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Criminal History Record Check Soon to Be Required for Initial Certification in West Virginia

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With the passage of Senate Bill 271 on March 7, 2016 and signed by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin on May 15, 2016, the Board of Accountancy now requires a criminal background check as a provision for certification for all new Certified Public Accountant applicants. The Board may propose rules to implement the criminal history record check provisions for legislative approval in accordance with standards established by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Crime Prevention and Privacy Compact as authorized by 42 U. S. C. §14611, et seq. In the coming months, Board members will be working on language to accommodate this new statutory requirement in current Board Rules and Rules of Professional Conduct and file a proposed rule by July 2017 for the 2018 legislative session. 

The criminal history record check shall be based on fingerprints submitted to the West Virginia State Police or its assigned agent for forwarding to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The applicant shall meet all requirements necessary to accomplish the state and national criminal history record check, including:

  1. Submitting fingerprints for the purposes set forth in the Accountancy Law, and
  2. Authorizing the board, the West Virginia State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigationto use all records submitted and produced for the purpose of screening the applicant for a certificate.

The results of the state and national criminal history record check may NOT be released to or by a private entity except:

  1. to the individual who is the subject of the criminal history record check;
  2. with the written authorization of the individual who is the subject of the criminal history check; or
  3. pursuant to a court order.

The criminal history check and related records are not public records for the purposes of  Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

The applicant must pay the actual costs of the fingerprinting and criminal history record check.

Board staff will inform all licensees and post the proposed legislation to this web site once it has been filed.  Stay tuned...