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17-month background check backlog hurting Colorado job hunters

7:08 PM, Jan 9, 2013   |    comments
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They work 24 hours a day, seven days a week and are falling farther and farther behind because of the increase in demand.

According to Marsha Waters, the division director of Colorado Division of Real Estate, which relies on CBI to perform background checks to complete real estate broker licensing, the wait time six months ago was no more than three to four weeks.

Today, the wait time is 17 weeks.

Without the completion of the background check the state cannot issue a real estate license. Without a real estate license the applicant cannot work as a broker and earn a paycheck.

"I think it is frustrating,"Waters said. "They're anticipating a license issued quickly once they complete the other requirements. So the further delay I think just kind of weighs on their ability to get out there and practice."

Real estate brokers are just one of many professions being impacted by the background check backlog at CBI. There are 64 professions that require background checks for employment that are performed by CBI, including teachers, nurses and real estate brokers.

There are two primary reasons for the background check backlog. With the recent spike in gun sales in Colorado staff from the identification unit were used to support the InstaCheck background checks.

"Did it have an impact? Yes, but was it broad and far reaching? No," CBI Spokesperson Susan Medina said.

The biggest factor in the creation of the backlog is a 20 year old and outdated processing system.

"The technology is far beyond its use," Medina said. "It is not set up to process very many cards during the course of the day."

CBI believes they have a solution to the problem. A new state of the art processing system is being designed and should be up and running by later this year.

"We feel that this system that we're bringing in, that will be on line by mid-summer is going to dramatically impact the backlog. It is going t slash those numbers and bring those down to days and maybe even hours in wait times for those background checks," Medina said.

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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