Resources