There are more public private partnerships these days than ever before. Civilian contractors are being appointed to work in prisons, on military bases and in government buildings. They’re constructing new buildings, renovating old ones and providing services ranging from catering to information technology, and everything in between.
While that’s great for business, it does demand a higher level of due diligence in background screening and security clearance than the average project does. If you’re thinking of getting into government contracting, then you probably want to know what to expect from the process.
What Type of Security Clearance Is Required?
The level of security clearance and background screening required for different government projects will vary according to the project, the client and the institution in question. Some projects may require basic screening, while others may require more in depth checks including a criminal record check, driving history or even financial investigations. Generally, the client will make you aware of these requirements before you provide a bid or tender on the project, so that you can determine if the project is viable.
If you don’t receive this type of information before bidding a government project, be sure to ask the question.
How Are Security Checks Conducted?
When it comes to contracting on government sites like prisons, military bases or government buildings, you will usually be requested to provide certain information to the department in question, and they will use that information to conduct their own checks.
You may be asked for financial or tax information, references from similar projects, and even photo ID for approved employees who will be involved in the project. Failure to provide the requested information may disqualify you from working on a particular project.
When Are Security Checks Conducted?
Sometimes, security checks will form part of the bid adjudication process, but sometimes, you may be asked to provide information before you even provide a quotation. An example of this would be when a site inspection is required as part of the bid, and the attendees require clearance. If in doubt about when background checks and clearances are conducted, it’s always best to ask.
Why Are Security Checks Carried Out?
Very often, contractors working on secure sites may have access to sensitive information. In certain cases, they may be put in situations where there is potential danger to themselves or others based on their history. Security screening, a background check, a criminal record check and other screening processes help to limit any negative impact from these types of projects.
Making Sure You Pass
There’s nothing worse than spending time and money bidding on government projects, only to lose the contract because you don’t pass the security screening.
One way around this is to conduct your own in-depth screening before you bid on projects. Make sure that the subcontractors you’re putting forward for the project have squeaky-clean business licensing records, and ensure that there are no red flags in your company or employees’ history. A professional screening company can help you to determine what you need to look for, and find out if there are any causes for concern. Knowing ahead of time can help you to fix the problem before you bid, or save you the cost and trouble of bidding on jobs you probably wouldn’t qualify for.