(WASHINGTON, DC) – Mayor Vincent C. Gray said today that an attempt by the Republican leadership of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to amend the District’s Home Rule Act to impose federally dictated employment rules for District government agencies is both unnecessary and a violation of the District’s autonomy. Noting that the proposed legislation would require only a criminal background check for all political appointees when the District adopted a much more thorough vetting process last March, Mayor Gray said:
“This legislation is ill-advised and unnecessary. The District already runs a more stringent background check than the legislation would require. The bill represents a step backward and is another example of Congress needlessly imposing its will on the District.”
H.R. 3285, known as the DC Employee Suitability Act, was announced today by House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.). It would alter the DC Home Rule Charter to include the hiring provisions. He intends to consider the bill on Thursday, November 3, 2011.
Political appointees in the Gray administration are already vetted through extensive background checks that include personal, civil and criminal information. The checks include a thorough review of credit history, criminal offenses, driving and traffic records, bankruptcies, property ownership, and liens and judgments. The checks also cover education, legal, and business affiliations. The checks are conducted in accordance with Metropolitan Police Department standards, are conducted in FBI-approved environments and are done by means of fingerprints and National Criminal Information Center checks and procedures.