It’s no secret that electronic I-9 and E-Verify systems can offer numerous benefits to organizations looking to improve and streamline their employment eligibility verification process. There are oneplus 4k tv 43 inch many compelling reasons for going electronic, not the least of which is the ability to shred all of those messy paper forms after your records have been audited and converted into an electronic format. What many organizations forget, however, is that the government’s goal behind electronic I-9s is not only to facilitate employer compliance, but also to enhance the enforcement of the law. So while it’s certainly a good idea to streamline your operations (through an intelligent, electronic I-9 system), it’s equally important to conduct a thorough review of potential electronic I-9 solutions to ensure they’ll stand up to an ICE investigation.
The Audit Trail
There are a host of factors that you should consider in choosing an electronic I-9 system. These factors include security, usability, cost efficiency, and the ability to track usage or “auditability”. Some of these factors are employer-driven, whereas others derive from the legal requirements spelled out in the ICE interim final regulations covering electronic I-9s (which are soon to be made final).
One of the more stark provisions in the regulations states that ICE can essentially “invalidate” an electronic I-9 (pretend an employer did not do one) if one of the “recordkeeping standards” has not been met. Why is there such a draconian provision for what many would consider an innocent administrative mistake? Essentially, it all comes down to the trustworthiness of an electronic record. In the paper world, an auditor can examine the ink on the form, the handwriting, evidence of alterations, etc. Conversely, an electronic form (in simple PDF) yields none of these clues for an examiner to review.
To overcome this issue, ICE included a fairly broad yet significant requirement for an electronic I-9 system: it must be able to produce “the electronically stored Forms I-9, any supporting documents, and their associated audit trails, reports, and other data used to maintain the authenticity, integrity, and reliability of the records.” What does that mean? Elsewhere in the regulation, ICE clarifies that an audit trail is a record showing who has accessed a computer system and the actions performed within or on the computer – which is taken to mean that everything that transpires in the system must be key logged, traceable, and reviewable by an authorized agent.
Sounds simple enough, right? Computer systems are already monitoring our every move on the Internet; shouldn’t be a big deal for an electronic I-9 system to do so. Well, yes and no.